Posted by: adventuressetravels | May 24, 2013

A Scourge of Sea Lions

DSCN4456I looked up from my laptop and started as I saw a pair of jet-black beady eyes peering in the bedroom window.

Cape fur seals are not cute, they are not cuddly.  They aren’t even seals.   No, the “cape fur seals” in CapeTown’s V&A Marina are in fact sea lions.

Sea lions are dreadful creatures.  Oh they are very cute in theory.  Playful, graceful swimmers, balancing balls on their nose or doing tricks for fish.  Sleek, with nice lines and darling whiskered faces.  That’s a sea lion, right?

Wrong.

DSCN4506Anyone who knows one personally or has had the misfortune of living next to the vile beasts knows the truth.  I first had the dubious pleasure of living next to these delightful neighbors.

When I first got to the V&A Marina, the over-glorified mall that is South Africa’s top tourist attraction, I, like the many tourists taking pictures, was overjoyed to see the numerous sea lions basking by the boats.   When Daniel met me he just shook his head at my naiveté.  I would soon learn.

Getting onto Anastasia one whiff of the pungent aroma of putrefying fish that wafted off of the animals was enough to convince me that I wanted to keep my distance from the creatures.  Unfortunately the sea lions had squatters’ rights on the marina.  They took up residence directly alongside the yachts, perfuming the air.  But the scent was only the beginning.

DSCN4510The animals fought with one another on a regular basis, making horrid guttural barks and growls.  The forms smooth sleek fur I had once admired only kept its beauty when seen from afar.  The longer the animals were out of the water the hair became coarse and cracked.  To make the creatures more appealing they rolled in their own vomit and feces.

Fascinated by the yachts, or just enjoying the sunning themselves on the docks, the sea lions set up camp.  The final straw was that they decided to block the way out of the marina snapping at the passing yachties.

Many things seem lovely from a distance.  Up close reality kicks in.

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