Project Description

Playful Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) surround my dive buddy Gildas during a dive north of Nanaimo off of Vancouver Island.  These graceful swimmers easily glided up to us and peered into our dive masks.  They were bold and inquisitive wondering about the strange bubble blowing creatures that had invaded their domain.  The sea lions would constantly bite at us but with restraint.  Some however were slightly more aggressive than others and tended to bite a bit harder .. just because.  For the most part however the interactions were amazing.  I felt a real connection with these animals.  I thought it was interesting when I found out that sea lions are distantly related to dogs and they definitely have large canine teeth to help catch fish.  These animals have been recorded diving to depths of 1148 feet (350 m) in search of food and remain submerged for around five minutes.  The Steller sea lion is the world’s largest sea lion and males can reach lengths of almost 10 feet (3 m), and weigh 1760 pounds (800 kg).  Their range extends from the California coast up to the Bearing Strait, and also includes the coastal areas of Japan and Asia.