04-05-2013: Humpbacks Continue To Show Up, Northbound Gray Whales and Dolphins

We continue to come across large surface krill blooms as enjoy the feast. Today started out with foggy conditions. Which makes it almost impossible to find anything. But after about 45-minutes of running we started coming across clearing patches. We also had reports of humpbacks out to the southwest so we made a course.

Humpback whale takes a dive. Photo: Sack

Humpback whale takes a dive. Photo: Sack

As soon as we got on the scene, the fog lifted and sunny skies prevailed. We spent just over an hour with a lone feeding humpback. The animal stayed up nicely with very shallow dives good surface time. Then we noticed a few more blows about a mile outside of us and decided to go investigate.

As we got closer, we realized that there were at three northbound gray whales. So that was good for some variety. We tracked them for a while, but they soon were over the canyon ledge and into the deep. The grays seem to get nervous and become more stealthy as they get over the deep water of the Monterey Bay Submarine canyon. They spend more time under water than on the surface. But we did get some great looks and decided to make our way into shallower water as we headed back toward port.

Then we heard reports of dolphins closer in just outside of Moss Landing and made a course. Sure enough, there they were. The unmistakable splashes of dolphins. This was a mixed pod of Pacific White-sided dolphins and Risso’s dolphins. They appeared to be feeding as they were circling the area, splashing and not heading in any particular direction. So that was a nice way to end the trip.

With all this Krill around, we would not be surprised to see the blue whales to start show up anytime now. Historically we don’t see the blues in large numbers until May or June. But this has not been a normal year. We’ve already had some blues in The Bay during February. We’ll keep you posted.

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