April 9, 2012

Friggin Huge Seals

 Seals come in 3 sizes. Wee (grey seals), very wee (harbour seals) and Friggin' HUGE!. Elephant seals are of the latter type. We have always wanted to see them and we got our chance during the Easter holidays during our trip to Sooke on the island. Part of this trip was to scope out Race Rocks for a future dive and to see if we could spot these extra large pinnepeds. We were in luck! Not only were there elephant seals but harbour seals as well as Steller and California Sea Lions.
 We had heard that there were 2 females on the rocks before we were there. Imagine our delight when there were not 2 but 11 hanging out at the Rocks. There was even two on the dock to the light house and buildings. I don't envy people docking there. This time of year the females and juveniles molt. For these ladies it is not just fur coming out, they shed their skin too. This makes for hungry and irritable elephant seals as they are vulnerable to the cold at this time and are unable to go and eat in the ocean.
 The largest of the females at Race Rocks was probably just shy of 10 feet and weighed somewhat less then 2,000 pounds. The grown males are giants as they can get upto 16 feet and the heaviest weigh approximately 5400 lbs. All these large ladies were soaking up the sun during a wonderfully sunny Easter weekend.

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