I think I understand how Sturgis South Dakota feels when thousands of noisy bikers arrive in town for their annual celebration. The visitors are loud, obnoxious, sometimes stinky, but absolutely fascinating to watch!
There is an annual Fall pilgrimage of sea lions into the Powell River area. This often coincides with the herring run when the Salish Sea becomes alive with spawning herring. The sea lion’s favourite spot is on a breakwater built from large pieces of granite leading to a semi-circle of abandoned concrete ships that form an artificial bay (see photo above). The sound and smell from this large collection of sea lions is hard to describe – in fact I won’t try. Just take my word, it’s loud and it’s smelly! The sea lions seem to be fairly oblivious to people, so you can walk within feet of them as they laze around on the rocks. Just don’t try and interrupt their naps. There are plenty of warnings about sea lions lunging and biting.
Occasionally, a sea lion (usually a younger more energetic one) will decide that the shortest distance is a straight line right over the top of a bunch of sleeping elders. This creates a certain amount of barking and snapping and is entertaining to watch.
I’ve attached a video below to give you a sense of what it’s like.