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Large group of sea lions distract drivers near Penn Cove

Brian Kelly / The Record - A large group of sea lions was sighted in the water near near San de Fuca on Thursday afternoon.
Brian Kelly / The Record
— image credit: A large group of sea lions was sighted in the water near near San de Fuca on Thursday afternoon.

SAN DE FUCA — Travelers along Highway 20 were slowing down - or pulling off the road completely - to get a good look at a massive group of sea lions frolicking in the waves in Penn Cove on Thursday afternoon.

The group of sea lions easily numbered 40 or more. The marine mammals were moving in a pack along the west end of the cove, from Grasser's Lagoon to the mussel farm on the Coupeville side of the cove.

Drivers on Highway 20 should be on the lookout for drivers making sudden stops, and vehicles entering and leaving the roadway.

Penn Cove has been the scene of much marine mammal activity this past month. A gray whale was spotted in the cove on March 20.

Susan Berta of the Orca Network in Greenbank said sea lions were once an uncommon sight in Penn Cove, but said that this year there have been as many as several dozen California sea lions in the cove at the same time, and they've also been seen in Saratoga Passage and Holmes Harbor.

"Must be lots of baitfish out there," Berta noted.

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