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Bonaire turtle

Stellar Sea Lions at Hornby Island - British Columbia

Hornby is a mountainous, forested island, located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The small rural island is just 12 square miles, home to one small grocery store, one gas station, and ~1000 residents. But for divers, Hornby offers something truly spectacular. Hornby Island is an epicenter for Stellar Sea Lions, and is an ultimate location to photograph these amazing animals.

Playing with an urchin

January 2017 - To get to Hornby we flew into Vancouver (YVR), rented a car, and took the ferry across to Nanaimo. From there, we drove up the coast for an hour to Buckley Bay, ferried over to Denman Island, then another short ferry hop to Hornby Island. We spent a week with Rob & Amanda Zielinski owners/operators of Hornby Island Diving a truly outstanding dive resort and dive operation.

Three on one

Stellar Sea Lions are large. Full grown males reach 2000+ lbs., females can reach 1000+ lbs. Most of the Stellars we interacted with were juveniles, 100 to 500+ lbs. Stellars are curious and very bold (in a gentle way.) Once you get up close with them they will not leave you alone. They'll nibble at your suit and gear, and swarm around and on you constantly. Diving with them is an adrenalin rush, and awesome fun! These images were taken by Ken Ashman in Jan 2017, with a Nikon D200 DSLR and dual Inon Z240 strobes.

Came across this D. iris free swimming at about 50 ft. Amazing!

Swimming Dendronotus iris

Call us about next year's Hornby Island trip in Jan 2018.

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