Morro Bay, California – The sea otters’ cute bustling

Morro Rock isn’t only the landmark of the bay and the town with the name Morro Bay. The 580 ft / 176 m high widely visible rock also marks the beginning of Southern California. Sea otters that are rare in California as well take a break in the bay protected by a sandbank, and connected just via a channel to the sea. The smallest and probably sweetest of all sea mammals just laze about, and even then they manage to look cute. They lay on their back, the furry round head with button eyes rests on the belly, as the folded front paws do. The rear flippers are kept out of the water as far as possible. The group’s largest animal is awake. It does one sideways roll after the other and entangles itself with seaweed. The animals use kelp as an anchor to not drift away while sleeping. Fur grooming is intense: The otter “scratches” itself, washes its head, and cleans its feet. This spectacle might just be surpassed by a mother that swims into the bay with her baby. She does rolls, somersaults and pirouettes, and the pub deliberately copies her.

During our watching the otters a ground squirrel tries to eat my jeans. That’s not too bad; they have to be taken out of service anyway. But when the gopher tries to specifically unstitch the hem seam with its keen teeth, I’ve had enough and try to chase it away – with moderate success. They are actually cute, but if they are too many it feels like been drawn into one of Hitchcock’s thrillers. A great blue heron next-door caught a huge fish. This heron can become up to four feet / 1.2 m and possesses an impressive beak, but this prey is close to a foot long. The bird keeps the fish decoratively in its bill until it decides to reject it and sets it free.

We have a short hike in Montana des Oro State Park in Los Osos where many whales pass by today. Then we meet John and Virginia, friends of Camille whom we met when hiking in Utah and whom we’ll visit in a few days. John and Virginia offer guided kayak and bicycle tours and feed up animals on the side – more or less everything from deer to mountain lion.

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