Sunset was just a few minutes away and a stiff northwest wind stirred the waters. By sheer luck I saw this big head sticking out of the waves as I was walking on the north side of the park and was able to get the camera on it for a few seconds before it went under and out of sight. The animal wasn’t twenty yards off shore. When I got the video home I had to look at it frame by frame to determine whether it was a harbor seal or a sea lion. Those little bumps up on the sides of its head, visible at certain angles, say sea lion. Sea lions have little external flaps over their ears. Seals have none.
This YouTube video is slowed down 2x for a better view.
I saw what was probably this same animal swimming in the North Basin the day before yesterday, but it went under and stayed there before I could get a picture of it. I’ve heard reports (but seen no pictures) of a sea lion going ashore on the east side of the North Basin earlier this year.