Soundscape of Punta San Juan


When we arrived to Punta San Juan along the southern coastline of Peru, I was not expecting to see, let alone hear, all the guano birds, sea lions, and fur seals. A single sound of a sea lion expanded across the land and at times was very irritating to the ears. It was like you almost got a dogs tail caught in a door mixed with a man who smoked a pack of cigarette a day for 40 years. They look absolutely adorable but there was certainly a need for a mute button. Once I had gotten past the sound, I scanned the beach along the front of the research station and saw all the seals laying out sun bathing and sleeping away. What a life it must be to lounge all day long and be surrounded by a similar community as their own but than again they still had their threats. Us humans, I fear may be scaring away these seals on other beaches to which they may considered to be the territory. How many seals are out in the water now wandering looking for a beach to lay out on a sleep. Us humans have consumed the coast lines with our recreational boating, and fishing ports much like the anchoveta port be visited in Paracas. This is while I really like this research station we are staying at. They respect the seals a guano birds by putting up a barrier and watching over the guano harvesting to make sure that these animals have a place to stay so they are not threatened any more than they already are.

I watch as the swells from the ocean move in and beak along the rocks. Listening to the sounds of the waves and distance of further waves breaking was extremely peaceful. It’s not wonder why the seals love to lay along the waters, it puts you right to sleep. I tried to close my eyes and really listen to animals and waves but I got distracted by the suns rays. I could feel a sun burn coming along and was getting extremely uncomfortable. I had forgotten that I was in a dessert along the coastline. Salt water was the only source of water. My question is now, how do the guano birds and seals receive their fresh water supply. Also, has our harvesting of anchoveta put more stress on the seals. I would imagine my answer would be most definitely and I’m sure the scientist at the research station can back me up on this theory. What other source of pollution has us humans done to the seals. I remember looking back yesterday on our first walk out to the the seals on the north beaches and see a seal with rope around his or hers neck. It almost made me sick to my stomach. I felt so bad sitting and watching him struggle trying to use the rocks to rub the rope off but it did not work. He ever thusly gave up, curled up, and fell asleep. I wanted to run down their with a knife to cut it off but what good would it have done if he had already known that the rope was from a fisherman. They already had a fear of us humans. I also remember seeing one seal watch us while we watched them. We sat there for a good 20 minutes but he made sure we never left his site. He feared us and that really worried me that they would leave and never come back.


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