Snorfle no more

Sea lions
Pier 39, San Francisco, CA ~ August 2009

Pier 39 was one of Kurt's 'must-see' places on our trip to San Francisco last summer. Years ago, sea lions began slowly taking over this pier at Fisherman's Wharf. They became quite a tourist attraction, appearing on t-shirts and being photographed by a mob of tourists on the dock. There were hundreds of them when Kurt and I visited in August, basking in the sun, taking the occasional dip in the bay, and most of all stinking and snorfling and making one heck of a racket. Kurt stayed to watch them, but the smell quickly drove me to nearby shops. While I find sea lions charming individually, a mob of them was more than my poor nose could handle.

Still, they are a San Francisco landmark, and I was surprised to read this morning that just after Thanksgiving, the sea lions disappeared from Pier 39. In October there were nearly 2000 and by December merely 20. Apparently, warmer water off the coast of California depleted their food source, and they headed north to Oregon where anchovies are especially plentiful. I'm sure nearby businesses will miss the tourists they attracted (although the empty pier has become a bit of a draw), but I wonder if a few don't secretly enjoy the newfound peace and quiet.


Craig Miyamoto said...

It was a surprise to us. Lucky we went to Pier 39 in November and saw them before they left.

casch said...

They will be missed, even though they were raucous!