Monthly Archives: May 2015

05-20-2015 Spring Conditions and Reliable Humpbacks at Moss Landing

This past week we have had humpback whales consistently circling within a mile or so of Moss Landing Harbor. There aren’t large numbers – usually 2-10 whales at a time. They are clearly in feeding mode as they circle methodically. We get good looks at their surfacings and flukings with an occasional breach or tail lob. The stars have been the mother calf pairs that are about five miles out. The calves are curious and sometimes playful, so we’ve been treated to some very close visits and also some good behaviors like tail lobs and pec slaps. We’ve also had a few days of very active feeding frenzy behavior with 10-12 humpbacks along with hundreds of sea lions and birds all working on a large school of anchovies a few miles to the southwest of Moss.

We believe there are still some gray whale mothers and calves heading north and this Memorial Day weekend likely will be the last chance this season to catch a view of these whales and perhaps also encounter the hunting pods of orcas associated with them.

It’s not all about whales out there – The Rissos Dolphins are being spotted more often now and they always give us good looks. ¬†Bow-riding LB Common Dolphins are still a presence in the bay and we encounter them most days.

Our educated prediction: With these daily afternoon winds, we are expecting the krill blooms to begin soon which will attract more baleen whales into the bay.

05-08-2-15 Adorable humpback calf showing off

Lovely conditions today – sort of magical out there. This was the calm AFTER the storm. We were treated to at least five sets of humpback whale pairs from right off Moss Landing to about five miles out. The big treat was a new calf with its mom spending lots of surface time giving us great views. It breached several times right near the boat for all to see! To top it all off we had bow riding LB Common Dolphins playing alongside the boat on the way in. A gray whale mother and calf were spotted on our early am trip right outside the harbor heading north. The otter sightings todays were extra special as well with several feasting in huge crabs right by the boat. It was sure a swell day out there!
Report of orcas outside the bay today straight West, so we are hoping for them this weakend inside the bay. This is the highest probability weekend for Orca sightings in Monterey Bay as the largest concentration of gray whale mother:calf pairs are heading through this week.