Off Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, live at least 2 seals that come to the side for feeding and are tourist attractions in themselves. They stand out of the water and watch as tourists buy platefuls of sardines from the nearby fish stall. They were the fattest seals!And these are harbour seals doing what proper seals are supposed to do i.e. live out in the harbour and fish for their own food.Take my word for it, this is a grey whale. Grey whales are bottom feeders and the water these particular ones were feeding in wasn't very deep so unfortunately there was no need for them to do that lovely tail-flip to propel themselves to the bottom. All we saw were bits of long sloping backs as they slid gently under the water. That and the puffs of steam. But that didn't make it any less wondrous.The captain of our boat and guide, Alfred, called sea otters the teddy-bears of the sea because everyone loves them and wants to cuddle one. Unlike other sea mammals they don't have a layer of fat to keep them warm. What they do have is the densest of furs. Human desire for that fur led to them being wiped out from the Vancouver Island area but they were reintroduced from Alaska about 50 years ago. They don't have fur on their faces or feet and so they keep those bits out of the water so they don't get too cold. (Although I thought it was pretty chilly out on the sea in the mist and wind anyway.)Sea lions held court out on the wave-battered reef.
Just before I took this photo a salmon leapt up the river - honest. Or rather it tried to leap. This is Bailey's Chute and is recognised as the furthest point that salmon can get to when they return. They end up giving up and retreating downstream a little to spawn.The captain's mate said he'd been going out with the boats for 6 years and he'd only seen Pacific white-sided dolphins 3 or 4 times so we were incredibly fortunate to find a pod. Husband said I easily won the prize for being the squeakiest person on board but it was amazing. It was like living in a television documentary.