Spotted in the news: Explore the mystery of North America’s oldest human remains by kayak


They appeared like hundreds of rambunctious little Yodas bobbing and barking with bad coughs, snubbed snouts and short, knobby ear flaps pointing east and west, but these gregarious northern fur seal pups were super curious crowding around our kayaks at Point Bennett, the far northwestern tip of San Miguel Island in the Channel Islands National Park, near Santa Barbara, CA.

You’re never really alone when paddling around the third largest isle in the national park, especially with the pinniped rookery at Point Bennett being the largest in North America with up to 50,000 animals at any time during the year. Five species of seals and sea lions use the windswept isle for pupping and hauling out, and we were greeted at every beach, cove and rock outcropping by choruses of yelps, barks and bellows long and loud.