06-25-2013: Perfect Conditions, The “Friendly Pod” Shows up and Gets Friendly With the Sanctuary

Monterey Bay Orcas

A couple of orcas cruise up to check us out as they go under the boat. Photo: Giancarlo Thomae, 06-25-2013.

Today was one of those days we’ll never forget. Just remarkable. We got word early on that the pod of orcas known as the “Friendly Pod” showed up about ten miles outside of Moss Landing. So we made a course and put the hammer down.

Orcas frolick next to the boat as passengers watch in amazement. Photo: Giancarlo Thomae, 06-25-2013.

Orcas frolick next to the boat as passengers watch in amazement. Photo: Giancarlo Thomae, 06-25-2013.

 

We didn’t even stop to check out the sea otters on the way out. We knew they would be there on the way back. And who knows about the orcas. Since I’ve been with this group before and had an idea how cool they can be, we were on it.

This orcas does a slow drive-by along the whole side of the boat. Photo: Giancarlo Thomae, 06-25-2013.

These two orcas do a slow drive-by along the whole side of the boat. Photo: Giancarlo Thomae, 06-25-2013.

After about an hour of cruising, we were finally on the scene and hung out off to side of the other boats that were there because we didn’t want to crowd the animals. We also knew that the other boats would be leaving soon.

Orcas cruises the length of the boat and the crosses our bow as we hung out in neutral. Photo: Michael Sack, 06-25-2013.

Orcas cruise the length of the boat and then cross our bow as we hung out in neutral. Photo: Michael Sack, 06-25-2013.

Like clockwork, the other boats had to get back to the dock to pick up another load and we had the animals all to ourselves. They seemed to like that as they started coming over to the boat to check us out. It’s quite a thrill to have these animals slowly cruise along side of the boat. They just kept doing it. Going back and forth under the boat. They kept playing with each other and turning over right next to the boat.

Monterey Bay Orca

Another orca comes up for a look at passengers aboard Sanctuary. Photo: Giancarlo Thomae, 06-25-2013.

They were actually rubbing up against each other and frolicking all around the boat. We even had two of them come up to the boat and just stop. More often we see this with friendly humpbacks. They seemed to get a kick out of blowing their spouts on the passengers. What a day. And calm glassy conditions? It doesn’t get much better than this.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *