10-17-2012 We Hit the Jackpot! Orcas, Humpbacks and Rissos Dolphins

This photo shows one of the many frolicking Rissos dolphins we observed today as they leaped about the boat over and over and over! The hour-long dolphin interlude was enough to make anybody’s day.

But something impelled me to break away from the delightful dolphins to go searching for some larger cetaceans. It was not long before I saw the tell-tale tall black dorsal fins of a small pod of Orcas barely visible in the sparkling sun reflecting off the water. But, I knew exactly what we had. Southward we went to meet up with this awesome trio of Orcas which consisted of a very large bull, a younger male and a large female. They were on the move, but let us follow along as they zig-zagged their way westward, then northward, then southward, then westward again. All got some real good views of them and photo ops, too.

Then it was time to head back east as the winds were picking up. We reluctantly left the Orcas and made our way back towards Moss, content with our really good sightings for the day. Of course, I’m always looking for more. Well, just as we’d passed the MLA buoy outside the Moss Landing Harbor and I’d resigned myself that perhaps there were no baleen whales in the bay – WOW! Two large humpbacks surfaced quite close to the boat, giving all a thrill with their explosive blows and huge backs. The tail flukes were icing on the cake. We got four nice surfacings before heading back into the harbor. What a perfect eleventh hour sighting!

Photo by Eric Mailander

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