California resident Rick Coleman had just come up from a night dive when he had a feeling that he was being followed. He approaches his kayak and prepares to climb on-board, but then a young sea lion jumps up from the water and commandeers the craft. Unsure of what to do, the diver lets the pup sniff his gloved hands.
In the kayak, Coleman tries to nudge the animal off with an oar but the insistent creature soon returns. At that point the diver suspected perhaps the sea lion was trying to escape a shark or was trying to ward off the cold.
Enamored with the pup, Coleman decided to ferry it ashore in a very strange kayak ride. After meeting with an animal rescue agent on an extended vacation on solid ground, the pup later swam away.
Sea lions are reputed to be generally friendly creatures and are popular in zoos for their learning abilities. They have a life span of 20-30 years with a fairly robust long term memory–among the best–so it’s very possible Coleman will see his friend again someday.