Monthly Archives: January 2017

01-29-2017 Gorgeous Conditions, Humpbacks, Grays and Common Dolphins

href=”http://sanctuarycruises.com/captains_log/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/1_28_Gray_Whale-1.jpg”> Gray Whale at Moss Landing Harbor Mouth[/caption]

Today was spectacular out there on Monterey Bay. Sunny clear skies, calm seas and some lovely cetacean sightings. First, we came upon a pod of hundreds of long-beaked common dolphins that played around our bow in clear blue water interacting with the boat and thrilling our passengers for a very long time. Then we spotted a young humpback whale that surfaced and fluked over and over, later being joined by a second young humpback. Finally on our way in, we spotted a single gray whale heading south right past the harbor mouth. Inside the harbor we were greeted by 15 feeding sea otters. What a day!

01-15-2017: Humpbacks Still Feeding in front of Moss Landing, Common Dolphins, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Gray Whales and More

Monterey Bay Common Dolphins “Porpoising” long-beaked common dolphins. Photo: Chace Dekker, sanctuarycruises.com 01-15-2017

Another epic day on the bay. It looks like we could have winter feeding humpbacks this year. There were at least 8 out in front of Moss Landing today.

Monterey Bay Common Dolphins More long-beaked common dolphins. Photo: Chace Dekker, sanctuarycruises.com 01-15-2017.

There were also some straggler gray whales passing through. The real action came from the common dolphins. We had 500+ running with along side, behind and in front of us as we moved through the water. Check out the video below:

Monterey Bay Long-beaked common dolphins

They often like to use the energy of our boat moving through the wate and the wake that it creates as they continually leap all around the boat while they move through the water at a high rate of speed. It’s awesome to watch.

Monterey Bay Humpback Whale
Monterey Bay Humpback Whales still feeding in front of Moss Landing. Photo: Chase Dekker, sanctuarycruises.com 01-15-2017.

Moss Landing Great Blue Heron
Moss Landing Great Blue Heron. Photo: Sack

Monterey Bay Common dolphins
Monterey Bay common dolphins. Photo: Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 01-15-2017.

Monterey Bay Whales We had great looks at humpback whales. Photo: Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 01-15-2017.

 

California Gray Whale

01-14-2016: Humpbacks, mating gray whales, common dolphins, Pacific White-sided dolphins excellent conditions and more.

California Gray Whale One of the three mating gray whales we were with today. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 01-14-2017

Incredible day on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Sunny conditions and calm seas. Doesn’t get much better for Winter whale watching.

Spy-hopping gray whale. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 01-14-2017 Spy-hopping gray whale. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 01-14-2017

We came across some common dolphins right outside the harbor. Then we had great looks at a young humpback 20-minutes out the gate. After about 15 minutes we decided to head out further and see what else we could see.

California Gray Whale This is gray whale mating behavior. Notice the pink. That’s the male gray whale’s penis. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycrusies.com 01-14-2017

That’s when we noticed some splashing about a mile from our position. It turned out to be three mating gray whales and about 15 Pacific white-sided dolphins.

California Gray Whale More gray mating behavior. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 01-14-2017

It was quite a display of nature. We were with them for almost an hour.

California Gray Whale More spy-hopping. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 01-14-2017.

1-11-17 Stormy Conditions kept us in port, but seas are calming now

Moss Landing Humpback Whale

Moss Landing humpback whale doing a fluke up dive. Photo: Michael Sack, sanctuarycruises.com 07-19-2015

We have not been able to venture out into the bay this year yet, due to stormy seas. We know the gray whales are in full force on their southbound migration through outer Monterey Bay and hope the handful of humpbacks feeding a few miles from Moss Landing harbor are still around. Let’s go find out! Some of our most magical trips have been on calm January days. We are running trips Friday through Monday in January.