Busy day! Made it out to the Sonoma Coast for the 2nd year on New Years Eve with the family to photograph harbor seals at the mouth of the Russian river. This year the rain swollen Russian river re-aligned itself and pushed through the sand bar, leaving a 1/2 mile wide mushroom of brown silty water on the Eastern shore of the Pacific Ocean. The weather has been wet and today was no exception with light rain falling as we left the parking lot, heading out on foot to the beach. I have to admit that I thought of turning around due to the in coming storm but kept going anyway. Once at the end of the sand spit where the river meets the ocean, I could see a break in the clouds on the horizon and sure enough the sun came through for a few minutes before being swallowed up by the gathering storm. To photograph the seals, you have to keep your distance (at least 150 feet) so as not to disturb them so a long telephoto lens is a must. The harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) have no ear flaps like Sea lions. They spend half the time out of the water and half in and can even sleep in the water! Today they were cruising in the surf, looking for an easy catch of fish heading up river.