Monday, June 15, 2009

Sea Otter

I have seen sea otters from a great distance along the central coast of California, but I have only gotten real close once, and that was at Elkhorn Slough, just outside of Monterey. In February 1999, on a family vacation, we rented kayaks at Moss Landing and paddled up the slough. It was an amazing place for both sea otters and harbor seals. Below, Judy in a kayak.

In the kayaks, we were able to get quite close to the sea otters, as they floated on their backs and seemed as interested in us as we were in them.

They seem to attract seagulls. I suspect that the seagulls get the castoffs from the abalone, clams and other mollusks the sea otters open and eat.

They seem perfectly suited for the cold environment they inhabit (Monterey in February is quite cold).

I believe this is the only place I have seen them on land. I don't think they go on land very often.

I think it may also be the only time I have seen multiple sea otters together.

On the same trip, on the way back home, we stopped in Pismo Beach. We saw the sea otter below, floating on its back and eating a mollusk of some sort, just under the pier.

Elkhorn Slough stands out as one of the outstanding areas we have visited for wildlife and is a real treasure.


  1. That makes the list of one of my most favorite things we did as a family. Another one was that rafting we did in Washington(?) on the Skaget I remembering that right?

  2. Yes, it was the Skagit River in Washington, a class 2 river with a couple of class 3 rapids.