California Sea Lion, Harbor Seals and a Peak at the Olympic Mountains

Port Angeles.
Our wildlife adventure began even before we made it out to the open waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait today. On a buoy, just at the end of Ediz Hook, we spotted an adult male California Sea lion. As the boat slowed to allow all passengers to view our first wildlife spotting, the Sea Lion lifted his head and showed us all the sagittal crest upon his head. He must have been sun bathing on the buoy for quite some time as his back was completely dry allowing his fur to create a fuzzy appearance to his body. It was a first for many passengers to see a dry sea lion and many expressed surprise when they realized that sea lions were furry rather than the smooth rubbery look that appears when the sea lion is wet. After enjoying our time with the California Sea Lion, it was time to head into the open waters of Juan de Fuca Strait. Some sharp eyed passengers spotted Harbor Porpoise as we crossed the Strait. Near the Canadian Border, a large flock of Bonaparte’s Gulls took flight while close by a flock of Glaucous-winged Gulls enjoyed a large bait ball of fish near the surface. We made it completely across the Juan de Fuca Strait and headed into Haro Strait, enjoying the view of San Juan Island on one side of the boat and Vancouver Island on the other side. As we turned to head South, we took a close pass by Discovery Island. On the Southern side of the island were Harbor Seals scattered around the rocks basking in the sunshine that had peaked through the clouds. As we made our approach back to Port Angeles, the clouds lifted enough to give all our passengers a lovely peek at the beautiful Olympic Mountains.
Unfortunately, even though crew and passengers continuously searched the waters, no whales were found today. So all our passengers get to come aboard again for Free. We look forward to seeing them again on their next outing with us.
~Naturalist Tamara

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