Moss Landing Humpback Whale

Two humpback whales off Moss Landing show us what vertical, surface lunge-feeding is. Photo: Michael Sack, 09-12-2014. www.sanctuarycruises.com

The Monterey Bay never fails to amaze me. The productivity and diverse marine life is astounding. It all seems to come down to the anchovies. That’s what most of the birds, whales and sea lions are feeding on.

Moss Landing lunge feeding humpback

The anchovies seemed like they were using our boat as cover. We could see them moving at the surface toward our boat. Not long after, this massive humpback whale surface lunges within 10-feet of our stern. Photo: Michael Sack, wwwsanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014.

 

Pretty much since late March we have had massive schools of anchovies just outside our harbor in Moss Landing. So the whales have been within minutes of the harbor.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

The Three Amigos feeding on some anchovies at the surface. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014.

 

And that is still the case today. We had awesome, close-up looks at vertical, surface lunge-feeding humpbacks. Quite a spectacle. Particularly when they do it within 10 feet of the boat. Spectacular.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

This went on for about an hour and a half. Maybe longer. And they came pretty close at one point. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014.

We’ve also been seeing a lot of breaching on all trips. There doesn’t seem to be any time of the day that is better than another.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

Nonstop feeding since March. All right within a few miles or closer from the Moss Landing Harbor. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014.

 

Although, in the past, it seems like we’ve seen more breaching on the afternoon trips. As fall gets closer, I’m looking forward to those calm, afternoon-evening tours with epic sunsets and colorful sky. We should start to see more orcas as we get closer to October. We’ve already a few nice encounters.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

They kept doing this about every 3-5 minutes when they were active. We were with two different groups. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-1014

We’ve also been seeing the long-beaked common dolphins pretty regularly over the last week.

Moss Landing Common dolphins

We had some really great looks at some bow riding common dolphins. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014

Moss Landing Common Murres

Father and chick pair of common murres. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014

And then there are the common murres. These are the single fathers of the bird world. After the chicks fledge the nest, the mother takes off and the father teaches the chick how to fish and survive in their watery world.

Common Murre

It’s all about the anchovies. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 09-12-2014

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

They just kept on going. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

We even had a couple of friendlies show up. Photo: Scott Borsum, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-07-2014.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

And then there was the breaching. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-05-2014.

Moss landing sea otter

Moss Landing sea otter feasting on crab. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-05-2014.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

Here we go again. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

Moss Landing lunge feeder. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014.

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

The feeding frenzy was on. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com. 09-12-2014

Moss Landing Feeding Humpback Whales

Mother and calf feeding. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 09-12-2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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