Fun on Fight Beach

Hello, Adelaide here!

Right now we are in a cove sportingly named Disappointment cove. We’ve heard dashing tales about sea lions charging people across beaches here in Stewart Island. Even though many people had told us to stay as far away as we could from the great hairy beasts…we thought that maybe they were just stories, and it wasn’t a real danger. In defense of the people who told us these tales, they were right, totally and completely right.

Ok, so it was the day after the campfire on the beach (which was a great success), and as I was having my breakfast Dad announced that we were going to look for scallops. We were all really excited because we had been assured that they were in knee-deep water in a particular cove. Everyone reading our blog has probably found out that we are chickens when it comes to cold water. We hadn’’t yet braved full submersion in the deep dark depths of the South Island.

Anyhow, we ate breakfast and with that in our stomachs, we felt more ready to face the world. We (Isa, Dad, and I) got over to a small inlet called Fight Cove (you’ll see the humor in this once I get to the point). The waves outside of the cove were big. It was raining. The wind was howling and I suppose that we could have assumed the world didn’t want us out and about, but we didn’t. When we got to Fight Cove we tied the dingy between two rocks and then set boldly off. We saw a small beach on the opposite side of the cove and thought we might be able to get over to it on the large rocks that bordered the inlet. They were slippery, but we finally made it over to the beach.

It was pristine; white sand crept down to white-capped waves, a thick layer of moss covering the part of the sand where the beach met the trees. We walked out onto the beach and down into the water. At this point, we were being completely brainless and we walked past a shiny rock (I don’t even remember it being there). One thing we had learned was that you never walk in between a sea lion and its water. At this point, you should know that I wouldn’t be telling this story if we had not walked in between the sea lion and its stupid water.

Anyway, I was looking down into the water in search of lunch when there came a deafening roar. It sounded like a cross between an elephant, drums, a dog bark, and a very surprised cow. Take a wild guess at what I saw not three feet away, canines gleaming. Turns out that Dad had been in the water beside me when the huge sea lion charged. Dad had thrown himself backward on the stones (okay, he freaked and fell backward). Thankfully he didn’t break anything. I, however, turned tail and ran. When I got to the grass I got my hands on a big stick and spun around. The great hairy beast was in the water, reared up on his back legs, and roaring like, again, a very surprised cow right in Dad’s face. The sea lion seemed satisfied at his display of physical dominance and took off into the water. Well, we got away safely, and will never again walk on a beach with the same blaze` attitude when sea lions are in the vicinity. Needless to say, we didn’t get any scallops….


  1. Scott Gerber says:

    OMG!!! It sounds like you could have easily been “lunch” versus searching for the same!! Thank G-D the Beast probably had a big breakfast!! On Kauai, where my mother-in-law resides, the seals sleep on the beaches. We stay away by law and are aware that these sleeping creatures are the daily diet of the sharks!! Be careful – you never know what lurks below the clear waters. Thanks for sharing once again!! Scott⛵️

  2. Douglas Vawter says:

    Well described Adelaide!!! I can see Dad, in the water, on his back —— and now telling you how he SAVED his precious girl!! The stories the Banyon family have will be great for a life time. I’m curious just how big that sea lion will be by the time Dad gets back to mainland USA. You know what they say about fish stories over time. Thanks again Adelaide. GREAT JOB!!! Stay safe. Love to all —- Gramps and Mimi from

  3. Jennie Cunningham says:

    What an adventure!! I’m so grateful he gave his roar and then went on! I’m imagining a video camera capturing it all….the look on Cameron’s face with each roar…..the first look between you afterwards……the look on the girl’s faces watching Dad get put in his place….whew! Love to you all, and maybe pass up on scallops for now…. : ) The Cunningham Crew

  4. Marianne McGriff says:

    Good morning, Banyon Crew
    What a story to wake me up!!!!!!!!!!!! Adelaide—great job of writing and making your readers feel as though they were right next to you…thankfully, we weren’t!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to describe to Carver when he awakens…sending much love and Blessings, Marianne

  5. Toya says:

    Hola Amig@s! Adelaide you written like Mama beautiful and clear, can you put some pictures of the places you guys are please! Sending Biggest Xoxos to You Bellissima Familia, from Mexico

  6. Bruce McKendry says:

    Fun story, Adelaide. Well, “fun” for me sitting in front of my laptop…and not a Sea Lion.
    Great job, young writer!

  7. Rachel Wheeler says:

    You’re a great writer Adelaide. Loved the telling of the “tale” of the Sea Lions that are NOT to be messed with!

    Sorry no scallops but happy you’re safe and sound. –

  8. Myka S. says:

    Awesome job, Adelaide!! That sounds scary….but it was also just a TINNYYY bit exciting…right? Keep writing! Love you and miss yooooouu!
    ~Myka :]

  9. Karen says:

    Wow Adelaide what a riveting, descriptive story of an eventful day! So glad everyone is unhurt by a powerful beast and I’m impressed that you had the presence of mind to run and find a good stick! Much love and can’t wait to hear more stories,
    Auntie Karen

  10. Libbey McKendry says:

    I was thinking exactly what Aunty Karen wrote. Great story, wonderfully written and so smart to run first and grab a stick. Whew! Where was Isa during the excitement? Love you all!

  11. Bob Fish says:

    Dear Adelaide-
    What a terrific story! You kept me on the “edge of my seat” & laughing! Bob read the story to me out loud with great expression & gestures. We had no idea that sea lions are ferocious and aggressive. You were all very brave and we are so glad everything came out ok other than lunch.
    Bob & Valerie

  12. Mari says:

    Love this Adelaide!!! Great writing! I can still see your Dad on the beach. I’m glad you got a stick to save him:)

  13. Michelle West says:

    Great Story which will live on in family lore for many generations surely!!!!! Can’t wait to hear it around the camp fire! Love John and Michelle

  14. Laura says:

    Wow, sooo scary! Glad you are all safe. A good reminder to keep our eyes open and look around while we are out in Nature. Great to see a new writer in the crew! Cheers, Laura & Dick. sv Maia

  15. Becky Baker says:

    Hi Adelaide!! I’m very behind in reading all of the posts from your family. I loved your post here!! You have such descriptive writing and I’m glad you are all safe! I miss you!!!

  16. Joanie Schumann says:

    What a great story and well written Adelaide; can’t wait for the next adventure….just be safe and watch where you walk.
    made me laugh.

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