02-19-2012 – Extreme Whale Watching in Rodeo Riding Conditions and Excellent Gray Whale Views

It’s a good thing we had a seaworthy group today. We had some rough conditions and covered a lot of water. And the 15-17 knot winds didn’t help. Normally we would have turned around out of concern for increasing weather as we got closer to the afternoon and a rough ride back into weather. That’s usually what happens on the Monterey Bay. But the forecast called for decreasing winds and swell, so we carried on in our quest to sight the mighty gray whale.

After a long ride out to about five miles off of Point Pinos, we were finally rewarded with some amazing views. One good thing about whale watching in 6′-10′ swells is that when a 45′ animal is moving along parallel to the incoming swells, sometimes you get to see most of the animal in the face of the swell. And that’s what we got to see today.

It is quite a sight to behold. Usually we only get to see part of a whale. About 30% of their back and then a tail fluke. But today was quite something so see. When the timing happened right, the swell exposed the animal in the face of the swell. Very cool. But the conditions weren’t for the faint of stomach. Luckily, just about everyone quite enjoyed the ride and were very happy to be out there.

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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