Community View: Beach party offends regular visitor

By Jillian Abood
McLean, Virginia

I’ve been visiting La Jolla in the summertime for the last 20 years. My family and I always enjoy going to see the seals multiple times on our visits here. We arrived (May 31) and the first thing we did was visit the seals.

Last night when we arrived at the beach, we saw a group of about 20 people who were grilling and lighting fires near the seals. They had a huge “OPEN” sign that they had planted over the rope that protects the seals’ space, and they were intimidating the seals.

When I asked them what they were doing, I received answers such as, “the seals like the fires, it warms them up” and “why should we care about the seals.” One woman called them “the rats of the ocean.” There were human footprints in the sand where people had walked right past the noses of the seals. The air smelled of fire and it was clearly making the seals very nervous.

I know the beach is controversial, but there are miles and miles of beach where these people could enjoy themselves, and they have decided that there is no place for seals and no place for compromise. They see the seals as a cause célèbre, and they were at the beach for the sole purpose of harassing the seals.

I found it appalling, and that’s why I’m writing to you. My family and I believe that the beach should be open, but a line should be drawn in the sand and people should leave the seals alone. I’ve walked down there many times to see the seals, but I don’t go near them or bother them. What I saw last night was so upsetting that I have forwarded this letter and my pictures to the City Council members as well.

Related posts:

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  3. Opinion: I don’t want a seal rookery
  4. Appeal of year-round rope barrier at Children’s Pool is Dec. 9
  5. OPINION: Seals at Cove are unwelcome

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Posted by Staff on Jun 8, 2011. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

14 Comments for “Community View: Beach party offends regular visitor”

  1. Michael

    Judging by this article and your post on the local seal activist Facebook site it is obvious that you have a great gift for embellishment and fabrication…..You will fit right in with the seal activists.

  2. James

    While I agree with you that the seals should be left alone. I too took pictures of the "80th Anniversary party" and they show seals all over the beach with people bbqing hot dogs and sitting in lawn chairs with what I would guess to be about 150 seals on the beach and not one of them going anywhere! Your anthropomorphism arguments will not help in the debate over the Children's pool. While you may have been nervous and or scared for them we do not know if they were actually scared or nervous!

  3. Seal Teem 6

    Jillian Abood,
    Maybe I will visit McLean, Virginia someday and tell you how to use your beaches and parks and right letters to your city council on how they screwed up there city. I am not a tax payer in your town and your not a tax payer in my town, our city council works for the tax payers of the residents of San Diego, not McLean Virginia, so please stop telling the benefactors of the Children's Pool how to use our beach.

    • James

      While you bring up a good point about our city council working for it's tax payers a lot of those tax dollars come from Room taxes from the various hotels around town and if those visitors are hoping to see seals then maybe the city council should take there opinion into consideration!

      • cyberKICK

        True, but those hotels were a lot more full when we had the world class diving and snorkling. If you look back before the activists were there, the beach was so full you had trouble finding a place to put your towel down. I remember having to park far away and using the shuttle service to get to the beach. Now they don't even have the shuttle anymore.

        What you are saying is since the activists have chased all those tourists away, we should listen to the few that have the same agenda as the activists.

        • James

          No, I'm pointing out she did and does pay taxes here in SD/LJ and there for by your own rules should get to voice her opinion.

          And, I for some reason don't believe your made up facts about diving tourists overwhelming the area! I can picture some being turned off by the on going shenanigans at the Pool but from what I have seen the "Pro-Beach access" group far out number the Seal Watch people. I would more likely be inclined to believe our slumped economy may have more to do with the lower numbers of beach visitors.

          But if you could cite a credible source I will change my view.

      • Davy Jones

        Tourist come for our beaches and sunshine, the seals are just one more thing to see, If the want to see seals they need to come during pupping season which is in the winter months, the summer days are just to hot for seals to be laying around on the beach.

        • James

          I'm fairly certain you are right! I hope they also come to enjoy our wonderful restaurants and rich history! I have enjoyed seeing the seals on everyday of the year they just aren't always sleeping on the beach.

        • James

          Oh yeah did you survey these tourists to find out why they come here? Are you quoting a survey done? If so is it available online for us all to look at? If this is just your belief then it carries no weight in a debate!

  4. cyberKICK

    How did you determine the seals were intimidated? Were they not sleeping? Did they stay away from the people?

    If they came up to the people they are hardly intimidated, and clearly sleeping is not what they would do when scared. They would flee.

  5. Bird Rock Native

    Oh cry me a river, you are just whining about this to bolster the position of the anti-human seal activists. We can see right through your thinly disguised tactics.

    I'm just so crushed by this all that I am tearing up as I write this……NOT!

  6. La Jolla Resident

    I'm surprised she did not write that the horrible people on the beach lit the seals on fire and laughed while they screamed in pain..and the air stank of burning seal flesh,..and when she tried to rescue them one of the evil seal haters body slammed her… the Horror….
    Give it a rest….

  7. L J Native

    All we need now is another march though Down town La Jolla demanding to "Save the Seals" with the use of bullhorns by out of towners on how to use our beach.

    • James

      Didn't realize the "Beach" belong to you! I thought the whole point of the controversy was that the beach belongs to everyone.

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