Sleeping with sea lions

sea lions
It’s probably best if you don’t sleep with sea lions on your feet.
Yesterday morning I dreamed I was sleeping among the sea lions;  “I had better ask a Naturalist  if this is alright,”  I said to myself, as only dreamers can.
I was two days away from an adventure in the  Galapagos , where the sea lions readily approach humans, but still, this was extreme.
So was experiencing a mother sea lion giving birth on the sand as twilight descended. After she honked, welcoming her new pup, and the newborn honk-sneezed back,  she took him by the neck and propped him up in proper sea lion posture.  He responded with another honk-sneeze and sat up, front flippers forward, head and neck still tilting to the left, but strong, ready for his mother’s milk.
Meanwhile, the sun was setting and the Zodiaks awaited to take us back to our mother ship, the National Geographic/Lindblad  Endeavour.  But, another large, belligerent sea lion bellowed and splayed out on the path we needed to ascend. Sea lions have sharp teeth, not unlike our own canines, and they bite if annoyed. I walked fast and hoped my pink and green and inadequate running shoes would not attract his attention. The big male ignored me and I boarded, happy for our little rubber boat home.
Earlier that day, we had been told by our Naturalists (we were 16 to a group)  we must be off this island, named Espanola, by dusk, and we were.  Mom sea lion and the big male timed it just right.
And yesterday morning…it was a dream after all.  Just our dog Toby, afraid of a thunder storm. No sea lions on the bed.  Just reality, etched in memory.

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Retired journalist, writer, editor and teacher. Our lives were lived in the Washington DC area, but I was born in upstate New York. Love nature, birding and reading. Volunteer at Ding Darling NWR . Proud mom of two, married to a wildlife photographer.

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