05-16-2012: Breaching Humpbacks, Risso’s Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins

One of the humpbacks we were with launches out of the water. We call this a breach. Quite spectacular. Two miles off of Moss Landing. Photo: Sack, 05-16-2012

It’s different out there every time. Let me tell you. It was incredible just two days ago to see spouts in every direction we looked. When it’s like that, we kind of just go pod to pod to see which pod will be doing the most interesting behavior. Well, it turned out that none of them were really doing anything particularly unusual. Pretty routine really. Surfacing, blowing, tail fluking and a tail lob here and there. It’s cool and all. Don’t get me wrong. But there were at least a hundred whales all within 6-8 miles of the Moss Landing Harbor.

Yesterday we had three and didn’t see anymore even though we went out into The Bay eight miles. They gave us some awesome tail lobs and some nice close “swim-bys”. But nothing special.

Today we only had two. But I’ll take the two whales we had today over the 100 or so from Saturday and Sunday any day. When they breach and come completely out of the water, you just can’t beat it. That’s what we had today. These two animals first did a simultaneous breach. Both of them launched out of the water at the same time just off of our starboard side. It was just spectacular. Then they each took turns breaching (launching completely out of the water) about ten times in a row. Just remarkable.

We just never know what these animals are going to do. We were with these two animals earlier in the morning before we decided to head out into deeper water to find dolphins. After we had some decent looks at Risso’s and Pacific White-sided dolphins, we made our way back to where we left these two humpbacks just outside of Moss Landing. For about the first 10-minutes they were doing about the same thing. Although we did get a couple of nice tail lobs. Then when I was thinking about heading in and the wind began to pick up, the breaching started. Amazing.

About Michael Sack

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