05-16-2013: Epic Trip, Friendly Humpbacks for More than Hour. Near Perfect Marine Conditions

Spy Hopping Humpback Whale. Photo: Thomae, 05-16-20313

Spy Hopping Humpback Whale. Photo: Thomae, 05-16-2013

Today was a trip that we’ll be talking about for years. So often when we’re talking with passenger’s, we get questions like:

“What’s the neatest thing you’ve seen out here?” I’ll be drawing on today’s trip to answer that question.

Lunge Feed Humpback
Humpback whale lunge feeds next to the boat. Photo: Epstein, 05-16-13.

The experience was truly remarkable. We had four very “friendly” humpback whales circling the boat, going under the boat, “logging” right next to the boat. The animals would swim up to the boat, surface within feet of the boat and let out a massive blow. This was what we call a full-sensory whale watch experience. We could smell the foul breath of these massive animals. We could feel the spray of their breath on our face as it condensed when it hit the air.

Friendly humpback crosses the stern. Photo: Sack. 05-16-2013.

Friendly humpback crosses the stern. Photo: Sack. 05-16-2013.

If we weren’t careful and happened to take a breath or have our mouths open when they spouted, we would get blasted in the face and a taste of the condensed spout. They were that close. Literally 2′-3′ away and blowing. Four whales for just over an hour.

Close up shot of the barnacles on the edges of a humpback whale tail fluke. We think that when they "tail lob", they do it to knock off the barnacles from their tail. Photo: Sack, 05-16-2013.

Close up shot of the barnacles on the edges of a humpback whale tail fluke. We think that when they “tail lob”, they do it to knock off the barnacles from their tail. Photo: Sack, 05-16-2013.

And the marine conditions were near perfect. I was able to shoot some amazing video that we’ll be posting.

About Michael Sack

Boat Captain, Monterey Bay marine life naturalist and guide. Photographer and Videographer.
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