06-22-2012: Tail Lobbing, Spy-hopping, Peck Slapping, Full Breaching Humpbacks Put on a Show, Blue Whale Shows up Too

Humpback whale "tail-lobbs" off of Moss Landing in the Monterey Bay. Photo: Sack

The humpbacks were restless today. Let me tell you. We could see the commotion from almost a mile away. When we got on the scene it was quite the spectacle to behold. Pretty much the full range of behaviors we see humpback whales doing here in the Monterey Bay. From the occasional full-press “tail-lob” to the full launch breach, there were a couple of these massive animals getting lively.

They were also raising their huge pectoral fins and slapping against the surface of the water. Then there was the “spy-hopping.” This when they position themselves vertically and raise their massive heads out of the water to get a better look at us. We even saw a couple of “surface lunge feeds.”

Blue whale surfaces about 8 miles off of Moss Landing. Photo: Sack

Did I mention the blue whale? That was nice for a little variety. But we didn’t get as good of looks at the blue as the humpbacks. That’s often the case with blue whales. But it is awe-inspiring to be in the presence of the largest animal to ever roam the earth. These animals routinely get to be 80′ long. They can also move faster than 20 miles per hour.

About Michael Sack

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