"At first I thought, 'Oh, he's just catching fish,'" the Nanaimo, B.C., woman said. "Then I kind of saw him struggling a bit ... so that's when I pulled out my phone."
Bryant watched this go on for about five minutes, but it wasn't until she was back at home and was able to zoom in on the footage that she realized what she had witnessed.
Thursday's battle between the aquatic mammal and eight-limbed mollusc took place just south of Nanaimo, which is about 110 kilometres north of Victoria on Vancouver Island.
Bryant, who swims multiple times a week, says sea lions are a near-daily sight but she's never seen an octopus — let alone a sea lion fighting with one.
The entire event took place about 100 metres from where she was standing, and she could hear the sea lion breathing heavily and regularly disappearing below the surface only to come up again, sometimes tossing the octopus across the water.
Two species of sea lions inhabit Vancouver Island — Steller sea lions, which breed in the north, and California sea lions, which breed in the south. Each is a type of pinniped, a group of aquatic mammals that also includes seals and walruses.