10-12-2012 Incredible Common Dolphins and Phenomenal Humpback Whales

Some days just stand out and today was one of them. Combine glassy calm seas, clear blue water and back to back cool sightings and you get TODAY. The cruise began with close-in Risso’s dolphins. They were a small pod of adults and just cruising along. It was a nice interlude but we’d gotten the call from a fisherman friend that he had three humpback whales waiting for us farther out. So out we went!
These humpback whales were real nice today. We called them the “Tres Amigos” as they repeatedly surfaced so close together and so close to our boat. They kept making direct passes at us. We just sat there and they swam right up to our boat, diving down and directly under us multiple times. It was cool. One had an interesting crescent notch in its tail fluke, making it quite the distinctive character. The water was so clear and calm that we could see the turquoise glow of sunshine reflecting through the water off their white-edged pectoral fins. It was delightful.

It just didn’t stop today. We had two blue shark sightings and could watch the shark swim through the water. Too cool. The baby molas were all over the place and even breaching on our way in. Have we mentioned the over the top jellies lately? The huge sea nettles are massive and thick now, with a few lovely lavender moon jellies to break it up.

The real show-stealers today were the hundreds of long-beaked common dolphins frolicking around our boat for the longest time. I saw them on the horizon shortly after we had come upon our humpback whale trio and knew we had to “go for it”. These dolphins are fast and our opportunity to hang with them was fleeting. It is hard to leave whales once you have found them, but we knew where they’d be and we could come back to them. It was worth the risk! These dolphins were amazing as they rode the bow and wake of the boat, leaped out of the water, and splashed around us in all directions. When you can hang over our bow, so close to the water and look right down on so many dolphins, it is truly magical and mesmerizing. Today was a great day.

There are still a few spots open for this weekend’s 10 am trips. Now is the time!

About Michael Sack

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