03-17-2016: Nice Marine Conditions, Humpback Whales, Gray Whales, Common Dolphins and More

Moss Landing Whale Watching

This young humpback breached over 20 times. Photo: Michael Sack, 03-04-2016.

We’ve been fortunate to have a run of nice weather. So we haven’t really been limited on where we can go. And it’s a good thing because most of the action has been pretty scattered. A lot of long divers lately. We think they’ve been feeding deep on limited amounts of krill. They also appear to be more in search mode than full-scale feeding. We’ve been having some 20-minute whales. When we come up against this, we usually move on. But we’ve also come across a chronic breacher or two. We also saw our first gray whale mother and calf pair the other day. There have also been a lot of black-footed albatross around.

Black-footed Albatross

We’ve been seeing a lot of these black-footed albatross after we get out to about five miles. Photo: Michael Sack.

The orcas can’t be far behind. We generally start to see orcas more frequently as we get closer to April and then into June. The Monterey Bay is notorious as an ambush zone for orcas predating on gray whale calves with their mothers as they make their way north to Alaska from their birthing grounds in the warm water lagoons on the Pacific side of Baja (Check out National Geographic’s coverage of an Orca attack on a gray whale mother and calf from aboard the Sanctuary.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale

Chin-slapper. We’re not sure why some of these whales do this. Most of them don’t breach like this. That is, throat first. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com.

We’ve been running every day this week and hope to continue this schedule through Easter. Also we’re going to start doing some sailing tours for those who want a quieter marine life experience. Only six passengers per cruise. Give us a call or go to our reservation booking page to see the schedule for sailing tours.


About Michael Sack

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