07-17-2012: Plenty of Blues, Humpbacks All Day, A Northern Fur Seal, Amazing Sunset and calm conditions for the Late Afternoon Trip

It’s been a whirlwind of whale watching over the last couple of weeks. Let me tell you. We’ve been running three trips per day. Out there checking out the animals for 13+ hours per day. Life is good. The abundant krill blooms have The Bay hopping with marine wildlife. Everything eats the krill either directly or indirectly. And there has been a lot of it.

We’ve also seen some of the rarer species of marine life in The Bay over the last couple of weeks. At least one leatherback turtle has shown up. Today we started seeing more sea nettle jellies (Chrysaora) showing up as well. I guess that’s why we also saw one of the largest Mola Molas we’ve seen. We even had a basking shark encounter just outside of Moss Landing.

And the squid are starting to show up. Which is why we believe we saw a pygmy sperm whale today within 10 minutes of leaving the harbor. I saw one breach about a year ago in about the same area.

Almost as soon as we got underway after leaving the harbor, I noticed a peculiar small blow. Definitely not a blow like any of the species we’ve been seeing. So I sent our naturalist Giancarlo to the roof of the pilot house to get a better look. Then the animal surfaced several times and stayed up pretty good. Good enough to get a good look at it’s coloring and part of it’s rostrum. So that was cool.

Our new early morning trips are working out excellent. The 6:30 AM trips are by far the best time to be out on the ocean whale watching. That’s when everything really starts happening and the ocean conditions are usually glassy and calm. No wind swell and more often than not, the boat has minimum rolling. It is so easy to see dark objects in the water, splashes, tail flukes, birds, spouts. And our 6:30 AM trips are rarely cancelled because of weather.

The 6:30 AM trips have been by far our most consistently best trips.

About Michael Sack

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