Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18-Sea Lions

We had a bit of a break in the rain - meteorologists here call them "sunbreaks." Padme the wonderdog and I took advantage of the break and headed down our favorite neighborhood trail.

We stopped at the overlook above the Nisqually delta. I heard some random gunfire from bird hunters just outside the refuge.

I thought I heard dogs barking off in the distance. Then I realized the barking was from sea lions in Puget Sound. We hiked down the perimeter trail below the golf course to see if we could get a better view.

There they were sunning themselves on the old wreck of a World War II concrete boat. The tide was in, so the wreck was mostly submerged. I counted 18 sea lions - loud sea lions. We often hear a few in the winter. I wondered if the transient orca pod reported farther north might be in the area. We watched for awhile but didn't see any fins.

 There's no easy way down to the wreck. If you want to check it out, be sure to check out the tidetables for DuPont Wharf before you go. Otherwise you will get stranded on the beach.

The most direct way is straight down the bluff but it's a challenging hike. Better to take the Sequalitchew Creek trail, then head south to the sand spit which, as you can see, is engulfed during high tide.

 I found a local trails site with a map - Hike to Cement Boat Nisqually Reach.

We watched a cormorant that found a bit of a post sticking up out of the water to perch on and dry its wings. More images from this area in summer and fall can be viewed in my Sky & Water gallery.



  1. I didn't know there was an old wreck of a World War II concrete boat around here! If I go to the Nisqually Nature Center do you think they can direct me there? And I'd love to see and hear the sea lions! Thanks for the info. Love your blog :D

  2. Mary, you can't see it from the wildlife refuge because it's about a mile north of the delta. I photographed it from 400 feet above with a 300 mm lens. There are a couple of ways to get closer. My son and his girlfriend hiked down to it from the trail I was on but it's almost straight down and quite a climb back. I did find a local trails website that includes a Google map. The best way to get there is via Sequalitchew Creek trail. I'll add the hyperlink to my blog. Thanks for reading! Love your chocolate! :-)