I've been volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center and every once in a while, I help with a release.
I rode up through beautiful Highway 1, a two hour ride each way. The first half was beautiful but then the fog rolled in and the visibility became horrible. Carpooling next time.
This was my third release and by far the biggest one, 14 total and most were pups. It went relatively smooth, we did have some wild seals that had to be moved to get the truck through.
The Sea Lions were released in 3 sets. You barricade the sides, open the cage, and they naturally run into the water.
The last one stayed to look back, almost as a thank you.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can sign up here. It takes a bit to get through the required classes but its worth it.