January 22, 2008
A waltz for a pinniped.
One of my most enjoyable errands is a trip to Eric and Brenda’s fish market. An open houseboat structure that rests on a floating dock halfway down the main harbor walkway, it’s where you’ll find the best and freshest gilled and shelled offerings on the island.
Popeye knows this. And it’s where you’ll find her, too.
She figured out quite a long time ago that this was a good deal. Show up, act adorable, let people take your photo, and get some entrails in return for the effort. Oh, and being blind doesn’t seem to hurt business, either. We’re all compassionate suckers. She had a pup last year, and I’m hoping to catch a glimpse soon.
Harbor seals are usually somewhat social and well adapted to life amidst humans and bilge discharges, but Popeye is everyone’s pet. You don’t have to wait long for her to come right over and surface between the dock and the neighboring ketch (artistic photo, eh?). And she doesn’t have to wait long to get what she wants.
But I do: the market is closed for a few weeks while its owners take a winter vacation somewhere very south of here. So I wait. So does Popeye. Except that she’s far better at catching her own fresh fish than I am!