Tag Archives: harbor seal

An Open Letter to the Seals of Cabrillo Beach

Dear harbor seals of Cabrillo Beach,

Gosh you are cute. Big eyes. Round face. White spots. I have always admired you — from afar. But I have boundary issues. Like, don’t touch me. Especially when I am in deep water. I had a bad experience with one of you last year, and I would really prefer you to keep your distance. I apologize to the seal I kicked today. I swear it was an accident. But don’t swim all up behind me like that! There’s plenty of room out there in the sea. And no, it is NOT your kelp bed.

I know, I’m not writing this to the dolphins. That’s because they do not touch me. They did freak me out a little bit when they surrounded us out at the buoy today, but they understand boundaries. Also, they don’t smell as bad as you, frankly. I smelt you before I saw you. Fish breath.

Seriously, I write this for your own good. If you keep coming up to swimmers — and I saw you with that other guy too! — you’re going to get relocated. I don’t want that, and neither do you.

I love all animals, including you, but let’s keep our relationship Platonic, and not physical.

Love (really),


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Kissed With a Seal

The seal was cute at first. Big brown eyes, long thick whiskers, spotted back — you know, harbor seals, they’re effing cute. My sometime swim pal Suzy was describing to me how a sea lion had followed her the other day, and as if on cue, this cutiepie pops up six feet behind her. Except this was a seal, not a sea lion. They’re different. Seals are smaller, supposedly safer. Gentle, even. HA!

Los Angeles is living up to its Endless Summer rep this winter. It’s been HOT. Gorgeous. Eighties. In January. The Pacific is a blue pool of invitation. It beckons from my window.

I know the water is cold — 60 degrees today. But that’s why I wear a half-suit. As often as I can, I swim out to the yellow buoy moored there by the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bears. It’s about a half-mile round trip. The first 10 minutes of cold are brutal, but then you adjust. It’s a challenge, and it’s peaceful, and you run into neighbors out there, which is hilarious (“Hi Kim, how’s it going?” “Nice weather we’re having!” “Sure is beautiful.”), and it’s an accomplishment. Continue reading

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