Monday, January 1, 2007

Seals of approval


Leaving Santa Barbara with a decent 10-knot breeze, we passed "Mr. Clean," the optimistically named vessel that services the oil rigs off the coast, tethered to a large mooring ball upon which several seals were lounging. I took this picture even though I knew it wouldn't really turn out. We are all the time passing seals and sea lions on buoys and various sea balls, and they look up languidly, vaguely interested, more or less welcoming us, or so it seems, and their whiskered faces make me think of blubbery kittens. I love to see how sea life appropriates human technology. Once, sailing in the bay, we passed a bell buoy ringed with cormorants, facing the source of the rhythmic pinging as if in mute adoration of some ancient god.

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