Skip to content

Perhaps the most comical marine mammal that passengers may encounter on our tours is the California sea lion, due to its dog-like barking sounds. Known for their intelligence, playfulness, and noisy barking; they have long been the preferred species for zoos and aquariums due to their ability to be trained. California sea lions range in colour from dark brown (males) to lighter, golden brown (females). Males can reach up to 850 pounds and seven feet in length while females are significantly smaller, growing to only 220 pounds and six feet.

These sea lions are found from the coast of Vancouver Island down to the southern tip of Baja California in Mexico. From May to August these sea lions tend to be found in the southern parts of their range to establish breeding grounds. However, from April onwards we have the chance to see them on our tours as unsuccessful males start making their way to feeding grounds. By late summer through the winter months, rocky outcrops near Victoria can often be seen swarming with these noisy mammals. Fun facts about the California sea lions: they are one of the fastest pinnipeds in the world, capable of burst speeds of about 40 km/hr.! While at sea, these sea lions may gather together in groups to rest while floating on the surface of water, this is referred to as a “raft”.

Book Now