We hear them as we near their island, seal barks loud and piercing against the sound of the ocean breeze.
I know we’ve all seen seals before–on stage, at the wharf, in the water–but observing them here is still a special moment. Mothers coddle their young, harems surround their pimp, grumpy old men yell it out, juveniles daring themselves up steep crags, and all in all, it’s non-stop action.
These are busy creatures, seemingly always rearranging themselves and their buddies, super social and super out-spoken. We catch a big male abruptly stop and move back, sending a small female flying into the water for a surprise bath. Dazed, she manages to pull herself back onto the island, careful to avoid burly dude on her return to dry rock.
Impressive, really, and my inner anthropologist can’t help but wonder about their sociability and structure, clearly complex, clearly always in flux.