04-19-2013: Feeding Humpback Whales, Hunting Orcas

Orca

One of the orcas we were with. Photo: Eric Mailander, 04-19-2013.

Conditions were decent but still a bit on the lumpy side. But at least we had nice sun feeding humpbacks. And then there were the orcas. We had early reports of orcas from one of our relief captains who was out doing some fishing and scouting. So after getting some good looks at these humpbacks, we made a course for the orcas reported to be about 3-4 miles away.

They were a slippery bunch. We had a hard time keeping track of them. They were clearly on the hunt. There were about six of them making these zig-zag patterns. Just when we thought there were heading to southwest, the next thing we knew they would pop up 3/4 of a mile in the opposite direction. After about an hour of chasing dorsal fins, we finally got a good look at the group as they made their way southwest again. And then the seas became quite choppy with whitecaps everywhere. That’s all she wrote at that point. It was just too hard to tell what was a white cap and what was a surfacing killer whale.

So we pulled the plug and made an uneventful course for the Moss Landing Harbor.

About Michael Sack

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