Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Peering over Pier 39

My friend who lives in San Francisco has vowed never to visit the city's "famous" Fisherman's Wharf again.

She sees it just a fabricated tourist trap lined with tacky stores, shows and attractions that is inundated by the masses.   And she's right.

But on my final morning in the city, I couldn't help but enjoy one show at Fisherman's Wharf that's continually underway: the sea lions at Pier 39.

For some reason, since 1989 sea lions have set up shop at Pier 39.  

You smell them before you see them, and they can make quite the racket as they lounge in the sun, play fight with each other, and dive in and out of the water.

They've become an attraction in their own right so a visit to see them will invariably involve navigating throngs of tourists.

But this morning, as I was up early on my way to catch a boat to Alcatraz, I stopped by Pier 39 and was one of only a dozen people watching them.

One sea lion was craning its neck to catch the day's first sun rays, while another was swimming around a jetty pylon and getting a free massage from the rough timber.

The sea lions are oblivious to the attention they create, but I love how they just decided to commandeer the pier, forcing the boats that used to anchor there to relocate.   

It's a small win for Mother Nature over us humans.

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