08-13-2012: Far Out Humpbacks Heading South, Pacific White-sided Dolphins Running With Tuna

The last week has been difficult for whale watching. We’ve had some high winds and rough seas, making it hard to get out to where the whales seem to be right now. Which is a few miles outside The Bay. That’s 15+ miles from port for us.

However, it can change at any time. We could head out tomorrow and have humpbacks all around. You just never now. But over the last few days, the whales have not been close.

Today we covered a lot of water. Forty miles round trip in fact. I’m glad we found some whales after all that. The good thing about covering a lot of ocean is that you are more likely to see more species of marine life.

Today was a good example. Not far out the gate we came across a five foot Mola Mola (AKA The Giant Ocean Sunfish). So that was cool. But after that we were into it for about an hour and a half before we came on to the first spouts.

We had some great humpback whale tail fluke looks. After about thirty minutes of hanging with these humpbacks, we noticed some splashes in the distance and made a course. As we got closer, it was hard to tell what we had. We could definitely see small dolphin dorsal fins popping up periodically and then cruising along side of the boat and jumping out of the water. Considering we were in tuna water, it was quite a sight to behold. The water was very clear and blue.

And within 10 yards of the white-sideds, we saw the unmistakeable jumping fins of albacore moving in the same direction as the White-sideds. It was cool.

The humpbacks come and go this time of year. So we’re looking forward to more close in action as the anchovies move in as fall approaches.

Fall on the Monterey Bay is by far the best time to be out on the ocean. The conditions are often calm, sunny and warm. Stay tuned for updates on what we’re seeing out there.

About Michael Sack

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