Lloyd, after leaving Avalon, Santa Catalina…I anchored for the night off Dana Point.… Under way early in the madrugada (way way more beautiful a word for dawn), this little Merbeing, after several attempts, came bashing with a huge splat right under the safety pipe rails onto the steel deck. I raced below looking for the camera, wood stove going, coffee on the make, self steering set, (my sailboat) s/v Mungo sliding toward San Diego. In the noise of looking for the camera, this creature (later told is a stellar sea lion by its ears ) found her way to the top of the hard dodger.
On stepping into the cockpit, what greeted me was a growl and very bad breath! After a while shooing her away because, if the boat jibed, the mains'l boom would have clocked her. Chasing her flopping up the deck to the starboard bow. She started sleeping. I stroked her incredibly soft fur. Nothing to feed her.
In the quiet of sailing, I could could feel her heart beat (faintly echoing) in the metal deck. She slipped silently over the side just off the Scripps Institute—amazing. Suddenly I felt so incredibly alone.