02-02-2012: Gray Whales Still Passing by in Force, Great looks at Risso’s Dolphins and Common Dolphins

Common Dolphins Cruise along side the boat. Photo: Sack

The last couple of weeks have been about as good as it gets for gray whale whatching. We’ve seen dolphins just about every day and the weather has generally been very pleasant. And today was no different. We spotted a pod of about 20 Risso’s dolphins right outside the Moss Landing Harbor.

The gray whales continue to pass by The Bay in good numbers. We were with at least six Grays today that gave us excellent looks and we could see many other blows in the distance. They were doing consistent dive cycles of between five and seven minutes, blowing three to four times and then throwing their tail flukes up every time. Observing four or five whales throwing their tail flukes almost simultaneously is a marvelous sight to behold.

But my favorite today were the pod of about 300 common dolphins buzzing by the boat, bow riding, jumping out of the water and following the boat. Delighted passengers enjoyed observing the animals jumping in front of the boat.

Here’s some incredible video footage from a trip in November. It’s one of the best encounters we’ve had.

About Michael Sack

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