Monthly Archives: May 2014

05-30-2014: Friendly humpback trio entertains us for hours today

Today was a delight with calm conditions and very active whales. We came upon a large female with her calf of the year and another young whale right outside the harbor. We knew there were at least fifteen more whales only a mile or so further out, but decided to hang with these ones for awhile. Good choice. The youngsters were continually tail lobbing and rolling and pec slapping like they had all the energy in the world. It was especially nice as we had twenty high school students from Mountain View Waldorf School aboard. It is uncanny, but the last three high school classes on Sanctuary (all in the past two weeks) have had awesome encounters with young whales like this. We could not leave this trio, as every time we tried to sneak off, they came right up to the boat and swam under the bow, popping upon the other side to everyone’s delight. They topped off the three hour long play session with some spectacular breaches! It was another great day on the bay for sure.

Moss Landing Lunge Feeding Humpback Whale

After we came across this massive krill patch outside of Moss Landing, these two humpbacks just started feasting. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com, 04-30-2014.

Today was all about the lunge feeding humpbacks. Right out the gate we started tracking a few close in humpbacks that were on the hunt.

Monterey Bay Lunge Feeding Humpback Whales

Synchronized surface lunge feeding. These two were cooperatively feeding together. Bubble blasts preceded just about every surface lunge. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014

But they were not spending much time at the surface and seemed to be travelling. So we broke off and went to another couple of whales we noticed a mile or two to the SW.

Monterey Bay Lunge Feeding Humpback Whales

More surface lunge feeding madness. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

We tracked them for a while and got into a nice rhythm. Then we started seeing Krill. At first we were seeing small balls. Then we came across an area that had krill for as far as we could see around the boat.

Monterey Bay Humpback Whales

Here they are again. The only behavior these two were doing was surface lunge feeding. So we just stayed with them. Pretty much all the photos’s from today are of surface lunge feeding. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

That’s when the feeding frenzy began. And it didn’t stop for 2 hours.

Here is a massive surface lunge. Here they are again. The only behavior these two were doing was surface lunge feeding. So we just stayed with them. Pretty much all the photos's from today are of surface lunge feeding. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

Here is another massive surface lunge. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

Lunging and more lunging. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

Lunging and more lunging. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

It really was pretty much non-stop every 3-5 minutes these animals would just surface and lunge. Photo: MIchael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

It really was pretty much non-stop every 3-5 minutes these animals would just surface and lunge. Photo: MIchael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

Monterey Bay Humpback Whale

Check out the perfectly aligned baleen plates. Photo: Michael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.

Monterey Bay Humpback Whale

What can I say. All they were doing was lunge feeding. Photo: MIchael Sack, www.sanctuarycruises.com 04-30-2014.