#potd – Seals ahoy in the port of #Valparaiso

A major surprise to be found whilst checking out the entire port/seafront area of #Valparaiso in Chile, is a colony of seals that hang around near to and on an old concrete structure near the port’s passenger terminal (map). This is close to the metro station Baron, at the bottom of Cerro Baron (Baron hill). You can while away a good few hours hanging out on the harbour wall watching the seals jumping out of the sea onto the structure with varying degrees of success, and their cranky grumpy behaviour when a new arrival makes it up onto the platform and waddles his/her way through looking for a spot to lie down. Those seals can be very grumpy & loud, no doubt they have their own ranking system or hierarchy!.

Perhaps they’re grumpy about the fact that once upon a time, less than 200 years ago, there was no port here and the seals would have had a much freer use of this sea. These days they have to share it with a working port, passenger boats, the Chilean navy, fishermen and various pleasure boats. Time to be grumpy indeed!

From Baron you can take a pleasant walk north along the harbour wall & promenade to the next stop near the metro station Portales. Here there’s a couple of small reasonable beaches, and a fishing pier, its a very working class beach used mainly by locals, and pretty chilled. Beneath the pier you may find more seals, especially when fishing folk toss fish back into the sea, whereupon the seals battle with countless birds for the food (see pic). People do swim off these beaches, despite the coolness of the water, but they don’t go too far out because close up these seals are huge, and who knows maybe they’ll have something to say about the impact we’ve had on their environment?!



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