Solbit, Seal Lions, and a Dead Guy … in Newport, Oregon

Dear Nicalai,

Amazing!  Uncle Josh & Aunt Tanya biked from their home in St. Johns (Portland Oregon) all the way to us, here at Otter Crest on the coast of Oregon.  Girl, their ride covered more than 100 miles! They did it in two (I mean, 2) days! And, you know, they are really old, must be over 40!  That earned them a treat.  So, the next day, Nona and Papa took us all to Newport for a walk by the harbor and to have supper at Local Oceans Seafood.

As we walked the harbor, we heard loud barking from the water, and wondered, “Why would so many big dogs be in the water?”

When we got to the place where all the barking came from,  no dogs.  None. Instead, we saw even bigger animals. Seals or sea lions. As you know, I don’t know a seal from a sea lion. Neither do Nona and Papa.  So, when Nona took this photo of what we were watching …

Sea Lions enjoying a lazy afternoon on the dock.

Sea Lions enjoying a lazy afternoon on the dock.

… we had to ask local folks, “Excuse me, please, may we ask you a question? Are we looking at seals or at sea lions down there on that dock?”

What luck!  A local woman there sounded like a walking Wikipedia entry on seals and sea lions.  Now, I didn’t check her facts, so maybe she was just making it all up on the spot, but here’s what she told us.

The boy sea lions like to pile on top of each other on the docks in the sun. They keep nudging each other.

The boy sea lions like to pile on top of each other on the docks in the sun. They keep nudging each other.

All of these huge animals are sea lions.  Also, they are all boys, and, just like you, they are from California.  They swim from their home in California to here in Oregon.  She told us that all the girl sea lions stay in California, where it is warmer.  Smart, huh?

I guess the boys come up here to Oregon for a guys-only type of trip, even though the weather is cooler. Or maybe, they’re all too hot in California because of all that blubber on them?  I didn’t get a chance to ask the lady about that.

The nice lady told us that, once the boy sea lions got enough rest on the docks here in Newport, they begin to miss the girl sea lions, and so they swim back home to California to see the girl seal lions. (I noticed that she looked at me while she was saying that and then gave Nona and Papa a secret wink. I don’t know what that was all about. Some adult thing, I guess.)

Sometimes a sea lion is pushed off the dock and gets all wet.

Sometimes a sea lion is pushed off the dock and gets all wet.

Because of all the pushing and shoving among the sea lions, you hear a lot of barking complaints and see more pushing and shoving. Plop, another sea lion slips into the water. We so enjoyed watching them bickering and sliding on top of one another that we almost forgot to go have supper.

Local Oceans Seafood Restaurant sits right across the street from where we saw the sea lions, so we didn’t have to search for it.

We could sit in the restaurant and see fishing boats that had brought the seafood we were eating to the restaurant.

We could sit in the restaurant and see fishing boats that had brought the seafood we were eating to the restaurant.

Nona, Papa, Uncle Josh, and I shared everything, but Aunt Tanya said that the Tuna Poke was just for her, and that was ok, because she had earned it with her long bike ride.

Oh, I know you’re wondering, what about that “Dead Guy” that I put in my title.  I just put that in there to tease you.  No real dead guy in this story. Papa just had a “Dead Guy Ale” (a kind of beer) with his supper.  Remember my letter about the weird names people give to things and places? Well, why would you name a beer “Dead Guy”? Also, why would anybody drink something named “Dead Guy”?  Yuck.

I’m your friend.

Love,

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Solbit

September 2015

*New reader? Get oriented below.

  • You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
  • You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”

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