After a long day of paddling, it’s easy to wonder if your kayak has mysteriously gotten heavier. If that thought crossed this family’s mind in Santa Barbara on Saturday, they wouldn’t have been imagining things. In what turned out to be a Valentine’s Day surprise, a sea lion pup crawled up on the back of their tandem sit-on-top and settled in for the ride. The pup appears unafraid to be sharing the boat with several primates, at times actually going so far as to nudge the paddler in the back seat. Often when sea lions are willing to move this far out of their comfort zone to escape the water, it’s because something more dangerous, like a shark, is below. Even so, you’d be hard pressed to find a cuter hitchhiker.

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