Four (?) river otters close to the shore, then one came to land with a fish in its mouth. Decided we looked hungry so went back into the water with his dinner. Ten minutes straight out we saw a small dolphin? I did not know we even had those! Then coming back in, the same again. Also the seals, of course. John R and Michael M have their own report to share.
All we saw was black and fairly small so maybe an elusive harbor porpoise? Also its fin looked a little more triangular that what I see in the photos of common dolphins
About 1.5 miles out west from Marine Park, Dr. Rybczyk and I encountered a beastie. We had just passed a few seals that were doing normal boring water dog stuff. Then I spotted a brown lumpy disturbance in the water off to the right. Pretty quickly it came at my boat and put on a good splash and headed under me making a smidge of contact with my boat and paddle. I would bet a dollar she was a female sea lion: long arms, big brown tail, and maybe some ears… I made some manly high pitched squeals and told John I was “under attack.” He thought that was hilarious until she came up splashing 7 feet behind him. We proceeded to promptly work on our sprints, laboring under the delusion that we were outrunning her. It appears we were able to outrun her murderous jaws.
You think you were under attack, check this, where a sea lion in New Zealand thwacks a kayaker in the face with an octopus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZPdLHFD7QA
Sounds about right. I rowed harder than I ever have just north of Peterburg, AK, trying to put distance between a pissed off mama sea lion and my transom, but wow, can they move. She went after my oar, as I was in a full-panic drive and she got a mouthful of wooden spoonblade oar. She broke off a piece and stopped chasing me but I kept rowing like brown pants, albeit in an arc. The thought of being in a surfski with an annoyed sea lion kind of ups the risk factor a bit for an in-the-water confrontation.
Any chance either of you had a garmin GPS to see how big a speed spike you registered?
No tracking, but when Medler pointed out that I would never be able to outrun the beast, I pointed out that I only had to outrun him (which is not easy to do).
I spent a few youthful springs raising seal pups. Sometimes we would even take them out to reintroduce them to “the wild.” Running into a sea lion once when I was with a pup in the water had all the charm of finding a cougar on a trail with your corgi hiding behind you. The pup wanted to be on the top of my head and the sea lion wasn’t leaving. Sea lions are not named after Mr. Lion. My brother tells a story about surfing in Santa Cruz, when another surfer was snatched off the board by a big male sea lion. A long time later, the surfer popped up a hundred feet away having been dragged by the leg. I don’t trust em.
Once had a stellar sea lion bark at me from about 1m off my starboard along Ebey's Landing. I remember how foul it's breath was and how big it's teeth were. I think it was about 75% the length of my Fenn Swordfish! Almost fell over at this moment. TG for the secondary stability….
Interesting discussion on the Sea Lion…first I heard of one actually grabbing a person. Reading Ernest Shackleton's account (“Endurance”) of his crews time on the Antarctic, he does mention the numerous times Leopard seals would scramble on ice and try and attack his crew. Now thats an aggressive marine mammal!