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Cowichan Bay Sea Lions

In the nineteen nineties sea lions during this time of the year lived on what were then the CPR docks which were not being used then. My wife and I visited them in our Coleman canoe. We were very quiet in every way. The closer you get the bigger they are, and what if there is one among them that does not like our presence. Some of the big sea lions  always slid into the water to come and check us out close enough to touch which we never did being both sane and awed, and slightly petrified.

I saw a photograph of Cowichan Bay sea lions on ehpem’s blog, and after he told me that he used only 100 mm of lens, I realized these beasts need checking out. Since the CPR sold its port, the sea lions no longer felt welcome there. There is only one other place like the old CPR docks, the outskirts of the Government Wharf. So that is where I headed this morning before the rain started again to take a few photographs.

Here are the young ones chatting.

Here is Bella (or Bello, I am not sure).

Their breath definitely shows.

And here is another conversation.

No more splashing.

Cowichan Bay, where the living is easy…



12 responses to “Cowichan Bay Sea Lions

  1. ehpem

    This is fantastic Joseph. Now I am thinking I have to go back, with a boat. In many ways I like the last one best, all those noses pointed skyward. But they are all good pictures with really nice light too. Just how close did you venture?

    • Yes ehpem, thanks again to that morning sun to color things just right. I photographed from the docks, same location as you used probably, but used a longer lens. Nobody else in sight it was a very relaxed and fun affair.

      • ehpem

        That sounds perfect – though the sounds might not have been all that peaceful, it’s amazing how loud they are. It is interesting you could get such good shots from that spot. My longest lens is 200mm, but I am not sure that would be quite enough , even with some cropping afterward.

        • Walking down Government Wharf at the end you go down the ramp to the right. You end up in front of the hotel facing the sea lion dock where I took most of these photographs with a lens that extends to 144 mm (820 mm in 35 mm format).

          • ehpem

            Ah, that explains it – 800mm equivalent! My camera has a full frame sensor so 200mm is 200mm.
            We were at the same spot as you were.
            I like it that you call it the sea lion dock, that is after all exactly what it is, not matter what the owner might think about it.

  2. nosht

    Me encantan 🙂 🙂 🙂 que bonitos son jajajaja
    Que suerte poder verlos y fotografiarlos 😀

  3. How awesome is this!! Great character in those mighty sea lions, perfectly captured here Joseph! Fabulous series!!!

    • Just before the rain poured down again. All their facial expressions and interactions kept me captivated for quite some time and afterward it was as much fun posting a few of their portraits here. Working with a long lens left a few of the photographs I took less than sharp, but generally there was plenty of light for fast shutter speeds.

  4. Pingback: Don’t Miss This Incredible Collection of Recent Photography Links

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