The lesson I learned over the last two weeks was one of making the most out of adversity. For the first time in recorded history, numerous mother elephant seals have been giving birth to pups at Drakes Beach. At present, there are over 145 seals on the beach including over 50 pups. The constant presence of people has discouraged them from this location in recent years, and hungry grizzly bears had been a deterrent for thousands of years before Drakes Beach was a public attraction. Not so long ago, along came the humans who displaced the grizzlies, and then along came the Government Shutdown which closed the road and deterred us humans – at least for a little while. The seals quickly adapted and have made the best of it in the Great Seal Takeover of 2019.