Sea Lions in the PNW
In the Pacific Northwest, sea lions can get big. Really big.
This weekend, Estelle Matheson and Troy Nebekker had an encounter with one of the larger males that hangs out near Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound near Seattle. Here;s how she described it on Facebook:
“Just yesterday I watched a Paul Nicklen story about sea lions, and when he said how big the male sea lions can get I thought ‘wouldn’t want to get too close to one of those big boys.’
Today I was paddling with @monsterandsea, since I was OC and he was prone, I’d circle back every so often to keep us close. I chose the yellow can as my turn point, I could see what looked like a few sea lions lazing in the spring sunshine, not uncommon to see… as I got closer and started to circle it though, I thought… is that just ONE sea lion?! As I circled around he sat up, turned that big body around and looked at me.
It was a silent understanding between us… ‘you stay there Big Boy, I’ll turn to the right and leave you be…’
I’ve never seen anything so big. Maybe the grizzly bears at the zoo… this shrunken GoPro image does no justice.”
Steller sea lions, which is what this guy was, can get as large as 2,500 pounds and Estelle is pretty sure this guy was in that range.
What an encounter!