There are schools of small herring in the harbor, and they are tasty treats for some bigger animals. The largest ones right now are Steller sea lions, and they are impressive!
Especially when they come up eight feet from the dock you are standing on! The big ol' boy in the photo above is watching me. He could launch himself onto the dock without having to grunt if he wanted. It seemed that they are more concerned about whether the human is going to behave, though.
So they kept a pretty close eye on me just to be sure.
Steller sea lions are so graceful and fast in the water that it doesn't seem like they weigh between 500 pounds and a ton. I retreated to the relative safety of the back deck of the boat. Fourteen of these huge animals worked a circle in the harbor, chasing herring, and occasionally socializing.
The mergansers and seals are working to get their share of the herring, too.
When one merganser says dive, everybody dives.
The seals keep an above-water lookout, and a below-water lookout. The latter is looking for prey as well as danger. Seals are not the preferred food of Stellar sea lions, but they are on the menu at times.
Sea lions have the teeth for the job.
And they are always watchful for opportunity.