06-29-2015: Six to Eight Humpbacks in front of Moss, Close up Tail-lobber, Sea Otters and a Massive Mola Mola

Moss Landing Humpback Whale

Moss Landing humpback whale takes a dive. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com.

Marine conditions were not ideal today. Early on as we left the harbor visibility was poor. We had some solid patches of dense fog. So that’s never good. We used to get worried when we had dense fog.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale

Tail-lobbing, tail-slapping humpback whale. This whale repeatedly slapped it’s tail on the water. Photo: Chace Decker, www.sanctuarycruises.com 06.30.2015.

But lately, because the 6-8 humpbacks have been consistently in the same area, we can usually find them. Even if we need to turn off the engines and listen and then move in the general direction of where we hear blows. We’ve found whales in fog on more than one occasion using this technique.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale

Humpbacks on the prowl. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 06-28-2015.

Luckily is wasn’t long before a brisk wind blew the fog away. But with the wind came some pretty lumpy conditions. It was manageable, but a pesky 1′-3′ wind chop made for some rocking and rolling.

Moss Landing harbor Seal

Moss Landing harbor Seal. Photo: Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 06-28-2015

The good news is that we had about 6-8 whales right out in front of the Moss Landing Harbor. One of them was putting on a show with massive tail lobs and tail slaps.

Moss Landing humpback whale

Moss Landing humpbacks going down for some deep feeding. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 06-28-2015

Then on our way back in, we got up-close personal with a 6-foot mola mola and a baby mola only about 1 foot diameter.

Moss Landing Mola Mola

The Mola Mola. We’re starting to see more and more. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com


Moss Landing Sea Otter

Moss Landing female sea otter feasting on a crab. We can tell she is a female by her discolored and scarred nose. During mating, the males clamp on to the female’s nose with their teeth. It’s kind of brutal. But that seem’s to be how they do it. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com

Of course we always love to see the Southern sea otter. We almost always get great looks at these cute animals. After all, Moss Landing is the center of their range.

About Michael Sack

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