06-19-2012: Orcas, Humpbacks, Bow Riding Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins and a Whole lot of Black-footed Albatross

Today was one of those diversity of species overload days. I’m telling you. We got word right out of the gate of some orcas not far from Moss Landing. So we set a course at full cruising speed and made our way to the scene. There were two orcas: A large male nicknamed “can opener” on account of the trailing edge of his dorsal fin resembles the half loop on the handle of a can opener for opening bottles. I guess he should be bottle opener.

They had just finished a kill and seemed like they were on the move. We stuck with them for about an hour. Then they gave us the slip. So we decided that we would head further out west in search of the mighty humpback and maybe even some dolphins.

After about 2-3 miles of running, I spotted what looked like what I call “dolphin water”. Large pods of dolphins moving through the water look like many splashes moving along in unison. From a distance of about 1/2 to 1-mile away it breaks the pattern of surrounding smooth water. They just kind of came over to us an started buzzing the boat and bow riding. That’s always fun.

But we still needed to get some humpbacks under our belt. So the search continued.

We kept coming up on more and more Pacific White-sided dolphins with some Northern Right-whale dolphins mixed in. We also saw a couple of groups of about 100 sea lions. And at that point were outside of The Bay. About 14 miles out. Those orcas we saw earlier would be loving this.

So we kept heading back home and across the mouth of the Soquel Canyon. That’s were we started seeing blows. Humpback blows. The mighty humpback was before us. It’s a good thing. Because we ended up getting distracted by the orcas and dolphins. But we went the extra two hours hang with humpbacks. We ended up pulling back into the slip around 4:00 PM. When conditions nice and everyone’s OK with it, we love to stay out. But usually our trips are between 4-5 hours.

About Michael Sack

Boat Captain, Monterey Bay marine life naturalist and guide. Photographer and Videographer.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *