Boater James Gilkinson was sailing with his niece when they picked up an unexpected passenger.

baby sea lion hitches a ride on a sailboat

They were just off the Southern California coast near Newport Beach when they spotted a sea lion pup swimming in the water. The little guy turned out to be quite friendly — and hopped onto the boat. He spent the next hour hanging out and cuddling up to Gilkinson.

Sea lion pup jumps aboard boat and cuddles

As the sailboat returned to shore, Gilkinson said he stood up and told his aquatic guest, “You’ve got to go now.” The sea lion obliged, jumping back into the water and swimming off.

Watch the extra-cute video below:

Update: An eagle-eyed Blaze reader sent us a link to the full video of Gilkinson’s sea lion adventure, without reporter’s narration. We present it here.

 

(H/T: CBS News)