One of the highlights of our trip to San Diego was going to La Jolla to see the seals at Children's Pool. Children's Pool was built to allow a safe place for children to swim. But, the seals took over the spot and so it has become a wonderful place to view the seals. (The 20 or so dark "spots" are the seals.)
I found it interesting, as we were preparing for our visit, that some websites said there were seals at La Jolla, some said sea lions, and some said both. Well, we saw harbor seals so I'm still curious - do sea lions really come to La Jolla? Or do people not know the difference? We have been using Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures this year, so we were happy to be able to tell the difference. One of the main differences is that sea lions can kind of "walk" on their 2 front flippers and tail, while seals kind of "slither" more like a caterpillar. Also, seals have ear holes, while sea lions have ear flaps. (These seals were sure enjoying the sun!)
We only saw seals swimming a few times. We actually watched a few come on shore and a few leave, but most were content to bask in the sun.
This seal was our favorite - mainly because he was the closest. We walked out almost to the end of the walkway (see top photo) and he was lying on those rocks by the walkway. So, he was only about 15 feet away from us. I took lots of photos of him. Sometimes he'd stick out his tounge or move a bit or scratch himself. (No, I don't really know if it was a boy or girl - I'm just calling him a "him.")
But, I was really sad to see a hook in his mouth when I looked at him with the zoom lens. Can you see it? It's on this side by the corner of his mouth. You can see a short piece of wire curling around a few times, too. But, it does look like it has probably been here for some time and the seal is doing fine. (Also, you can note his ear "holes" - another sign that these are seals.)