On a small beach below a fantastic restaurant, I spotted this Sea Lion. I was actually quite sad when I first spotted it and its companion, because I thought they were dead. I sat far away from them, trying to catch some pictures of the waves in the cove. Periodically I would look over their direction and sigh, feeling saddened by their loss, even though I had no personal connection to them.
I decided to go to the other side of them to get a different angle of the surf, and as I came close.... VERY close, I realized they were breathing. I know that Sea Lions can inflict great injury, so I had a moment of visualized panic... I visualized Sea Lions moving faster than I could ever imagine they could move on land and me having a nasty bite or two or three that wouldn't feel good.
So I tip toed. And then I spoke. I just said I was sorry to have interfered with their napping space, but since I was here, could I please take a picture or two. One of them just kept on napping. The other acknowledge my presence. So, while holding my breath, I took several pictures. It (I hate saying it, but I have no idea how to tell male from female in the sea lion world, and I felt that 10 feet away was already too close) allowed me to sit on a rock and take as many pictures as my little heart desired. It stared at me, it scratched itself, it threw sand on itself, and then it sneezed. Which actually answered my question about getting sand in your nose when laying on the beach without a towel.
As I finally took my leave, I read a "Warning" sign posted near by, that I honestly hadn't seen.
WARNING - DO NOT GET CLOSER THAN 100 FEET OF MARINE MAMMELS..."