The Terrifying Humiliation of a Sea Lion “Attack” While Surfing

It’s a winter’s day in Northern California, and in the fading light of late afternoon the sky is a colorless steel gray. The ocean is the same monochrome tone, though streaked with mud from recent rains. The winds are blowing straight from the east and a dropping tide is giving life to a slowly building west swell. It had been blustery and very cold all day, likely why now there isn’t another surfer as far as the eye can see as I jog to the water’s edge, bright yellow fish in hand. Nearby, a fisherman stares intently at the tip of his surf casting rig, line tautly stretching in the surf. Fishtails poke from the top of a water-filled bucket at his feet.

I greet the angler, and jump into the water, glad for this window of empty chest-high surf. Little do I know the (very brief, embarrassing) horror that will soon befall me.

Small, spitting right-handers are wedging off a quick-moving rip current. I paddle for one, miss it, and watch the wave peel off for another few yards. Suddenly a young sea lion leaps from the back of the wave, clearing the surface of the water by a foot. Startled, I figure it’s chasing baitfish.

Thirty seconds later, the same sea lion jumps from the water again, just behind me, as I’d paddle back toward the peak.

I mean, they ARE scary sometimes. Photo: Ray Aucott/Unsplash

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Everything You Can Do In Bahia Honda State Park | TheTravel

For some of Florida's most beautiful beaches, travelers should look no further than Bahia Honda State Park.

Bahia Honda State Park is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the state of Florida. It has something to offer to those who are interested in history, nature, and recreation. In 1992, it ranked first on the Best Beaches list by Dr. Beach. Because of the white sand and clear waters, it attracts tourists from all over the country. It used to be a secluded beach destination, but has grown and sustained its popularity since it was included on the list.

The Bahia Honda State Park has gone through a lot over the 100 years since it first opened to the public. in 2017, Hurricane Irma destroyed much of the natural habitats and local wildlife. Since then, there have been efforts to restore campsites and beaches (i.e., Sandspur Beach) so that tourists may again enjoy these areas.

Landmarks And Attractions

Bahia Honda State Park has been around for about 100 years. While it is known for its pristine beaches, there are other attractions that visitors can check out:

Bahia Honda Bridge is part of the Overseas Railway. At the time it was built, it was quite known to be a unique bridge because it had to be tall and sturdy enough to carry a train over water, and should be able to withstand strong currents during the stormy season.Little Bahia Honda Island – visitors usually go to this little island to go kayaking because it is close and has clear waters. It offers a beautiful view of the bridge.Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary – a preservation area that is dedicated to taking care of the Looe Key coral reef.John Pennekamp State Park – another popular state park in the Florida Keys.

RELATED: Here Are Some Sunny Florida Destinations To Consider When The Weather Gets Chilly

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Are We Overvaluing Reef Sharks? | Hakai Magazine

Sharks are a broad and diverse group of species, but in the public imagination we tend to treat them all the same. Photo by Brandon Cole Marine Photography/Alamy Stock Photo

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August 4, 2016 | 950 words, about 4 minutes

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In the 1975 film Jaws, Bruce was a 7.6-meter-long model of a great white shark. He had a peerless reputation for power, an unquenchable thirst for blood.

But Bruce was also made of rubber and latex. He was nothing like a shark. And yet his character would come to define the sharks of our seas. Regardless of their true nature, these fish are seen as superlative predators that rule any waters they ply.

This image is so palatable that we’ve even begun to give sharks a degree of power over their environments that, in the vast majority of cases, they’ve never really held.

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For World’s Biggest Shark, Ship Strikes an Increasing Problem | Hakai Magazine

Whale sharks spend a fair amount of time near the ocean’s surface, making them susceptible to ship strikes. Photo by Jess Hadden

Increasing numbers of whale sharks are showing up with scars and wounds caused by encounters with ships.

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January 30, 2020 | 500 words, about 2 minutes

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Every March, off the northwest coast of Australia, whale sharks gather in the hundreds to bask in the shallow tropical waters at Ningaloo Marine Park. But at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the number of whale sharks showing up with major scars and lacerations from ship strikes is a cause for concern.

Emily Lester, a doctoral candidate working with the Australian Institute of Marine Science, has been studying the wounded fish. “It looks like this threat has been increasing,” she says.

Lester and her colleagues recently completed a study analyzing images of 913 whale sharks taken between 2008 and 2013 by tour boat operators and research organizations working in the park. Almost one-fifth of the whale sharks documented showed major scarring or fin amputations. While some scars were from predator bites, most were the marks of blunt trauma, lacerations, or amputations arising from encounters with ships. The number of major injuries recorded in 2012 and 2013 was almost doubled that of 2011.

But even such striking numbers likely underestimate the true toll. Only sharks that survived their injuries and came back to Ningaloo to be photographed are documented in the study. Whale sharks that died and sank to the ocean floor weren’t accounted for in the statistics.

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Shell's Seismic Survey: hysterical hypocrisy or environmental catastrophe?

Jean Tresfon is an award-winning wildlife and landscape photographer specialising in underwater and aerial images. He lives in Cape Town and his passion lies in showcasing both his city and his country as a superb photographic destination for capturing alluring and unusual wildlife images.

His skill behind the lens has seen him interact and work with marine specialists across the country. Trefson’s dedication to the conservation of wildlife has contributed significantly in spreading awareness, educating and assisting in research projects.

Following several requests from researchers, he surveyed the shoreline for dead Cape fur seals in certain areas after masses of seal bodies began washing up on beaches. He was joined by marine mammal scientist Dr. Simon Elwen from Sea Search. The issue is still ongoing.

Read also: The devastating cause behind mass seal deaths revealed

Now, Tresfon is weighing in on Shell and CGG’s seismic surveys which are set to begin in December — an oil and gas exploration that has many South Africans up in arms.

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Why Kalalau Trail Is Considered Difficult Even For The Pros

The Kalalau Trail is one of the most sought-after hikes in Hawaii. Tourists often flock to Hawaii for the beaches, water sports, and other forms of recreation. Because the state has many volcanoes and mountains, many tourists also attempt to take hikes to get closer to nature.

Located in Kauai Island, the trail is a hearty 11 miles (22-mile round trip) with diverse terrain. While the hike is considered to be strenuous, many people still attempt to go as the views and the experience are all a worthy payoff.

The Route

The hike starts at Ke’e Beach and traverses 5 valleys. This difficult hike can be accomplished in a day if hikers get an early start.

Be prepared to go through different types of terrain, to encounter waterfalls, streams, wild animals, and plants. Although it’s challenging to go through the varied terrain, strong currents, and exposure to the elements finishing the hike itself is very rewarding.

The Kalalau Trail boasts a coastal walk that allows hikers to have a view of the ocean at multiple parts of the trail. This hike is recommended for experienced hikers who are in good physical shape. Not all paths on this trail are paved or board walked. Pack light and wear good shoes!

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What is the Blue Lagoon in Iceland Really Like?

Have you seen the many photos on instagram of people enjoying drinks and wearing white mud on their faces at the Blue Lagoon in Iceland? Well here is what it is really like to visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland - plus where to see the Northern Lights in Iceland and a few other tips on this stunning country
Original author: Boutique
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Kelp Rafts Are Bringing Invaders to Antarctica | Hakai Magazine

As the planet warms, the geophysical barriers that have long kept Antarctica safe from invaders are starting to erode. Photo by Colin Monteath/Hedgehog House/Minden Pictures

Animals have long rafted around the planet, but the southern continent was considered too remote, too isolated, and too cold for that to be a problem—until now.

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February 26, 2020 | 600 words, about 3 minutes

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Antarctica is, for the most part, cut off from the rest of the planet by swirling ocean currents, raging winds, and frigid temperatures. The continent’s physical isolation has long been thought to have kept it well protected from invasions of nonnative species. But the discovery of living creatures on kelp rafts in Antarctic waters—including some known to be invasive in other cold regions—shows that the physical barriers are not insurmountable and invasions could become more common as the climate warms.

Though inhospitable to most life, Antarctica is not immune to introduced species. Most, such as the flightless midges that have infested Signy Island, have been inadvertently brought in by humans. And while rafting in on kelp had previously been identified as a way for nonnative species to arrive, it was considered unlikely given the breadth of the Southern Ocean and the weather and ocean current patterns that tend to push such rafts north.

Huw Griffiths, a marine biologist with the British Antarctic Survey, and his colleagues, however, recently collected more than a dozen kelp rafts from the Southern Ocean and the beaches of Antarctic islands. The rafts, which were made of kelp species that are not native to Antarctica, were transporting thousands of other species. Some, such as goose barnacles (Lepas australis), are not a threat because they only live in the open ocean. But others, having somehow survived the long and harrowing journey, could make a new home on Antarctica.

One species the scientists found, a tiny colonial animal known as a bryozoan, is particularly worrying. It is known to be a harmful invader in other cold water regions. If it made the jump from a raft to a native kelp, it would encrust the seaweed, cutting off its access to sunlight with potentially devastating consequences. “The local kelp is a major part of the ecosystem, and it may not have defenses against this bryozoan,” says Griffiths.

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