Saturday, April 19, 1997

Buck the Sea Lion

During 6 months on a Galapagos Island, tagging turtles I had built up quite a relationship with some of the wildlife. A one legged Lava gull relied on my fishing for much of its sustenance, and a family of Pelicans sat next to me when I fished (nicking most of my catch).

In April, a young male Sea lion (that I named “Buck”) started to frequent the beach and watch my comings and goings. He didn’t let me approach too close when he was sunning himself on the sand – so we kept our distance from one another, but he always appeared grateful when I threw him some scraps from my fishing.
This had gone on several weeks when a storm threw up a bit of swell and I went out to enjoy a bit of body-surfing. To my surprise, Buck came in to join me. Tentative, at first, after a while he was surfing at my side, pushing me and steering me through the waves (probably horrified at my ineptness!). The ice was broken, and we enjoyed several more surfing sessions over the coming weeks until one day he decided to move on. I missed his company

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