Marine mammals and vessels

Stellar and California sea lions near sunset

The sea lions have moved in! Last night more than a dozen spent their first night on the main rock. Around sunset there were over 20 on rocks across from the jetty and in close waters. About 50-75 are still camped out on North and West Race Rocks.

I’m unsure if it is a coincidence, but the sea lions’ arrival was directly after the elephant seals’ departure. Although there are still 3 juveniles on site, our 2 alpha males and half dozen other seals haven’t returned since Saturday, 4 August.

Two of the 3 elephant seals left on the island

On another note, a Canadian Coast Guard vessel was tied up to the Rosedale Reef buoy on the edge of the reserve yesterday for a couple of hours late in the day. It’s the first time I’ve seen the buoy being used since my time out here.

On Sunday 37 whale watching boats entered the reserve as well 3 private boats. It’s a lot of activity for such a small area and I wonder about the effects it has on the wildlife. A new 2-deck whale watching ship of Orca Spirit Adventures has a capacity of 200 passengers. I can’t help but think the noise pollution created by this vessel that advertises its indoor dining area and dance floor does harm to the very animals they are in search of.

Coast Guard vessel at Rosedale Reef Buoy