Ano Nuevo

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February 28th 2009
Published: April 25th 2009
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Ano Nuevo BayAno Nuevo BayAno Nuevo Bay

Have probably hiked two thirds of the way from the starting point to get here. Looking East and South in this photo.
I decided to make the drive down to Ano Nuevo to check out the Northern Elelphant Seals during the pupping season. During the pupping season, all the hikes into the pupping areas are guided. You can go there other times of the year without being guided, and still see Elephant Seals though. I decided to take the guided tour to see what I could learn.

While these seals come to this area twice a year, the spend a vast majority of their time out at sea, far out at sea. While that must be a tiring existence, when they are here this time of year, they are generally here for around three months or so. Must be they get the majority of their rest for the year here.

It is supposedly a 1.5 mile hike from the parking lot area to get back to where the seals are. It didn't feel quite that long though. The guided tour is affordable too, only about $8 or so as I recall.

We saw about a dozen spouts in the water on our hike out to where the seals were. Those were from Gray Whales on their migration North. After this weekend, I made
Looking WestLooking WestLooking West

The seals are found out along the coastline, but also inland sometimes a few hundred yards from the water, at least this time of year.
my way up to Point Reyes to see if I could see the whales on their migration better.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Elephant Seal SkullElephant Seal Skull
Elephant Seal Skull

Far right. Those are some big teeth. The skull itself was pretty heavy too.
Cannot be botheredCannot be bothered
Cannot be bothered

This guy opened his eyes enough to see the dozen or so of us standing there, flipped some more sand on his back, then went back to dozing.
Randomly DispersedRandomly Dispersed
Randomly Dispersed

Note the building on the island at the top of the screen. It hasn't been used in some 50+ years, yet has still withstood the weather out there over all that time. Lots of seals on the island as well, but I don't believe public landings on that island are allowed.
Another Large MaleAnother Large Male
Another Large Male

Clearly could care less about us tiny little humans.
Up PeriscopeUp Periscope
Up Periscope

Large male popped his head up for a good look around, then went lumbering off. The guy in the left of the picture was our guide, a Docent for the area.
Off to the racesOff to the races
Off to the races

Wish I could have gotten the camera into video mode to see this guy move across the ground. Not terribly fast.
More DozingMore Dozing
More Dozing

This one was quite a ways inland, just as was the previous Male.
Popular AreaPopular Area
Popular Area

Mostly pups in this photo.
High Rent DistrictHigh Rent District
High Rent District

This is supposedly the most active part of this area for the mating and birthing times of the year. The seagulls in the photo appeared to be around dead seals.

Looks like there are two Males in that group though, the middle group of seals.
Being a Pup is exhaustingBeing a Pup is exhausting
Being a Pup is exhausting

Just ask these two.

The White building in the distance is where the hike begins.

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