Today we took a drive over to Newport’s Historic Bay Front.
The short street that runs along the bay is a charming mix of local art & gift shops, numerous dining options, a couple of candy shops, and a busy seafood warehouse full of workers packing and moving crates of freshly caught fish. By far the best part of our visit was the sea lions.
These male sea lions can be seen hanging out on the docks in Newport from August to early June. The females stay behind in California, and in the months of June and July the males travel south to join them for breeding season.
This boisterous group make themselves know around town. As soon as we parked and got out of the truck you could hear loud barks coming from the pier. There was a larger group of sea lions hanging on a rocky outcropping near the marina, and they certainly contributed to the noise, but these guys on the dock were much easier to see up close. They were all squished together on a pretty small dock, and the slightest movement from one sea lion caused all kinds of noise from his neighbors. It was pretty comical to watch.
And cute too! I could have stayed there all day watching them lounge, roll, scratch and yell at each other. This guy looked right at me and gave the sweetest smile.
There was one in the bunch who was noticably smaller than the others. He must have been the baby of the group. Just look at him snuggled down among his buddies!
The biggest sea lion was on his very own piece of dock next to the others. He seemed pretty content to have all that extra room and we watched as he rolled over several times and lazily scratched his belly with his fin.
Neither of us had ever seen sea lions before and it was pretty cool to watch them up close. Who knows, we might even have to go back tomorrow for another visit.