This month's destination was Año Nuevo State Reserve on the coast to see the elephant seals. It's about 20 miles north of Santa Cruz. Since the 1970s, elephant seals go the reserve's shore every winter to give birth to their babies. Once the cutie-pies are weaned, the adults swim off leaving the kids which wait until they have strength to take off. During the spring and summer, the elephant seals come back to Año Nuevo to molt. Last Friday, we saw both pups and molting adults laying about on the beaches.
|Cutie-baby sleeping. You can hear it snoring on the video.|
Sitting across the way is a little island on which sits an abandoned lighthouse keeper's house. Sea lions call it home. Really. Some actually live inside the house. We didn't see or hear any sea lions last week. Randy the docent said that they flock there in the summer. He also told us that the point got its name from the Spanish explorer Viscaino who sighted the point on January 3, 1603. From Monterey, I suppose, because he and his crew never landed at the point. Viscaino was on a mission to find a place where the Spanish galleon trade ships sailing from the Philippines could rest and repair themselves before heading south to Acapulco.
For more info about the park and elephant seals, check out these links: