05-20-2015 Spring Conditions and Reliable Humpbacks at Moss Landing

This past week we have had humpback whales consistently circling within a mile or so of Moss Landing Harbor. There aren’t large numbers – usually 2-10 whales at a time. They are clearly in feeding mode as they circle methodically. We get good looks at their surfacings and flukings with an occasional breach or tail lob. The stars have been the mother calf pairs that are about five miles out. The calves are curious and sometimes playful, so we’ve been treated to some very close visits and also some good behaviors like tail lobs and pec slaps. We’ve also had a few days of very active feeding frenzy behavior with 10-12 humpbacks along with hundreds of sea lions and birds all working on a large school of anchovies a few miles to the southwest of Moss.

We believe there are still some gray whale mothers and calves heading north and this Memorial Day weekend likely will be the last chance this season to catch a view of these whales and perhaps also encounter the hunting pods of orcas associated with them.

It’s not all about whales out there – The Rissos Dolphins are being spotted more often now and they always give us good looks. ¬†Bow-riding LB Common Dolphins are still a presence in the bay and we encounter them most days.

Our educated prediction: With these daily afternoon winds, we are expecting the krill blooms to begin soon which will attract more baleen whales into the bay.

About Michael Sack

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