A Sunset With Sea Lions in Western Australia

It is safe to say that a lot can happen in two hours.

Sometimes you know you have to yes without hesitation because that kick in the pit of your stomach tells you this will be a good split decision.

I had to start work in two hours but the sun was shining and there felt like enough time for an adventure.

So, one calm afternoon, a friend and I headed out on his boat from the marina in Jurien Bay, Western Australia.

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Jurien Bay is a small town about two hours north of Perth, and as its name suggests, opens its arms to the glistening Turquoise Coast. Jurien Bay’s history is entwined with these waters; until recent years cray fishing was the largest industry around and you can still find out that most people locally own a boat and at least several cray pots although commercial fishing has subsided.

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We cruised out of the marina and into open water where we aimed for a tiny speck in the ocean just offshore called Essex Rocks.

As we neared Essex Rocks it became clear that this was not so much a little island, but more of a collection of rocks perched on a sandy shelf rising out of the shallows. On this sandy bank lay a family of sea lions, doing what sea lions do best, showing off their major lolling skills.

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We cut the motor and just allowed the boat to rock gently in the shallows.

I couldn’t get enough of what I was seeing and probably took about a hundred photos in my excitement. The last time I was close to a sea lion it was a completely different story.

There was a mama with her baby snuggled up close a few metres from the largest sea lion of the patch, clearly the head honcho of the establishment. They all snoozed contentedly as the waves lapped up the tiny beach and black sea birds and gulls swooped and dived over the rocks.

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I don’t know about you but it’s definitely these moments that hit me most profoundly; whether I am travelling or at home.

Sometimes I think that I am a city girl at heart, someone who loves the pulse and promise of a bustling town; but then those feelings are usurped by such simple moments about as far away from the sound of traffic, the flicker of neon and the clamour of society as I could possibly get.

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As the sun tucked itself to bed in the late afternoon air, several younger sea lions took interest in our presence near their private beach.

They shuffled into the water and shot towards us like an arrow through the air, popping up their heads to give us a once over as they got closer.

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They twisted and circled through the water round and round our tiny vessel, clearly intrigued.

I was speechless. This was more than I could have expected from an impromptu jaunt out on the water.

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Such a beautiful, precious moment alone on the sea, with just some cheeky sea lions for company.

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The sun was almost set by the time we motored back towards the marina, staining the sky with the most gorgeous yellow hues. The island that struck me the most is called Crocodile Island, which, depending on your angle, looks like the half-submerged profile of a giant croc peeking out of the water.

Jurien-Bay-Western-Australia-crocodile-island

Back at the marina we docked the boat, winched it out of the water and back on to the trailer. Needless to I started my evening shift at work with a huge smile on my dial.

If boating is not your bag, then check out my recent adventure to the Stockyard Gully Caves near Jurien Bay with my friends at Jurien Bay Adventure Tours. I, for one, love to get out on the water and this has seriously motivated me to go again as soon as I can.

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If you do not have access to a boat but would love to do some wildlife spotting of your own then don’t despair. There is a company locally called Turquoise Safaris that run sea lion tours and fishing charters.

Do you have any snap decisions that turned out to be better than you ever could have imagined? Are you all for the last minute plans and great adventures?

Who else has a fabulous sea lion encounter they’d like to share? Chip in with you thoughts on the comments – I’d love to hear from you!

Love it? Pin it!

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15 Comments

  1. July 13, 2016 / 5:03 PM

    This is wonderful! Even though the location is a far cry from San Francisco, California, it brings back memories of the time I spent on the west coast while I lived in the California Bay Area as a child. I always loved watching the sea lions on our visits to the bay. Thanks for sharing!

    • July 14, 2016 / 3:58 AM

      Thanks so much for your comment! I have visited San Francisco before and remember seeing the sea lions at the Pier (is it 39?) on their little wooden jetty, just lolling around and not taking any notice of all the tourists and their cameras. What a great place to spend childhood holidays and perfect memories you have! I’m so pleased you liked the post.

      • July 14, 2016 / 6:02 AM

        Yes, I believe you are correct. 39. There are many close to 41 as well, but the main group converges at 39. Oh, I loved having outings to San Francisco!

        • July 16, 2016 / 9:01 AM

          SF is such a great city! Definitely one of my favourites from the few I’ve visited in the States!

          • July 16, 2016 / 6:50 PM

            It is a lot of fun, and has so many unique things! I’m o the east coast now, but I visit every chance I have an opportunity. 🙂

  2. July 13, 2016 / 7:23 PM

    What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • July 14, 2016 / 3:59 AM

      You’re welcome, Kristin! I couldn’t believe how bold they were and so just knew I had to share my experience with everyone. Just one of those ‘pinch me’ moments! Thanks for reading 🙂

    • July 14, 2016 / 4:00 AM

      Thank you so much for your feedback. It was pretty hard to capture when the boat was rocking with the waves, but I’m pleased with my efforts! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Lee
    July 15, 2016 / 5:18 AM

    That is beautiful and so special! I’ve only seen sea lions in the distance never so close! Enjoyed your post

    • July 16, 2016 / 9:00 AM

      Thanks, Lee! I couldn’t agree more. Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. July 18, 2016 / 5:22 AM

    That looks amazing. I remember as a child often seeing sea lions hanging around the wharf at Jurien.

    • July 18, 2016 / 5:58 AM

      At the wharf? Oh wow, I’d better get down there more often and see if I can spot them! Did you come up to Jurien Bay for family holidays? It seems a popular little spot!

  5. July 27, 2016 / 1:12 PM

    What a great experience, and lovely way to spend the two hours before work 🙂

    • MeanderWithMeg
      July 27, 2016 / 3:42 PM

      Thank you, Nina! It was an experience that turned into a memory I will never forget. I absolutely loved such an impromptu little trip and certainly felt rewarded. I’m so pleased you agree!

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