04-03-2013: Dolphin Days, Friendly Humpbacks and Smooth Sailing

Risso's Dolphin

These dolphins were on the run. Blasting along at 8-10 knots. They kept launching out of the water together as they traveled to the South West. Photo: Michael Sack, Sanctuary Cruises, 04-03-2014.

Today was remarkable. We had an incredible Risso’s dolphin encounter. These things were behaving like bow riding common dolphins. Launching out of the water in groups of 4-5. Blasting along at 10 knots. Just incredible. Perfect conditions.

Humpback Whael

This is the pectoral fin and one side of the tail fluke of a feeding humpback whale. The whale is on it’s side doing a subsurface lunge feed. We were marking anchovies about 10′ under on our sounder. Photo: Michael Sack, Sanctuary Cruises, 04-02-2014.

And then there were the humpbacks. We had this humpback floating just below the surface right off of our stern. The whale’s head was actually under the boat at one point. It was just floating there about 3′-4′ below the surface. And then it slowly sank out of sight and popped up about 20-yards to the southwest.

There have been between 6-10 humpback whales hanging out 4-5 miles outside of Moss Landing for the last couple of weeks. We’re also getting reports of more making their way from the south into The Bay. The Spring action is on.

Moss Landing Sea Otter

This cute little guy started off the day for me. When I got to the docks at around 8:00 am he was hanging right next to the gangway to the dock that heads to Sanctuary. He stayed there all morning giving everyone excellent close up looks as he just floated there and groomed. Photo: Michael Sack, Sanctuary Cruises Whale Watching, 04-03-2014

We also had a report of “Chop Top” the orca cruising the area. We’re due for a heavy orca encounter. It’s getting to be that time of year again. When the gray whale mothers and calves start to make their way back from the birthing grounds in Baja to their feeding grounds up off of Alaska.

Speaking of Baja. I’ve been gone on and off since last September. On quite the sailing adventure down to the East Cape of Baja and back. It’s nice to have the sailboat back in Moss Landing and back to the amazing wildlife here.

Stay tuned for the Captain’s Log of Baja. It wasn’t all fun and games. Let me tell you.

Captain Mike

About Michael Sack

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