Adult males are starting to arrive at Piedras Blancas! It's the time of year when they return to the beach and start dividing it up among them, the better to greet the females when they arrive in late December.
It's the beginning of the season, so this bull, who arrived last week on the south end of the beach, may yet move on to another rookery. An adult male arrived Sunday on the north end of the beach but was gone the next day.
So much of the sand was washed away in last winter's storms, there is little beach left above the high tide line at the north end. Whether females will choose it for their pups remains to be seen. This vista shows high tide Monday 22 November. It was a high tide that day, the full moon, but not as high as it might be. Even so, the water comes right up to the base of the cliffs.
That's not an issue for these juveniles, fat and well-developed. The pups can be washed out to sea.