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A freediver dives with a Steller Sealion in the Salish Sea, by Joost van Uffelen

Steller Sealions

I am happy to share that images of our time with Steller sealions have been published in the media recently.

The Daily Mail published a story including Video.

Also, the Guardian placed a double page spread in their newspaper:

The images were shot on a trip with Oceanoid and I´d like to give a big shout out to Matt especially for guiding us and letting me use some of his video footage!

The sealions gather in the Straight of Georgia where they await the herring spawn, which usually takes place in March.

Our time in Canada with these animals was amazing as we could portray their inquisitive nature and playful behavior.

Freediving with them was one of the best experiences which made us quickly forget the 6-7 degrees Celcius water temperatures.

It again confirmed it to us: Sealions are simply the most interactive and playful animals out there.

At times the group was so thick that we lost track of eachother..!

Compared to other marine animals sealions seem to have lots of time to hang out and play with divers and freedivers.

The Steller sealions are nothing compared to anything we dove with before though.. Stellers are huge! 

Sandy seemed to be their favorite chewtoy :-)

They are more confident than California sealions (whom we dove with in Baja California) as well as Galapagos sealions.

Knowing that these haul outs usually only hold juvinile Steller sealions and females, it makes you think what freediving with a grown-up male Steller would look like!

What mainstream media usually is less good at is in portraying the issues these animals face.

Although our visit did not last longer than a week, we did encounter sealions in trouble.

I will write another blogpost about that soon, but for now, I am pretty happy with being published!

 

Update: Please follow this link for a full portfolio of images of freediving with Stellers.

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About the Author:
Joost loves the oceans, travelling and (underwater)photography. Combining those three elements he creates ocean art, travel reports and ocean photo stories...


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