2020—Safe in Mom’s Arms

These past few days traveling on a landing barge on Kachemak Bay in Alaska to photograph Sea Otters have been quite the experience. The Sea Otters have been abundant and we’ve witnessed lots of Otter behavior. We’ve watched them floating on their backs methodically pounding whelks and mussels with barnacle encrusted rocks to release the tasty morsels within for their meals. We’ve witnessed shockingly violent mating behavior. Soundly sleeping Sea Otters have drifted by our vessel oblivious to us. Large groups of Sea Otters, called rafts, floated in the swells with majestic Mount McKinley looming in the distance. But to me, the most charming behavior is that of the mother Sea Otters grasping their young pups as they paddle about and the desperate squeals that the young pups make if mom separates from them briefly. The pups have so much fur that they appear to be dry even though they spend most of their time in the water. This pup seems pretty secure in mom’s arms as he glances in our direction. Nikon D6, Nikkor 500mm PF.