If you go to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, you just have to go see the sea lions on Pier 39 because that is what you do.
Is it crowded? Yes. Is it smelly? Yes. Is it mesmerizing? Yes, yes.
We have been to see our sea lion friends three different times. And, each time we go, we think we can’t possibly last more than a few minutes and end up staying an hour. We find ourselves in a sea-lion-watching stupor. We start recognizing human-like personalities and we even start naming them … for example, on this trip, we couldn’t take our eyes off one huge guy … let‘s call him Brutus … who thought he owned the main pier. One very persistent smaller sea lion kept trying and trying to jump up into Brutus’ domain, but he finally had to give up and swim away, and I could almost hear him muttering, “Brutus, you are not the boss of me!”
I did learn that I might have been a tiny bit misleading in one of my illustrations. It turns out that one of the differences between seals and sea lions is that sea lions have little external ear flaps … and seals are ear-flapless (although they can hear!) … so when I created this illustration for an alphabet board book of a seal sailing on a sailboat, I should have left off his little ear flaps. I hope I have not mislead any little toddlers who have aspirations of becoming marine biologists! And my apologies to any seals who had the chance to read my book!