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Sea Lion City…

September 15, 2005

Maintaining a boat is hard enough, but if you happen to homeport in Newport Harbor, or elsewhere on the Cali coast, you also have to deal with large, grumpy blobs of blubber, otherwise known as sea lions. The LA Times, which has a nice offbeat take here, calls them “rowdy,” and “amphibious sumo wrestlers.” (You can also watch this TV news report which manages to find an actual sea lion on a boat, before it moves on to a discussion of concussion grenades and explaining the difference between a sea lion and a seal). Harbormasters and locals are up in arms because the sea lions are noisy, intrusive and even managed to sink a 37-foot boat (18 of them piled into it; talk about weight on the rail). The usual roster of wacky attempts to scare them off–a fake Orca, rubber bullets, firecrackers–has been tried to no avail. And now the usual human response to animals that annoy is being trundled into play. First, scare the hell out of everyone with warnings about people being killed. Next, abuse and evict the animals (God forbid they scratch the gelcoat…). Being California, it probably won’t work. Get over it, folks. You like the waterfront. They like the waterfront. It’s called “sharing”…

“This idiot has so many lines out to keep us off, it would take him three hours to leave the dock. Loser…”

“If we bark loudly to the tune of Barney these annoying humans are sure to move away and leave us alone…”

“Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated…”
(Photos: Marc Martin/LAT; Don Kelsen/LAT; Don Kelsen/LAT)

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