As I snorkeled
the shy penguins swam past me. Once I decided to rest on a rock
and watch some on the cliff's edge. It wasn't the best idea
because this rock was claimed by a male sea lion. He hollered
and circled around me. You don't ever want 700 pounds of sea
lion mad at you. I decided I better go before he charged towards
me. Too late! As I looked below me, I saw this sea lion
swim RIGHT UNDER me. RIGHT UNDER the entire length of my body!
After getting out to a safe distance, I turned around to look
at that rock. The sea lion wasn't even on it. But, there
on the very rock where I had been sitting, was a penguin!
so mad at that sea lion.
this story has a happy ending, but it took me 25 years to get back
to Bartolome Island and its penguins!
the penguins as very shy. Perhaps the flood of tourists with
snorkel gear over the years had one good side effect. The penguins
seemed very used to visitors. As I snorkeled around Pinnacle
Rock, I spotted a couple on the shore. I decided to see how
close I could get by water. As quietly as possible, I reached
the very rock where they preened themselves. I stood by the
rock (well, I tried to but it was difficult to fight the ebb and flow
of the water) for ten minutes. That process was made even more
difficult with bulky fins on my feet and volcanic rock that sliced
away at grasping fingers. Observing was easier when I moved
closer and sat by the rock. Since the two preeners were not
in the least bit concerned about my presence, I next moved on to the
very rock for an even closer look. They were within petting
distance (which I wouldn't consider doing). I sat there with
them for ten magical minutes. Finally, one of them slipped into
the water and was soon followed by the other. It was time for
me to head back around the Pinnacle.