Where in the USA is the CoCo Locomoto? travel blog

Sign about the Elephant Seals

Sign about Elephant Seals

Male Seal

Male Seal moving across the sand

Flipping sand on themselves

A mother nursing her baby

A small group of seals on the beach

A pack of weaners

Breathtaking Sunset at San Simeon

Sun setting on the Pacific at San Simeon

From the Bay area we headed west to the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway One) which winds along the Pacific Ocean (and in most spots, I do mean RIGHT beside the ocean)! One of the most breathtaking sites you will ever see. At times you are driving beside the waters' edge then climbing almost a thousand feet, with up close and personal views of the ocean from the cliffs. We visited one of the few places where Elephant Seals come to have their young and mate for the next season. They are called elephant seals because the male has a snout that resembles an elephant's trunk. They can weigh up to 5000 pounds and be 14 to 16 feet long while the females weigh up to 1600 pounds and are 10 to 12 feet in length. Many had already had their young which weigh 75 pounds at birth. The babies grow to a weight of between 250-350 pounds by the time they are weaned about one month after birth, as the mother has some of the richest mammal milk in the world (55% fat). The females come to shore just a few days before giving birth and then mate a few days before returning to sea after they have stopped nursing the babies. While lying on the sand, they are continually flipping sand over their bodies to keep them cool and from getting sunburned. They spend about 80% of their time in the ocean. The babies, once they are weaned, are left on the beach by their mothers to fend for themselves learning to swim in the shallow waters until they are ready to take the plunge. There were hundreds of seals on the beach the afternoon we stopped. That evening we witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets we have ever seen. Have you ever heard of or seen the "green flash" phenomenon at sunset? This was my first and one of the most incredible sites I have ever seen. (Mike missed it). It happens just as the last of the sun slips out of sight. Of course I didn't have my camera ready at the right moment but you can check it out on google. Other photos will also be posted on my Facebook page.

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