I'm still on vacation. We're in Monterey. We're staying at The Monterey Plaza Hotel. It's nice, but the best thing about it is the view of the ocean from our balconies. We watch the sea otters twirl themselves up in the kelp, and float on their backs. They are so lovely, I want to cuddle and kiss them and paddle out to swim with them, but I know I cant.
I wish I could post pics on the road but my laptop is truly on it's last legs and I can't get my pictures on line using it. Right now I'm posting from a sea otter computer terminal, at the Friends of the Sea Otter store and info center. They have terminals here that they let people log in and use for free. I'm constantly moved and surprised by the kindness and generosity of people. It seems like the farther we get from Los Angeles, the less shallow people become.
Just in case you don't already know, sea otters were thought to have been hunted to extinction in the late 1700's and 1800's. Their pelts sold for $800.00 a piece, which was a staggering sum back then. They were then sold to European and Chinese royalty and anyone else who could afford them.
Only a very few survived, and these weren't discovered until a man spotted them with binoculars, from his porch, in Bixby Creek Canyon, which is just south of Carmel, in California. All of the California Sea Otters alive today, descended from those last remaining thirty to fifty otters.
Today they are a protected species, but their numbers are still very small. This center tracks them and counts their numbers from sightings and reports. At this time there are approximately 2,161 Sea Otters left. If not for the dedicated efforts of conservationists, marine biologists, and others, an oil spill along the California Coast would utterly devastate this population. Over six thousand Alaskan Sea Otters were killed after the Exxon Valdez spill.
Come visit these good people's web site. I'll be home in a few days. I miss you.
Friends of the Sea Otter