Monday, December 10, 2007

Fisherman's Wharf IV - Pier 39's Sea Lions

Pier 39 has little connection with San Francisco. It's a collection of tourist-oriented shops that could be located almost anywhere in the U.S. However, any visit to Fisherman's Wharf must include a walk to the end of Pier 39 to see the hundreds of California sea lions that have been calling the pier home since late 1989.

Prior to the Loma Prieta Earthquake in October 1989, most sea lions lived at Seal Rocks, just off Land's End in the Pacific Ocean. Starting in September 1989, sea lions began hauling themselves out of the water onto the empty boat docks at Pier 39. After the earthquake, even more found their way to Pier 39. Whether the earthquake contributed to the sea lions' migration, we do not know. We do know that at Pier 39 they found a plentiful supply of herring to dine on and protection from the killer whales and sharks in the ocean. So they decided to stay.

Most sea lions live at Pier 39 for about 9 months per year. During the summer all but a few sea lions travel to the Channel Islands, off the Santa Barbara coast, to mate. After all, even sea lions need a little privacy.

Watching the sea lions bark and push each other around is great fun. If you would like to take a private tour of San Francisco that includes a visit to the sea lions, please call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

This concludes my series on Fisherman's Wharf. San Franciscans tend to stay away from the wharf. However, I hope this short series has shown that the Wharf contains attractions for both locals and visitors.

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