The one time I was able to get pictures of a sea otter in the wild was during a weekend trip to Santa Cruz, California three years ago. Walking out on the pier near the boardwalk I spied an otter diving to get lunch off the pier pilings and then returning to the pup she had left on the surface. You can read more in this post. Apparently the pup wasn’t ready for real food yet. Either that, or Momma was being very selfish and not sharing her shellfish.
Yes. I did that.
Anyway, happy World Otter Day.
I don’t want to leave you without the opportunity to get a photo tip. This is an old one which I copied from the original post. Hope you don’t mind.
Opportunities to get shots of otters in the wild with their babies does not come around very often. Wildlife has a way of disappearing when people show up and point things at them. But Momma Otter with her baby was more than willing to stick around for a good long time and let me get my fill of images, so I wasn’t about to leave. Must be some good crustaceans on the Santa Cruz wharf.
I found it interesting that most of the people on the wharf that day were more interested in the sea lions sleeping under the wharf than Momma Otter and her pup. A few came by to see what we were looking at. Some even took a few pictures with whatever camera they had. None stayed very long. Interesting that they spent more time watching sleeping sea lions than watching a sea otter and pup putting on a show.
Perhaps that is one of the differences between someone who take pictures of stuff and a photographer. Photographers observe and wait, watching for the right moment to fire the shutter. A photographer doesn’t leave a scene until there is nothing left to shoot.
I was able to stay on this scene until Momma Otter was ready to leave. That happened when someone in a kayak drifted by. Had I quit earlier I would have missed this parting shot which makes for a great closing to the story.