Ranger Sarah Lenz counted a whopping 55 harbor seal pups during her seal population survey on May 9, 2011.
This photo of sun bathing beauties was taken on April 21, 2011 during a stroll along Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove, CA. Several beaches have been closed with signs, barricades and emergency fencing to give harbor seal mothers and their pups a resting area. The bluffs give visitors a nice vantage point very close to the seals.
During half an hour of viewing, I saw about a dozen mom-pup pairs. Several were floating near the surface of the ocean, bobbing up for air periodically, and performing lovely ballet-like moves as they swam to-and-fro in gentle waves. The mothers seem utterly devoted to their pups, and patiently follow them from land to sea and back to land.
Although harbor seal mothers do leave their pups at times to forage for meals, during my brief viewing they never let the pups get more than a body-length away, and often were in physical contact.