The Columbian black-tailed deer is the dominant large mammal of the temperate rain forest on the Pacific Coast of North America. Guests on board the Sea Lion were treated to a close encounter with this small subspecies of the mule deer during an afternoon hike on one of the picturesque islands in the San Juan group of Washington State. Towering Douglas firs with an understorey of salal typify this animal's habitat. Encounters with iller whales later in the afternoon ended another spectacular day.