09-09-2015: Tail-lobbing and Breaching Humpbacks, Bowriding Common Dolphins, Warm and Glassy Conditions

Moss Landing Whales

Moss Landing whales lunge-feeding on one of our evening trips. Amazing. This one happened only about 10-feet from the boat. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com

As I sit here in our sailboat, in the stillness of predawn darkness, I can hear the unmistakable smack of humpback whales breaching and the loud trumpet blows of excited humpbacks. It’s really amazing to actually hear whales while I’m sitting right here in our sailboat in the harbor. Remarkable.

Moss Landing Whales

The lunge-feed fest pretty much turned on within a few minutes. We didn’t see much lunge-feeding on any of the earlier trips. The next thing we knew, every few minutes four or five big fatty heads would pop out of the water, exposing the inside of their mouths. Photo: Michael Sack, 09-08-2015.

The Fall feeding frenzy is on. We’ve been really having some nice feeding and breaching events for the afternoon trips. Especially that 05:00 pm. There’s nothing as better than when the conditions come together. Sunset on the ocean is almost magical. The warm glow of everything around you as the sun reflects off the ocean.

Moss Landing Whales

Nonstop lung-feeding for the entire trip. Photo: Michael Sack, 09-08-2015.

Our perfect fall conditions seemed to have set in. Warm and glassy with the living good all day long. And humpbacks in large numbers. I’m talking almost too many to count.

Moss Landing Whales

Moss landing whales, the feast continues. Photo: Michael Sack, 09-08-2015.

And they have been working together in tight groups. I would estimate 30-40 humpbacks or maybe even more. It’s hard to count them all before they all go down.

Moss Landing Humpback whale breaches. Photo: Michael Sack, 09-09-2015.

Moss Landing Humpback whale breaches. Photo: Michael Sack, 09-09-2015.

We’ve also had a few random killer whale sightings, so that is always nice. They seem to be going after the long-beaked common dolphins we’ve been seeing pretty much everyday.



About Michael Sack

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