Monday, April 05, 2010

Easter 2010: Elkhorn Slough Safari

[click to enlarge] On Saturday morning, we rode on the Elkhorn Slough Safari on a pontoon boat. I was expecting a nice boat ride with some far off marine fauna. We got a whole lot more than that.

Captain Yohn and his assistant, Kelly, handed out clickers to each pair of seatmates and assigned each one a different animal to keep a total on. Before we were even out of the marina we saw a bevy of sea lions all performing synchronized swimming with their fins and tails out of the water (they taught us that animals do that to keep warm because it takes less energy in air than in water).
Then we turned into the slough and saw brown and white pelicans, snowy egrets, curlews and grebes. We saw clams squirt water three feet in the air! We learned the difference between harbor seals and sea lions (color, flippers and ears). And we saw sea otters galore. There were 18 in one raft of them. There were some mothers and pups (one was new to the captain and so it was probably less than 24 hours old). One old sea otter dude pretended he didn't see us and was only 5 feet from the boat. Amazing! In the final count, we saw 89 sea otters, 114 sea lions and 130 something harbor seals.
Joss was not happy about his lifejacket and not impressed enough by the animals to last an hour and a half. We plied him with cookies and breath mints and got through it. Will got desperately sick on the way out and was weeping in his seat he felt so bad. It was still worth it. We learned a lot. We got closer to these animals than we've ever been. Rob said he liked it as well as any ride at Disneyland. Now I'm not going to go that far, because I love me a good Space Mountain run, but it was fabulous!
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jenlinmin said...

Ah, it's always such fun to catch up on the happenings of the McFarland family. You keep me laughing!

Where exactly is this fabulous Elkhorn Slough Safari adventure? It looks like something the Miners would definitely want to check out!

jenlinmin said...

How embarrassing! I just noticed you supplied a link for the more curious of us out here in the blogosphere. Thanks, MA!

Megan said...

what wonderful experiences. If I'm ever luck to take my family to Northern Cali I will be calling. You know all the wonderful places to visit and it sounds like to eat too.