Sealions are the puppies of the sea (except the bulls). Arf arf!
When you first see a sealion being lazy on the bench at the "bus stop" where you pick up the boat you may think "wow, look how close we are..." Oh little tourist, you have no idea how close you'll be.
Sealions are everywhere - on nearly every island - they breed like rabbits. The bulls (males) have a harem of women who produce 1-2 babies every 9 months (same as a human gestation). We met our first inquisitive sealion when our guide made the arfing sound and a baby came to explore thinking his mamma had come back full of nummy-yummy milk (babies are left alone for ~3 days while the mom feeds etc - so they're anxious when feeding time comes around). Lil' McSealion-sons was a precocious lil' sealion looking up on of the girls skirts. I thought this was abnormal - woe is me.
Their cute lil' faces are really that cute in person; their whiskers tickle when they sniff you and their noses are wet with saltwater and slobber.
They aren't all cuteness and joy - they can smell rather... nasty! Like a farm really - mmm - manure.
However, then one waddles up to you on land and looks at you out of those big eyes with that cute lil' snout and you forget that it smells literally like shit and you say "awww". And if the sealion's really smart it does a little back bend thingie that is sealion yoga of "take my picture" and the tourist melts.
Now, after you've been thoroughly sniffed on land and deemed "not mamma" you then get to meet sealions at play. On land only the babies are curious - in the sea, you're everyone's toy.
Go swimming anywhere near a sealion and they'll say hi - right in your mask! Feel a tug on a flipper? Nah, that's not a shark - that's a sealion. They nibble on each other all the time and when you're snorkeling, you're just another playmate. They twine about each other and you so quickly it's disorienting.
My favorite was the utter joy of playing tug of war with sealions. At the time I was mildly broken having gotten my foot trapped under a rock in a cave. I decided to ride the dingy since I couldn't really kick. We ended up in a little cove that was protected from the ocean with about 6 sealions at play. Gallo (the sailor driving the dingy) had me toss the rope in to play tug-of-war with the sealions - they fought each other to have the rope and we pulled 3-4 sealions around at any point in time. Swollen immobile ankle forgotten I jumped in so I could see them playing tug of war better with me and I was at one end while they were at the other. It was utter delight - except I couldn't laugh or smile cause then I ended up with either a mask full or a mouth full of seawater... So I drank a lot of seawater.
Now I don't want a puppy - I want a sealion. A cute lil' prosh lil' sealion.