01-01-2013 and 01-03-2013: Orcas and Gray Whales

We had a terrific start to the year with sunny conditions and smooth seas. And then there’s the gray whales. We’ve been seeing them in pulses. It seems like every half hour we see another wave of spread out groups of three or more. And then nothing for about 30 minutes. Maybe a single blow off in the distance. We had a couple of nice “swim-bys” by a few large grays.

The best gray encounter we’ve had yet this year was today when three gray whales where showing us some mating behavior. I guess they couldn’t wait for the lagoons down in Baja. Soon after we found the mating trio of grays, a mixed pod of about 20-30 Risso’s dolphins and Pacific White-sided dolphins came buzzing around the area. We couldn’t tell if they were harassing the whales or playing with them. But it was interesting to see.

The grays usually are single minded in their quest to get down to their breeding and calving grounds in several warm water lagoons in Southern Baja.

On the way in on Monday we heard a report of orcas in The Bay about 30 minutes from where we were. So we decided to go for it. We had some great looks at these magnificent animals. We cruised with them for as long as we could without having to worry about getting back in the dark. I think we were pushing a six hour trip. But everyone had a great time. Just a handful people enjoying the ocean and the animals in delightful conditions. Ah yes.

About Michael Sack

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