Sailor gets snoring sea lion shipmate This photo provided by Michael Duffy, shows a 35-pound sea lion pup that came aboard his sailboat. At left, actor Bob Denver, center, portrayed Gilligan on TV in the 1970s (AP photos)
Sailor gets snoring sea lion shipmate
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Mother's Day may have been a bit of a bust for a baby sea lion in San Diego. And a bit of a surprise, too.

Michael Duffy, 48, said he was on his 41-foot Kettenburg boat "Elixir" at the San Diego Yacht Club. He awoke at 2:30 a.m. on Mother's Day to sounds of sneezing and snoring.

He thought it might be a friend. Maybe someone had come aboard to sleep after a night out. But he couldn't find anyone. Once it got light a few hours later, however, he heard it again.

That's when Duffy saw a 35-pound sea lion pup. It was on another bunk. It was curled up like a dog on top of his board shorts.

"It was a tiny little guy. And I was kind of shocked. But he was basically asleep," Duffy said, guessing it was a male. "Then he heard me coming. So he kind of looked up a little bit like when a dog is sleeping and you want to wake it up and it doesn't want to wake up."

Duffy said the pup was probably looking for his mom. It found him instead.

Duffy grabbed his cellphone. He took a photo of the pup. It had already jumped down onto the cabin floor.

"You gotta go buddy, go...go, go, go," Duffy said, as he filmed. All the while, he was softly coaxing the baby sea lion back up the stairs, off the boat and into the water.

Duffy has been sailing since he was 6 years old. He grew up around the marine environment. He'd heard of sea lions getting onto boats. But not going down below.

"Totally bizarre," he said, adding: "Sea lions can be cute. But they can be dangerous. You've got to be careful. It's a wild animal."

If the sea lion had been an adult, he would have stayed away. But, he said this pup was very well behaved. It left no mess, not even seawater on his shorts.

"He was extremely well behaved, except for his loud snoring and sneezing," Duffy said. "He was looking at me. And I was like 'you gotta go.'"

He said the pup had an orange tag on its flipper. Duffy said he believed it may have once been rescued after washing onto the shore, before being set free again. The baby sea lion appeared to be healthy. It swam fine. And it was seemingly no stranger to humans.

Duffy, an advertising copywriter, said he nicknamed the pup "Gilligan." That is after the character on "Gilligan's Island" who The Skipper called his little buddy.

"It was a very personal thing. And he was a very cute guy," Duffy said. "But I was a little emotional about it. For that 2 1/2 minutes he was my little buddy."

Critical thinking challenge: Why might a sea lion want to sleep on a boat?

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COMMENTS (16)
  • Mixicofre
    6/02/2015 - 07:55 p.m.

    The text was michael duffy a copywriter that his sleep on Mother's Day after a party aroused due to sneezing and snoring , which he thought it came from a friend who might be boarded after the party , but not he found nothing, but after a few hours discovered that these events came from a sea lion baby.
    the sea lion was crouched in a litter, and looked like a small child. Michael said the puppy was probably looking for his mother . Michael also says that lions are cute but dangerous.
    He said that the puppy had a orange label on its fin and believed that once might have been rescued after washing on the shore, before being released again, and seemed to be healthy.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why might a sea lion want to sleep on a boat?
    Perhaps because he felt comfortable and safe.

  • alivial-Pay
    6/03/2015 - 04:26 p.m.

    This is really cool I did not know a sea lion can somehow be able to get on a boat.But I like this passage and it is cute that Michael became buddy's.Plus it is nice to really see what a baby sea lion looks like.

  • william1108-yyca
    6/17/2015 - 04:30 p.m.

    It is so cool. I think it is cool to have a baby sea lion on your boat. It would be so cute. But I also wonder how it feels like. Is it slippery or slimy Well I will find out next time.

    • annabel1226-yyca
      7/30/2015 - 01:26 p.m.

      REBUTTAL:
      William you can't touch a sea lion. You have to scuba dive to touch and see the sea lion, Of course, it is slippery and slimy because it is a sea lion. Sea lions have slippery furs and slimy furs

  • CarlaFlores
    7/11/2015 - 09:46 p.m.

    The story is about Michael Duffy, 48, who was on his boat "Elixir" and when awakened to hear snoring and sneezing (this was in the Mother's Day). He gets up to see what happened and didn't find nothing, he thought he could have been a friend who went to a party. Then he heard the same noises and went to another bunk and found a sea lion pup 35- pounds. He was sleeping, like a dog that did not want to wake up. He curled up in his shorts, he took a photo and then filmed it, persuading him to come down the stairs so it was back to the water. Duffy said the sea lion was well educated, and healthy, he also added that had an orange label on the flap, perhaps had been rescued and then released. They were for 2 minutes very exciting, because he had heard that the lions sea did this, but he had never seen.

    Why might a sea lion wanting to sleep on a boat? Because maybe I was very cold and the boat looked like a warm place, or thought her mother could be there ..

    My opinion: I think that's a cute story, but dangerous at the same time, because it is a wild animal.

  • matthew1-eri
    8/29/2016 - 08:47 a.m.

    If i were Duffy i would keep the sea lion and keep it a pet.

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