08-23-2015: Orcas Take Out a Young Harbor Seal Next to The Sanctuary, Twenty to Thirty or More Humpback Whales Invade Moss Landing, Random Breaching, Tail-lobbing, Surface Lunge-feeding

Monterey Bay Killer Whales

We came across these four killer whales just as we were about to head in. They had a young harbor seal pinned up against the Sanctuary. This isn’t the first time this has happened. Photo: Mike Sabina, Sanctuary Passenger, 08-23-2015.

Epic times in the Moss Landing Marine Park. The humpback whale action has been constant over the last few weeks right out in front of Moss Landing. We have had consistent large numbers of humpbacks within a mile or two of the harbor. At least 20-30 whales working in groups as well as scattered about.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale

Incredible encounter today. These four orcas were circling the boat, going under the boat and spraying passengers with their blows as they tried to get this poor young harbor seal that was hiding right next to the boat. We don’t call her the Sanctuary for nothing. Photo: Sanctuary Passenger Mike Sabina, 08-23-2015.

There has also been consistent but random lunge feeding with 3-4 whales popping their big fatty heads up out of the water simultaneously with mouths agape chasing anchovies out of the water. It hasn’t been rampant lunge-feeding, but enough to to get some amazing looks.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale

A humpback whale actually goes into the Moss Landing Harbor. They’re so thick over here they’re spilling over into the harbor. Well, Ok, maybe they’re not actually spilling over into the harbor, but this one sure did last week. We sure have it good over here. The best whale watching in the world. That’s why most of the Monterey whale boats and Santa Cruz boats drive the hour to hour and a half to come right out in front of our harbor. We’re seeing whales before we even leave the harbor. Life is good. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com

There was one day last week when we had many whales breaching all over pretty much all day. So that was incredible.

Check out some video from today:



On our last trip today just as we were heading in, we came across one of our best orcas encounters ever. These four killer whales had a harbor seal pup pinned up against the Sanctuary. Passengers had quite an amazing close up encounter. At some points they were close enough to touch. Of course, we do not allow touching. Absolutely no petting the killer whales please. What a day. They were still out front of Moss Landing at dark. So we’ll see what happens tomorrow. If I wanted to see killer whales, I would get on one of our boats tomorrow. You never know. Life in Moss Landing is good. Maybe not so good if your a harbor seal. But I’m just saying.

About Michael Sack

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