Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pie & elephant seals

That is how I spent my day off last Thursday. Hartz and I went adventuring down the (sometimes smoky) coast. We stuffed ourselves on artichokes, crab and ollalieberry pie at Duarte's in Pescadero - highly recommended - and then, elephant-seal like ourselves, went to check the pinnipeds. I will tell you what, those suckers are BIG. If you have seen "Tremors" (and you really, really should have), then you have a sense of what these seals looked like - like the underground monsters, but with big old noses in place of evil pincer mouths.

Neat things we learned from the handy Marine Docent: elephant seals lead solitary lives once they leave their mother; they swim thousands of miles, up to Alaska and down and out to Hawaii; their noses get bigger with age; they mate from December to March.

Things Hartz and I learned on our own: we need to come back in December to watch these things mate; we would like to spoon them but would be afraid of them rolling on top of us; elephant seals do not respond to dance-off requests; watching 2000 lbs of blubber slide down a sand dune is absolutely delightful.


uhteacher said...

Did they smell terrible? I remember seeing elephant seals in high school and thinking that it was the worst smell I ever smelled, ever. Ever.

Seriously, I wanted my nose to fall off.

GGB said...

We weren't allowed to get close enough to get a wiff (they are prone to aggression - shocker!), but their skin was coming off in big chunks, which seems like it would go hand in hand with a less than savory odor.