It was magical. Up and down and around, she went. Graceful. Quick. I was laughing in my mask, bubbles rising to the surface. We were just fumbling humans in her watery ballet. And we loved it.
Los Islotes, are a couple of rocky outcrops north of Isla Partida in the Sea of Cortez. We anchored near them, in some sixty feet of water. This anchorage affords little protection from winds and waves. We came here on a calm day, to visit a special sea lion rookery. These particular sea lions are used to humans, and therefore unafraid of them. We were told you could swim in the water with them. To test this theory, we selflessly offered that Barb and Bjarne dive in first. (Aren’t we good hosts?) We shall call them the brave ones. (The reason we went in pairs, was to have someone on the boat at all times, as the holding there isn`t great and we wanted to keep watch on the boat.)
It wasn't long before, we saw plastic fins and animal flippers breaking through the water’s surface only to disappear down below again. Aboard Nyon, we observed, while some sea lions sunned themselves on the rocks nearby and the cacophony of their conversations echoed off the rocky cliffs.
Soon enough, it was our turn to go play. Seeing Barb and Bjarne’s wide grins, we jumped in without hesitation. Admittedly, I still was a little apprehensive. These are wild animals after all. We forged on and soon a lion swam nearby, and then another… I can’t think of a better word than: “Awesome.” It was awesome. I have a soft spot for sea lions, and to see them in their natural habitat, playful and energetic, was a wonderful moment. Barb and Bjarne had told us that if you dive down, they become even more playful. Up and down we went, likely appearing nothing short of clumsy to these lovely creatures. Nonetheless, it felt as if for a brief moment, a barrier was torn down.
Here's a short clip of the experience: