03-02-2012: Plenty of Close in Northbound Gray Whales, Excellent Conditions and Nice Looks

Gray whale shows us it's tail fluke just off our starboard bow. Photo: Sack

We finally had a break in the weather. What a relief. After almost three weeks of short period swells, northwest winds and rough conditions, we finally had a beautiful day with whales 30-minutes out the gate. Lately it’s been an hour or more before we’ve gotten into the zone.

I was on top spotting and Dorris was at the helm. Then I heard her yell something up to me. I guess I was looking too hard. Or maybe the animal surfaced and blew when I was looking behind us. After she said something, I got off the top and asked her if she saw something and she said a whale. Sure enough, a few seconds later there was a blow right in front of us. So that was good. But just as soon as we spotted the animal it disappeared. They do that sometimes when it’s a single whale. We’ve found that solo whales seem to more boat shy. Especially when they’re out in the deep like this one was in the middle of The Bay. They often seem to be show themselves more and stay at the surface longer when they are in larger groups.

So we decided to move and head into deeper water. Then after about 5-minutes we came across another group of three spouts. We had some very nice looks and spent about 15 minutes viewing them. Then we spotted another four blows just south of us. So we decided to go check those out. We ended up spending the rest of the trip hanging out with these animals getting some excellent views as they made their way North.

The Northbound grays seem to pulling into high gear and we’re seeing them closer in than last week. Hopefully we’ll start to see some mother and calf pairs in the next couple of weeks. That usually means that we’ll also start to see more orca sightings. We’ll keep you updated.

It was nice to be out there today in warm, sunny conditions with no wind. We needed this. It’s been brutal out there lately. I haven’t been able to take my hands off the helm. But today was different. Very relaxing with just a small swell and no wind, warm sun. Ah yes. And the weekend is looking like it is going to be even better. If you’re looking something fun to do this weekend, we have plenty of room for both our Saturday and Sunday trips.

See you out there!

Captain Mike

About Michael Sack

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