“Is it dead?” I think it was Irish Neal who first posed the question.
“Is it hurt?” I Said.
“Lets poke it with a stick.” was the conclusion we reached.
The sun was still early in its morning trek across the sky, and our collective logic had already been reduced to that of a 12-year-old boy, while dealing with this massive, mysterious lump on the beach. We made stupid sounds and circled slowly, around the great beast, looking for signs of maimed body parts. If we saw blood, then there was no way we where getting in the water to surf.
The big guys rolled over, stretched a fin and gave us a big yawn. It was Sunday, and there was no way this big ‘ole bachelor seal was going to let us, the two wet-suit-clad-stupid-noise-making goofballs, get in the way of him and his sunshine. We could actually smell the fish on his Sea Lion breath. Then he rolled over and got back to what was important; a nap, a tan and peeing on himself. Add drinking and it sound like he’s on par with a Jersey shore lifestyle.
This is the sort of out of the zoo experience, I have become used to during my stay in New Zealand from penguins to dolphins the whole country seems to have a rather approachable wildlife. Again, I was amazed by the common sense of the Kiwi’s, a couple walking down the beach with pack of skinny silly looking dogs, saw the sea lion and quickly turned the other way. Beach goers didnt even seem to notice. Actually, we where the only gawkers, making sure to keep a safe distance (except for a few novelty shots). Secondly, it was both terrifying and revealing to find out how insignificant my presence was to him. I am used to having an impact on animals, they run, or hide or curl into a ball of spikes. It makes me feel somewhat powerful, making the squirrels chatter or birds dive to protect their nest. Not this guy, he knew he had nothing to be scared of except for sharks and he was on land. That thought reminded me that it was time to stop gawking and get in the water.