06-23-2013: It Was All About the Orcas Today

Mother and son orca on the hunt just outside of Moss Landing. Photo: Dekker, 06-23-2013

Mother and son orcas on the hunt just outside of Moss Landing. Photo: Dekker, 06-23-2013

The trip started out good. Within in minutes of leaving the harbor we were on two orcas on the hunt just outside the harbor mouth. But just as quick as we got on them, we lost them in the thick fog. That was very discouraging. The whole Monterey Bay whale watching fleet was just outside the Moss Landing Harbor within about 20-minutes. But we were all in the fog.

Looking for anything in fog when you can’t see more than 20-yards around the boat is a futile effort. But we all tried. We all worked together to see if we could re-locate these animals. It’s happened before. We all work together out there to find animals and contact each other on the radio with a position when we find them.

But after about an hour of inching along in the fog, we decided to move on and see if we could find clearer conditions farther out. Finally, after about two hours of trying, we got into some wide open visibility. Plenty of bird life and whale food all over. But we still didn’t see any whales. A little perplexing really. We were in some good looking whale water if you ask me. Plenty of feed on the sonar, fish marks, sooty shearwaters and calm conditions. But no whales.

Then we heard a report on the radio that the orcas were relocated about 4-miles from our location.

So we made a course and put her in full cruising speed. Just after 30-minutes we were on them. It was nice to be back on the orcas after cruising around blindly in the fog.

We tracked them for awhile before loosing them for about 20-minutes. But we did come across some Risso’s dolphins and had some excellent looks.

But then all the other boats left and it was up to us to find the orcas again. We finally found them again and luckily they slowed down and stopped their slippery tricks and we had some nice looks. But we were we already at 4-hours and some of the passengers were ready to go in so we had to start making our way back to the dock.

It’s nice to finally have a day with calm seas. Hopefully that will continue through the week.

About Michael Sack

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