"Sea lions are playful creatures who often seek out snorkelers for up-close-and-personal encounters. We call them our “flipper-nibbling” friends thanks to their friendly demeanor. But next time you’re swimming with them in Baja—or anywhere else—heed this advice to stay safe and have fun.
1. Avoid eye contact.
2. If a 350 kilo male blows bubbles at you—don't blow bubbles back.
3. Never attempt to land in amongst a colony.
4. Swim with a buddy.
5. Keep your hands to yourself—preferably tucked under your armpits.
6. Never offer food.
7. Remember No. 1—avoid eye contact!"
—Ben Gillam has lived in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico for the past 18 years, where Baja Outdoor Activities (BOA), his sea-kayaking tour company, offers once-in-a-lifetime tours in the Sea of Cortez. BOA has been helping travelers swim with sea lions for 18 years and has never had a serious accident—which Ben attributes to the smart guidelines above.