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
Lexile

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 when he awoke at 2:30 a.m. on Mother's Day to sounds of sneezing and snoring.

He thought it might be a friend, crashing from a night out, but 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 on another bunk, 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 but found him instead.

Duffy grabbed his cellphone and took a photo of the pup, who had already jumped down onto the cabin floor.

"You gotta go buddy, go...go, go, go," Duffy said, as he filmed, 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 and has grown up around the marine environment; he'd heard of sea lions getting onto boats, but going down below?

"Totally bizarre," he said, adding: "Sea lions can be cute, but they can be dangerous. You've got to be careful (because) it's a wild animal."

If the sea lion had been an adult, he would have stayed away, but Duffy said this pup was very well behaved and 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 and 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 and swam fine and it was seemingly no stranger to humans.

Duffy, an advertising copywriter, said he nicknamed the pup "Gilligan" 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?

Assigned 7 times


COMMENTS (13)
  • jarredc-Koc
    5/16/2015 - 10:39 a.m.

    Mankind has always had a strange relationship with animal life around the world. Then when you subdivide those people into what they do and where they do it, you get a variety of animals societies. While many people might have a zoo in one area or snowy acclimated animals in another, for sailors, it is marine wild life. Seals can be very powerful and very dangerous creatures when frightened. While we do not have a bad relationship with seals, there are unfortunately people that will kill seals for the resources that their bodies provide.

  • coreyong-Koc
    5/16/2015 - 12:29 p.m.

    Its been almost 20 years since Harry Potter was introduced to the world and the boy wizard is still fighting the forces of evil in the imaginations of millions. But according to a new study, Harrys victory over the evil Voldemort may not be limited to the pages of a book.
    A group of Italian psychologists believe that children who identify with Harry Potter might develop greater empathy and tolerance toward people from different backgrounds, including refugees, immigrants and gay people, reports NPRs Shankar Vedantam. And it might be thanks to Harrys unhappy childhood.
    Peppered throughout the stories are references to the fact that Harry wasn't brought up in the aristocracy of wizard life, Vedantam says. At the same time, there are many characters in the story, many wizards who came from much more privileged backgrounds, who turn out to be the villains of the story.
    While Harry eventually escapes his life among normal people (called muggles by his fellow wizards), he quickly discovers that the wonders of the magical world still hide prejudice and bigotry behind wands and robes. By experiencing the world through Harrys eyes, the psychologists think that perhaps readers may become more attuned to people who often struggle in the real world.
    The researchers tested three groups of young people from elementary school-age through university students and found that the Potterheads were more accepting of stigmatized people. But while the researchers used Harry Potter as a benchmark, Vedantam says it might say more about how a good story changes the way you think.
    I think it points to one of the more interesting ideas in fighting determination...which is that the most effective way to do it is not through rational thinking and conscious effort but through narrative and storytelling. When stories allow us to empathize with people who lead very different lives or come from very different backgrounds, it allows us to get into their shoes in a way that no amount of preaching can accomplish.
    While it looks like Harry Potter could fight prejudice in the real world, the study doesnt say whether listening to Draco and the Malfoys has the opposite effect.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why did psychologists study Harry Potter instead of other books?

    - Posted on May 15, 2015
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  • jennaw-Koc
    5/16/2015 - 05:57 p.m.

    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 but found him instead.
    Duffy grabbed his cellphone and took a photo of the pup, who had already jumped down onto the cabin floor.

  • JDevon-Cas
    5/16/2015 - 06:22 p.m.

    This is pretty cool and nice that he didn't freak out and chase the pup off. It is a good thing the sea lion was just a pup because like it says adult can be very dangerous if disturbed. Its funny that the pup was able to navigate down below and into a bunk to spend the night.

  • thanhn-Koc
    5/17/2015 - 11:01 p.m.

    How does a sea lion even get on a boat? Was the boat moving, was it near a shore? Anyway, it's cool that Duffy got to meet the animal and form an emotional attachment to it.

  • jorgeh-Koc
    5/18/2015 - 01:46 a.m.

    I would of tried to keep the sea lion. They are pretty cool. I ewish i had a boat and that happend to me! I think itd be cool to bs sailing and wake up the next morning finding a sea lion on deck.

  • jonahh-Koc
    5/18/2015 - 02:33 a.m.

    They might want to sleep on a boat becuase they have to sleep on land because they are mammals and that might have been the closest thing at the time

  • cobys-Goo
    5/18/2015 - 08:37 a.m.

    A sea lion had crept his way on a boat and slept in a cabin. The text states that the owner of the ship woke up from sneezing and snoring to find a sea lion there. The text also states that he had get the sea lion off the boat because they can be dangerous. Evidence from the text suggest that the same sea lion might try to come back again.

  • bradant-Goo
    5/20/2015 - 09:36 a.m.

    A sea lion want to sleep on a boat. Duffy said the pup was probably looking for his mom but found him instead. If the sea lion had been an adult, he would have stayed away, but Duffy said this pup was very well behaved and left no mess, not even seawater on his shorts. He said the pup had an orange tag on its flipper and 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 and swam fine and it was seemingly no stranger to humans.

  • daltonm-Goo
    5/20/2015 - 10:58 a.m.

    A sea lion might find comfort inside a boat. The text sates that the sea lion was curled up very comfortably on the bunk bed. The text also states that the pup was probably looking for his mom, and instead found refuge in the boat. The sailor said "Sea lions can be cute, but they can be dangerous. You've got to be careful (because) it's a wild animal." The sailor enjoyed the company and stated that "It was a very personal thing and he was a very cute guy, but I was a little emotional about it. For that 2 1/2 minutes he was my little buddy."

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