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Harbors and other protected areas are great places to observe marine wildlife, because the animals and birds there have become accustomed to human presence. This California sea lion hauled out on a mooring buoy in the midst of busy Monterey Harbor seems undisturbed by two sea kayakers paddling by in their tandem craft, though they—re probably a little closer than they should be. Sea lions and seals need to spend a lot of time out of the water to warm up. Since they often dive into the water when startled or frightened, it’s important for paddlers not to disturb the marine mammals they encounter.

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