Spring Sun & Sea Lions

Whales don't care about the weather but our whale watching boats do. The weather had not been in our favor recently but it made this trip in the sun all the more sweet!
Our zodiac tour has been the favourite tour for our passengers this April and we just love bringing people on this unique wildlife and whale watching tour. Even when no whales are spotted, there is so much wildlife to be seen and to learn about!

Whale watcher posing
To Adventure!

The excitement was contagious amongst everyone as they suited up at our office before heading down the dock to start their adventure.

A curious Canadian Goose gave our vessel a gawk and send off as they headed down the Frazer River and along the Steveston Jetty. There, they were greeted by the longtime locals, the Bald Eagle pair.

Leaving Steveston Harbor during whale watching tour
Steveston Harbor
Canadian Goose in Steveston, Richmond
Canadian Goose
Bald eagles during Vancouver wildlife tour
Bald Eagle pair

Leaving the village of Steveston, it can be obvious how important the eco system of the Salish Sea is to not just the wildlife and whale watching but to the local fishing community who have fished in these waters for decades.
Some experts in fishing were also spotted along the jetty, Californian and Steller Sea Lions!

Can you tell which species is which in the photo below?

Sea lions chilling on rocks off Richmond
Seven Sea Lions, Two species


Californian Sea Lion?

This guy is a Californian Sea lion.
Males have a have a pronounced sagittal crest on their forehead.
How many can you spot in the photo?

Steller Sea Lion?

This guy who is enjoying the sun is a Steller Sea Lion!
They are lighter in color than most sea lions, ranging from pale yellow to tawny and occasionally reddish.
Males have a thick mane of coarse hair around their thick neck.

Cruising across the Strait of Georgia and into the Gulf Islands is always a beautiful trip but the sun really just adds to its wonder!

Zodiac whale watching on strait of Georgia
Naturalist Theresa during whale watching tour
Naturalist Theresa
Captain Scott driving whale watching vessel
Captain Scott

It was returning Naturalist Theresa's first trip of 2023 and Captain Scotts 8th trip this season!

Tour traveling through gulf islands off Vancouver Island
Gulf Islands

Winding through the Canadian Gulf Islands, the beautiful scenery unfolded around everyone until they reached a huge group of Stellers also called a raft or herd. They were all bemused by our little boat and really displayed their numbers when their curious heads kept popping up to have a good look.

Huge Sea lion numbers off Vancouver
Hundreds of Stellers!

This time of year in Vancouver is great for whale watching but it is also the best time to see sea lions in such numbers! The waters off Vancouver are one of the few places were the ranges of Californian Sea Lions and Steller Sea Lions overlap.

History tour of gulf islands off Vancouver
Cannonball Markings

There's more than wildlife to learn about on our tours, we also like to share some history with our passengers.
Check out the photo above, notice the dents in the rock almost like it was shot at? Well that's exactly what happened!
In the early 1800s, the English who were charting the Gulf Islands at the time were anchored in Plumper Sound. Winters can get boring sometimes and well, they decided to practice their aim using cannons! These cannonball markings on Saturna Island show us how well this target practice went!

Whale watching tour heading home to Richmond
Returning to Steveston

Our day checking out the wildlife just a stone's throw away from the bustling cities of Vancouver and Richmond had to come to an end and sometimes the shy whales allude us, but we can't wait to welcome back all these passengers again as they all received our free return passes!

Thanks to all who joined Captain Scott and Naturalist Theresa along with photographer Vincent! We look forward to seeing you all again!

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