My Kind of Nature Watching

A few miles north of San Simeon is a rookery for Northern Elephant Seal. That was where we went following the Hearst Castle tour. However, I am not sure this is the same rookery.  But it is close to it.  This beach has viewing area and elephant seals lounging about and it was the closest to San Simeon.

The northern elephant seal spends 8 to 10 months a year in the open ocean. From mid March to mid September they come to the beach to molt - where they grow old skin and hair and shed the old. They molt on the rookery because molting on the open ocean requires enormous energy.

While on the rookery, they fast, no food or water. Fasting necessitates quiet life, lots of sleeping not much moving around.


"The young males, however, do use this time as an opportunity to joust with each other, playfully developing skills that are vital to them as adults. Much of this sparring takes place in the tide pool areas just off shore at times determined more by tide than sun."




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We were planning on visiting the lighthouse, but it was closed. I didn't make a thorough research. But being locked out (lol) of the lighthouse was a blessing in disguise as I was able to observe these elephant seals. I have visited another beach on Ano Nuevo State Park where they also visit and it also along this coast.

Click here for more information about this rookery.


  1. the seals are cute! i love how they glisten in the sunlight! :)

  2. that's a lot of seals. i used to see them at dutch harbor riding or sleeping on the fishing boats.

  3. What a wonderful sight this is!
    The blue ocean, the beach, and those sea lions - so close!

  4. wow. ang daming seals. and i dig the second photo. very nice.

  5. We must take care of places like that. A small paradise.



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  6. I can adhere to the loads of sleeping time without moving much quite the sedentary lifestyle but the fasting won't be agreeable with me hehehe
    Well I'm not an elephant seal after all. Maybe just an elephant in weight :D

  7. Incredible views!

    -(I'm blogging in the dark right now)

  8. the seals are adorable, i just don't like their environment., but that's how they live so who am i to complain right. ^-^

    they just look so relax.
    tnx for posting this.

  9. if we can do the same here in the philippines. it will be great. so good that they have these creatures undisturbed. also my kind of nature trip.

  10. What a fine series of the rookery and its setting. I like the path shot with the great shadows of an example of the setting. Fine work.

  11. Wonderful views. It's amazing to see all those seals.

  12. oooohhhh, nice. i saw some of their relatives in san francisco a few years ago. amazing.

  13. Fantastic! My kind of place too. It reminds me so much of Peninsula Valdez (Patagonia), Argentina.

  14. I remember one day in Cape Town harbour - I was pretty close to a seal when it roared - phew, what a stench with a distinct fish flavour to it :-)

  15. nice. trips i really want to make :P

  16. If you didn't say they were just sleeping, and if it weren't for the young males, I think I would have been worried sick seeing all those seals sprawled out on the sand!

    Absolutely amazing and interesting – thank you!

  17. So educational, Maria. They would be so fun to observe. Lucky you!


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