04-26-2012: Very Friendly Mother and Calf Humpbacks Nursing next to the Boat, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Remarkable Day

Humpback calf hangs out with us and does some human watching. Photo: Sack, 04-26-2012

Today was absolutely incredible. Things started out very rough. Rain, wind and very ugly conditions. Early on we thought we going to have turn around and call it a day. But there wasn’t a whole lot of swell so as the wind picked up early in the trip it was still doable. So we hung in there. Small white-caps everywhere. But we kept inching along. Then I noticed a blow about a mile from our position. So we headed in that direction. But after about a half hour I didn’t see it again.

Then one of the passengers yelled spout and they saw a tail fluke. It was a gray whale and we never saw it again because of the difficult conditions.

After about another half-hour, we got a report of a mother and calf gray whale about four miles from our location. The weather started to ease, I listened to the updated weather forecast and it was looking like we were going to be able to pull this off. So we set a course for the reported humpbacks. By the time we got on the scene, the wind eased up and the swell backed off and the sun came out. It was almost like some kind of miracle. Seriously. The weather on the Monterey Bay never fails to amaze me. Absolutely incredible how quickly it changes.

So after a while, this mother and calf humpback pair starts making their way over to our boat. The next thing we knew, the mother appeared to be nursing the calf. Within 25-feet of the boat! Then they would both come up to the boat and just float with their heads out of the water within 4-feet of the boat. It was remarkable. They were would just float their and look at us. It was a very moving experience. They were so interested in us.

And then there were the Pacific White-sided dolphins. Probably about 1,500 of them spread out over a mile area. And they kept cruising by the humpbacks. What a remarkable day out there. Stay tuned for what is likely some of our best video of friendly humpback whales. Including a calf nursing on it’s mother.

About Michael Sack

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