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Old 05-09-2019, 14:29   #1
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Has This Ever Happened to You?

Last night while berthed at Pier 39 in San Francisco my wife and I were awakened at 1 AM to hear sea lions roaring (roaring is a way that they can protect their territory when they feel threatened to get both humans and other animals to leave them alone). Then the noise quieted down for a while. When I got up at 6:30 AM to walk out dog I discovered sea lions laying on the port side finger of our berth from the bow to the stern. Frankly, I did not know if I could motivate them to get off the dock or had to wait until the marina office to open at 9 AM to do so as I was concerned whether they might attack my dog and I (when humans come within approximately 2.5 meters (8 ft), they can be very unsafe). So I started to yell from cockpit to get off the dock and thankfully one by one they left the dock. By the time I took this photo the 3 remaining sea lions moved to the end of the dock. A few minutes later they also left the dock. Then my dog and I safely disembarked.

Have you ever experienced a similar situation?
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Old 05-09-2019, 14:44   #2
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

Yep. I sailed from SF to Monterey, about 100nms. We arrived around 2am and directed to an end tie. When I got up around 8am to go check in, a huge bull sea lion was sunning himself on the finger. After trying to shoo him away, I radioed the harbor master who said that if I had a tape measure, I should wiggle it - sea lions find the noise annoying.

Not so fine line between annoyed and pissed off. He charged me - for a big finned chunk of blubber, he moved amazingly fast

I am pretty sure the harbor master pulled the old "snipe hunt" trick on me and knew what would happen. Probably gathered everyone around to watch

If you have access to a garden hose or deck wash down, squirting them with water usually works.
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Old 05-09-2019, 15:46   #3
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

In the Galapagos they can take over towns. They sleep on park benches, in front of store entrances, wherever they want basically, and they are protected so you can't disturb them. And they are BIG. If they want to sleep on the stoop to your store, well that's about it lol. "Closed Today".
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Old 14-09-2019, 07:18   #4
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

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So I started to yell from cockpit to get off the dock and thankfully one by one they left the dock.
My understanding is that you can get a summons for yelling at sea lions in the San Francisco area. I'm not joking, I read a sign something that said something like "Do not harrass ... the sea lions under penalty of ..."

Not sure if it was Pier 39. Their roar is deafening and it only takes ones to start them all going. Kind of like a "peaceful protest" by humans who espouse diversity and tolerance these days, again, I'm not joking.
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Old 14-09-2019, 07:55   #5
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

I waded/swam just a short time with sea lions in the Galapagos. it was pretty intimidating to me. Our guide said "the bull will come right at you, but he will veer off, he's just protecting his turf"
Yeah, right.... he's about 600 lbs!
I'm likely the one you read about : "man killed in rare sea lion attack" :>)
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Old 14-09-2019, 08:02   #6
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

I donít know anything about Sea Lionís never been around them, but have always wondered about the name ďLionĒ. Surely it may mean that they are some kind of Apex predator, and maybe not the cute performing circus animal we seem to think?
Yeah, I think if they or a Leopard Seal was around Iíd be a little nervous about it.
Do you think in this video the animal was just being playful?
Again being a Southern guy Iíve never been around them myself.
https://youtu.be/F5As8nKIGV4
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Old 14-09-2019, 08:11   #7
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

dave777, You are absolutely correct. "California sea lions are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. It is unlawful for unauthorized persons to feed, handle or harass them."

https://www.pier39.com/the-sea-lion-story/

This was the first I docked at Pier 39 and will be my last. Even at South Beach Marina south of the bay bridge, sea lions have taken over the outermost docks but generally the marina office will find a dock for overnight visitors further away to avoid the risk of sea lions invading the dock.
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Old 14-09-2019, 08:37   #8
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

I don't know how anyone could sleep on a boat at Pier 39 when the sea lions have moved in. Those guys can really crank out the decibels. I like sea lions, I want to see them proliferate. But they can be annoying, noisy and messy. I had my boat anchored off Santa Barbara for a summer once and I had one decide my boat made a great dock to rest on. When I approached the boat he'd take off, but as soon as I was down below and he couldn't see me, he'd jump back up on the deck. At first he'd jump off when I banged on the hull from below, then after a while he tolerated that. I'd have to go up on deck and wave my arms and yell before he took me seriously and then he grudgingly rolled off the deck. (That boat had no lifelines.) Took me a while to wash off the mess he'd leave everyday.
Still, I have to say, I kinda missed him when he finally took off.
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Old 14-09-2019, 08:46   #9
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I donít know anything about Sea Lionís never been around them, but have always wondered about the name ďLionĒ. Surely it may mean that they are some kind of Apex predator, and maybe not the cute performing circus animal we seem to think?
Yeah, I think if they or a Leopard Seal was around Iíd be a little nervous about it.
Do you think in this video the animal was just being playful?
Again being a Southern guy Iíve never been around them myself.
https://youtu.be/F5As8nKIGV4
Yeah saw that video a while back. Scary. I do think it was playfulness though, in that instance... One thing I have learned over the years is that you should never assume what a wild animal is going to do , one way or another...
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Old 17-09-2019, 12:55   #10
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

To deal with sealions, this dog has it down!

http://www.facebook.com/VT/videos/2581795681962258/?t=6

We usually use a hose or a horn to get them moving. Big animals and very aggressive at times.
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Old 17-09-2019, 14:08   #11
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

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Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I don't know how anyone could sleep on a boat at Pier 39 when the sea lions have moved in. Those guys can really crank out the decibels. I like sea lions, I want to see them proliferate. But they can be annoying, noisy and messy. I had my boat anchored off Santa Barbara for a summer once and I had one decide my boat made a great dock to rest on. When I approached the boat he'd take off, but as soon as I was down below and he couldn't see me, he'd jump back up on the deck. At first he'd jump off when I banged on the hull from below, then after a while he tolerated that. I'd have to go up on deck and wave my arms and yell before he took me seriously and then he grudgingly rolled off the deck. (That boat had no lifelines.) Took me a while to wash off the mess he'd leave everyday.
Still, I have to say, I kinda missed him when he finally took off.

Why on earth would you want them to proliferate?
In the PNW, they've decimated the salmon runs at the Ballard Locks.
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Old 17-09-2019, 14:32   #12
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

It may seem counterintuitive, but sea lions don't like water splashed on them. It doesn't take much. I have heard about the tape measure method, but haven't seen it done.
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Old 17-09-2019, 20:27   #13
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Re: Has This Ever Happened to You?

I'm ok with sea lions proliferating because when they do that will mean the fish they depend on are proliferating too and that will mean the whole system is getting back to healthy, which it really is not... yet. I'd like to see that before I die. I am not sure sea lions can hold a candle to dams, pollution, logging and fishing when it comes to decimating salmon.
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