Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The UK Daily Mail has a set of rather spectacular photographs of a pod of humpback whales feeding close inshore among a group of boaters, kayakers, and paddle boarders off the California Central Coast. Whatever they were feeding on, it's obvious the pelicans wanted to get in on the action, too. The Daily Mail says the pictures were taken in San Luis Obispo, which unfortunately is six or seven miles inland. I did a little checking and it turns out these were really taken at nearby Port San Luis.

I don't know if you will have the same reaction I did, but I thought some of the people in the pictures were displaying rather remarkable bad judgement in getting as close as they were. Sort of like playing with bears at Yellowstone, except these bears weigh 40 tons.

Then I remembered a story from when we lived in Santa Barbara that showed this wasn't the first time someone in that area displayed bad judgement while playing with sea mammals. Back in 2003, a woman in nearby Avila Beach (maybe a mile around the bay from Port San Luis) had developed a morning routine of putting on her wetsuit and swimming near the pier amongst a group of friendly seals. One morning, a Great White Shark mistook her for one of the seals (likely the largest, slowest, fattest seal) and attacked her with fatal results. Darwin Award material.

No comments: