08-08-2015: Moss Landing Whale Park, The Real Greatest Show On Earth

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

This humpback did this repeatedly. I call it chin slapping. It’s a very peculiar to observe. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 08-08-2015.

Tom Steinstra was serious when he called what’s happening in Moss Landing right now “The real greatest show on earth.” Check out this video and you’ll see what he means:


There has been an absolutely remarkable spectacle happening just outside of the Moss Landing Harbor over the last three to four days. Fifteen plus humpback whales have been feeding together on a mass scale.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

Here it is again. Notice the water coming out of it’s mouth. Very odd. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 08-08-2015.

The main reason this happens every year just outside of Moss Landing Harbor is because of a very unique geological feature found just outside the harbor.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

Yesterday and today we had breaching and tail-lobbing all day long. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com, 08-08-2015.

It’s called the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon. And the formation begins right at the Moss landing Harbor entrance.

Monterey Bay Whale Watching

This was what I call a horizontal surface lunge. It’s a feeding technique these humpbacks occasionally use. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 08-08-2015.

It’s larger and deeper than the Grand Canyon. Within the Monterey Bay The Canyon can get to over 6,000 feet deep. Further outside the Monterey Bay The Canyon can get to 12,000 feet deep. This is known as an upwelling zone. We see massive marine life productivity along The Canyon ledges. Fortunately for us, it all starts right at the Moss Landing Harbor entrance. So we see massive humpback whale feeding events within five minutes of leaving the harbor.

About Michael Sack

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