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Sea Lions Sinking Boats Again

Rari is bow-heavy courtesy of several thousand pounds of blubber.

© 2008 Rich Boren

"In the last two weeks, sea lions have sunk two boats moored in Port San Luis and now they’ve moved on to their next victim," reports Rich Boren on the Pearson 365 Third Day. The Boren family are in Port San Luis preparing Third Day for this year’s Baja Ha-Ha. He says that the harbor patrol contacted the owners of the Baba 30 Rari but they weren’t able to make it to the boat. Instead, they arranged for the orange netting to be installed to deter the pinnipeds. "It didn’t even last 24 hours," Rich noted.

Along with tearing down orange netting meant to keep them off the boat, the sea lions have caused at least a couple thousand dollars worth of damage to the boat.

© 2008 Rich Boren

Indeed, the beasts, which can easily reach 600 lbs, completely disregarded the netting, climbing up and over the lifelines, and bending stainless steel stanchions and rails along the way. "We canceled a few overnight trips away from Third Day," said Boren, "because it looks like there was several thousand dollars in damage — smashed dodger and frame, dorade vents torn off, two broken portlights — and that would cost us a few months of cruising funds."

After the harbor patrol moved Rari, the sea lions didn’t follow but now the stench can be smelled several hundred feet away.

© 2008 Rich Boren

Boren reported that the harbor patrol finally moved the boat to the other side of the mooring field and the sea lions haven’t followed it . . . yet.

The crew of Hollonass were charmed by this little dude in Half Moon Bay.

© 2008 Tammy Stark

But not all pinnipeds are unwelcome visitors. Tammy Stark was crew aboard the Alameda-based Hollonass at a Half Moon Bay raft-up last weekend when this much smaller "harbor seal" sunbathed on their transom for about an hour. "It was an amazing experience having a seal that close to me," Stark said. We’d bet that as soon as that "harbor seal" — which looks suspiciously like a sea lion pup — grows to full size, he wouldn’t be welcome back aboard!

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Earlier this week Somali pirates seized a cruising yacht in the notorious Gulf of Aden with two French nationals aboard, bringing the number of hijacked vessels in that area to at least 30 since the beginning of the year.