Fishhawk Lake Travelogue-Sea Lions on The Astoria Piers

Real Estate Agent with John L Scott Market Center 700512026

Fishhawk Lake Travelogue-Sea Lions on The Astoria Piers

Last week was filled with interesting opportunities for any photographer in search of unusual moments. I happened to be walking along the coastline in Astoria Oregon in the mid-day sun when I heard the rather mournful sounds of sea lions, wailing, grunting and just raising a raucous. I kept following the sound til I got close enough to a pier to take photos that created something more interesting than brownish lumpy dough-like creatures that were all molded together, like a large unformed blob of shimmery brown blubber. 

Sea Lions in Astoria

I'm actually quite fond of their spirited nasal-like throaty grumphs (my word) when they are drying off in the sun, planning a swim, looking for a place to land their gelatinous roley-poley bodies or simply wanting more FOOD. Not everyone gets to experience seals and sea lions; they are quite funny and have some humanlike qualities. They have neighborhoods, pecking orders (sometimes I've watched a sea lion try to get out of the water into a spot that the others completely refuse to allow, just like trying to land a good place on the beach when it's packed with sleepy half-clad people who don't want their space invaded. The sea lion not being welcomed, ends up slipping back into the water, with hopes dashed to go find another place where there is less judgement). This smaller one in the water below looked like he was doing the backstroke!

Sea Lion in the water in Astoria Oregon-Gayle Rich-Boxman 2014

This particular photo, below made me smile. It was so sweet to capture the camaraderie of two sea lions (one with its flipper on the other's back), while a seagull flew into my depth of field and later I found that it seemed as if all three were taking in the live entertainment!

Seals in Astoria-Gayle Rich-Boxman 2014 Copyrighted All Rights Reserved



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Joanna Cohlan
Fresh Eyes For Your Home - Chappaqua, NY
Designing, Decorating & Staging Westchester Homes

Gayle, A "Grumph" is the best word I've heard to describe the vocals of sea lions and I know that they hangout  in your neck of the woods.  Their social order and their playful nature make them one of my favorites to observe and I love those big loud Grumphs as well!  They remind me of Diesel snoring!

May 06, 2014 01:48 AM #1
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Gayle, I love hearing them too. It reminds me of San Francisco and Seattle waterfronts - two of my favorite places to visit. I also get a kick out of their funny mannerisms - it's kind of sad that fishermen have such a distaste for them. After all, they're just doing what they're supposed to when they eat fish.

May 06, 2014 01:54 AM #2
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Sea lions are grand to watch and especially hear Gayle and you captured some awesome photos there at Astoria. I remember the bridge when I was there. I saw many sea lions at LaJolla near San Diego. They can make a mess with the poop on the surface of where they are laying. Funny you observed the pecking orders too.

May 06, 2014 02:37 AM #3
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


We must have been on the same wave lenght...we were watching the seal at the sanctuary, and many sea lions come to visit the seals from the channel islands, sit on buoy's and the rocks...and then sunbathe. A

May 06, 2014 03:42 AM #4
Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Gayle ...Great photos are always at the right spot at the right time ...Have a great night!

May 06, 2014 07:34 AM #5
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Thank you for stopping by!I'm out showing property...will try to comment on your posts later

May 06, 2014 08:26 AM #6
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives


You're a nature girl with talent for writing and a passion for the good earth! I share your passion and compassion for wildlife. Your story read like a good book. You have acquired inner strength and wisdom because of your connection to nature. This story is well written! I enjoy reading your journey with the sea lions and you kept me connected to the story!

May 06, 2014 09:34 AM #7
Mike West
Heritage Oak Properties - El Dorado Hills, CA
El Dorado Hills, CA CDPE, CNE, Licensed Loan Origi

Great shots Gayle.  I had the occassion to to get quite a bit closer to some of the sea lions in the Galapagos Islands a couple of years ago.  In fact, I came across a pup snoring away under some bushes.   Sea Lion Pup snoring away

Apparently many of the mothers were out hunnting and the pups were just hanging around.

Sea Lion Pup awake

But the moms came back to feed the kids.

Sea Lion with pup

Interesting anamals.

May 06, 2014 09:36 AM #8
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Gayle, Those are some amazing photos!  I have never seen that many sea lions in one spot!  I guess that means that I need to get to the coast more often or something!

May 06, 2014 11:03 AM #9
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Gayle- you are so lucky! I just saw a cute video on Facebook of a sea lion.  Thanks for the pictures.

May 06, 2014 12:03 PM #10
Christine O'Shea
Christine E O'Shea Broker - Naples, FL

Amazing and beautiful, you at so fortunate to have seen this!

May 06, 2014 12:34 PM #11
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Joanna, I guess I was in the flow while writing and just came up with the word "grumph" on the fly. Glad it works--I kinda liked it, too!

Debb, soon after moving to Oregon from Philly, I got to enjoy the Oregon coast in November. There is a particular pier in Newport that is ALWAYS filled with them, lying on top of each other in large lumbering piles...I fell in love with them way back when. 

Gary, I love it that you recall so many happy Oregon memories! It takes me back to your past.

Alexandra, we're always on the same wavelength! 

Rob, I have to say...I feel SO DARNED LUCKY!

Patricia, you and I are certainly kindred spirits...and thank you for your sweet observations. I'm glad you liked my journey--I did, too! 

Mike, these are MOMENTOUS photos! I loved each of them. I have had a connection with the Galapagos Islands from many many years ago because of the turtles. You must pinch yourself to be able to have come up close on this island for such GREAT pictures. Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with me and all of us here!

Tony, c'mon, let's take a trip!!

Kathy, I actually thought of you while writing this, because you get to see and share so many wonderful creatures indigenous to your area...many that others don't get to see. I always love it when you do those posts!

Christine, sometimes I pinch myself with the fact that my life is so full of adventure!


May 06, 2014 12:50 PM #12
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

As you said fascinating animals for sure.  But each of us and every animal on the planet has their place I guess

May 06, 2014 07:40 PM #13
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

Good morning Gayle. They really do get lots of attention. It is always a treat when we see seals when we are at our beach house. Looking forward to spending the weekend there and searching for some seals as well.

May 06, 2014 07:45 PM #14
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Gayle ... Vegas Bob loves these seals and your post has been featured to the group:



May 07, 2014 02:05 AM #15
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Gayle, love your sea lions!  They really are funny looking animals.

May 07, 2014 09:30 AM #16
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Pat--so funny! I was over at YOUR site looking at the cathedral and the magnificent property that you have a virtual tour for--wowza!

May 07, 2014 09:34 AM #17
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

I remember seeing these guys when I was a kid!  Wow.  Brings back a lot of memories, Gayle!

May 08, 2014 05:02 AM #18
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905


James, I readily agree...we ALL have our place, don't squander it!

Joe~hope you get your own moment with these sillies this weekend. 

VB, much thanks for featuring my little post!

Suzanne, they actually take me back to when I first moved to Oregon in '79. I recall that there was a special sea lion caves and a place where you could go inside and get a better view of them. There was a blind sea lion there for years. If I recall I even think her name was Sarah!



May 08, 2014 05:13 AM #19
Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor
Sun Lakes Realty - Banning, CA
(909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning

Hi Gayle,

These are terrific photos and one of my favorite animals. They also remind me of driving up the coast of CA and visiting Monterey Bay and San Francisco. 

May 13, 2014 03:48 PM #20
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