Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

Swimming with sea lions: what an experience!

sea lion

Marty’s photo of the day #2036: I had never planned a photo months in advance before, but when Deb and I booked last week’s trip to the Baja Peninsula—and learned we’d have a significant chance of swimming with sea lions in the Sea of Cortez—this was the image I had hoped to capture. In fact, I purchased an underwater camera and special snorkel mask (to make me more comfortable in the water) just to get this photo. It was so considerate of a sea lion to cooperate!

A colony of approximately 50 sea lions lives on a tiny island of rock—so low, it was barely visible in the distance. The sea lions made lots of noise as we approached, and then joyfully slid into the water when we did the same. They were so excited to have new swimming partners! But the sea lions had a strict rule: the water is for everyone to enjoy, and the island is for sea lions only. A huge bull stayed on the island to enforce their rule.

The sea lions especially loved swimming with Deb, as they dived when she dived, and through slick moves and body language said to her, “You can do that? Watch us. We can do this!”

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