Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Video: Baby Sea Lion Steals A Ride On Family's Kayak

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

A freeloading sea lion pup hitched a ride on a Fullerton family's kayak on Saturday.

Rodney Gist was kayaking near Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara on Saturday afternoon with his family. He was in one kayak with his 5-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, while his wife commandeered the other with their 8-year-old daughter, KDVR reports. The little pup came along and nonchalantly climbed aboard, settling in right behind Gist.

Though some sea lions can carry diseases and the Marine Mammal Protection Act demands humans stay at least 100 yards away from these animals when possible, sea lions really operate on a double standard.

Gist said he was worried when the pup first pirated the kayak, but after about 10 minutes, the animal proved to be a cuddly and worthy maritime companion. The family named him "Cecil."

Support for LAist comes from

"I thought he was going to feel slimy," Gist told KDVR. "He was more like a dry short-haired dog is what it felt like."

Joey Buttitta witnessed the event and posted a video of it to YouTube.

Gist's eldest daughter Lee Lee told KTLA that she thought Cecil's motivation may have been that he was tired, or lonely. Or that "he just wanted to snuggle."

Whatever the case, Cecil remained aboard for an hour and accompanied the family to shore. There, Cecil was spooked by the abundance of humans and returned to his own kind in the ocean.