03/25/2014 OVER THE TOP whale encounters in the bay today!

It all started with a trio of young humpbacks closely feeding quite close to Moss Landing. They all surfaced and fluked simultaneously as if they were putting on a water ballet for us. Then two larger humpbacks appeared and were quite fun to observe. We were having great looks and stayed with them quite awhile, then were lured out farther by the telltale splashes of dolphins in the distance. We sure weren’t disappointed upon encountering hundreds of active Risso’s dolphins and a few Pacific white-sided dolphins feeding on the apparently abundant fish near the surface. Once we got many, many great looks at these wonderful critters, we went a bit further west and did we ever get the prize!

Captain Mike thought we might have “an event” as he saw lots of activity and splashing along with whales at the surface on their backs. It sure was an event! There were three gray whales in a mating encounter doing lots of surface behaviors. We lost track of the spyhops, rolls and tail lobs. It was really quite something. These whales swam right over to our boat and let us observe them up close and personal in all their amorous glory. The dolphins got in on the act as well and frolicked about the trio. At the finale of the interlude we even had a brief friendly encounter with one of the grays as it swam right to our bow and passed directly in front, giving all an awesome view in the clear water. The whole experience was just thrilling. Capt. Mike got it all on video and will post on our Facebook page soon.

All were happy and satisfied, and yet the whale action just kept going! A huge humpback began breaching on our way back towards Moss, giving all a great view of this aerial action and a really close swim by. Again, all were over-satisfied. As we prepared to return to the harbor a young passenger yelled “breach!” and pointed behind us. WOW! A gray whale calf three times in a row!!! We watched this mother calf pair slowly cruise north and then very happily came back into Moss. What a day on the bay with excellent conditions of calm waters and clear visibility as well.

About Michael Sack

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