Balboa Island Seals On DockWhen you think of Balboa Island, cute beachy cottages and quaint shops come to mind. But little did you know that the island has its share of wildlife creatures.

Just the other day, two gigantic sea lions were sunning themselves on a boat in the harbor. Their loud, throaty barks beckoned people for photo ops. It’s hard to imagine how they hoist themselves up there – they can weigh up to 700 pounds – but they just love being on the boats as much as we do.

Balboa Island’s latest visitors were the tiny red tuna crabs that normally live in Baja California. The warm waters from the recent hurricane brought a massive surge of these brilliant red crabs – dead and alive – to SoCal’s beaches. Balboa Island received thousands of them (and the accompanying Balboa Island Red Tuna Crabs Baja Californiastench) onto its sandy beaches, virtually overnight. Fortunately, they have been cleaned up and just a few are left floating in the water and lining the beaches.

Don’t forget the sometimes too-friendly seagulls, gliding over the harbor. Balboa Island’s thoughtful tourists keep litter to a minimum, so they are really not too annoying. Their big brown pelican friends hang out and about, keeping their watchful eyes out for dinner and skimming along the bay in V formations. Sometimes you can luck out and see a dolphin, but that is a rare treat.

Look past the beautiful homes and dazzling stores, and you’ll see that the simplicity of nature is right here, on Balboa Island!