08-06-2015: 15+ Humpbacks Feeding With A Large Herd of Sea Lions

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

This is called spy-hopping. Humpbacks do this occasionally. They seem to do it to take a look around. If you look closely, you can see the eye of the whale. I enlarged the photo and it appeared to be looking right at me. Very cool. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 08-06-2015

There has been a big change over the last few days. The anchovies seemed to have bunched up nicely and it’s bringing the humpbacks and sea lions together. We’ve been seeing between 15-20 whales in front of Moss Landing for months now. However, they’ve been pretty well scattered over 2-3 mile area. They’ve also been coming up one at a time, breathing and going down. They have also been generally staying down longer with short surface times.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

It was nice to have the occasional surface lunge as pictured above. It hasn’t been non-stop lunge-feeding, but they have been popping up every once in a while. Photo: Chace Dekker, sanctuarycruises.com 08-06-2015.

Over the last few days we’ve had 10-15 whales working with about 100 sea lions as they feast on the anchovies. Today, they were all right there next to each other and coming up all at once. It’s quite a spectacle.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

The Monterey Bay is a multi-use sanctuary. Here some salmon fisherman trolling. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 08-06-2015

First all the sea lions start popping up, splashing and barking. Then all the whales start popping up within feet of one another. The loud sound of their blows blasting one after another as they all surface. This is more what we were seeing during last summer’s massive feeding frenzy.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

A pair of humpbacks goes down for a dive. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com

They’ve also been doing more surface lunge-feeding, spy hopping, breaches and tail-lobbing. The action seems to heating up. We’ll see what happens on Friday. Stay tuned for updates.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

The Mola Mola. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 08-06-2015.

About Michael Sack

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