08-31-2015: Lunge-feeding Humpbacks All Week Long, Common Dolphins, Random Breachers, Tail-slapping, Tail-lobbing and More

Moss Landing Whales

Humpbacks surface lunge-feeding just outside of Moss Landing. Photo: Allen Wright, 08-29-2015.

The productivity of the waters just outside of Moss Landing just keep on producing. It’s really hard to fathom. We’ve had at least 30 humpback whales feeding almost 24-hours a day for more than a month now.

Moss Landing Whale Watching

The lunge-feeding just keeps going and going. Photo: Allen Wright, 08-29-2015.

And these animals can eat up to 3,000 lbs of anchovies per day each. It’s hard to wrap your head around. That is a massive amount of the 3″-4″ little anchovies. And they just seem to keep on coming. It really is a testament to the incredible productivity we have happening just outside of our harbor in Moss Landing.

Moss Landing Common Dolphin

We’ve been seeing common dolphins on every trip for the last couple of weeks. Photo: Kevin Walker.

It has been so incredible over the last two years, that for the first time in recorded history we had at least 10-humpback whales that did not make their normal migration to the breeding and calving grounds south of Puerto Vallarta in Southern Mexico. They just stayed here and fed right outside of our harbor in Moss Landing. We have had good numbers of reliable humpbacks every single day since March of last year.

Moss Landing Whale Watching

Over the last week it’s been all about the lunge-feeding. Photo: Kevin Walker.

I’m still amazed that more people don’t whale watch out of our sleepy little fishing village here in Moss Landing. People who know do. On any given day, one can go out on the beach and see the blows of whales and tail flukes as they feast just off shore.

Moss Landing Whale Watching

We’ve also had a few chronic breachers on some trips this week. Photo: Stephen Lefkovits.

We often have passengers that have gone out of Monterey or Santa Cruz just to find out that they had to motor an hour or more to The Moss Landing Marine Park before they see any decent whale activity. They seemed to feel duped. At least that what they say.

Moss Landing Killer Whales

Just in case the feeding and jumping humpbacks were not enough, a pod of killer whales showed and made a kill. We are not sure what they got, but it was likely something small. All we could see was what was left of some intestines. Here’s a youngster leaping for joy after a kill. Photo: Allen Wright, 08-28-2015.

It’s pretty funny to witness. Of course, the Monterey boats show up and we’ve already been watching whales for an hour or more and then they have to leave so that they can get back to pick-up another 150 passenger load. Big whaling over there. Serious business. Meanwhile, we’re still there aboard our beloved little Sanctuary taking in the spectacle from our ocean level decks while the other boats have to take off. Leaving passengers wishing they were still watching whales aboard the Sanctuary. We call it Sanctuary envy. Those in the know go out of Moss Landing aboard the Sanctuary.


About Michael Sack

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