NEWPORT BEACH ( — An Orange County boater had the experience of a lifetime after a friendly sea lion pup climbed aboard his vessel off the Newport Beach coast.

Sailor J.R. Gilkinson posted the more than six minute cell phone video of the encounter on May 19 on YouTube.

“A day at sea that I will never forget!!!” he said online.

The video was taken a day earlier on Gilkinson’s sailboat about two miles off the Newport Beach coast.

(credit: J.R. Gilkinson/ YouTube)

(credit: J.R. Gilkinson/ YouTube)

The small pup, which appeared to be tired, was recorded boarding the sailboat and laying on Gilkinson’s lap.

The sea lion stayed on the ship for more than 90 minutes to rest up and snuggle the captain. It didn’t disembark until the boat sailed into the habor, he said.

“One of the BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE ! ! !” Gilkinson wrote online.

Animal officials say the encounter was rare and advises the public to avoid sea lions as they are prone to bite.

As of Tuesday morning, the video dubbed, “My Life Changing Experience with a Baby Sea Lion,” has more than 1,500 hits on YouTube.

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