Monthly Archives: June 2017

06-29-2017: “Fat Fin” The Killer Whale Shows Up Again, Humpbacks, Dolphins and More

Moss Landing Killer Whale “Fat Fin” the killer whale out in front of Moss Landing Harbor.

Second day in a row we saw “Fat Fin” the killer whale. This orca is a frequent visitor to the Monterey Bay. The Humpbacks have scattered a bit compared to last week. We’ve only had a handful right out front instead of the 20 or so some-odd we’ve been seeing for the last couple of months.

Monterey Bay Pacific White-Sided Dolphin Pacific white-sided dolphin rides our wake alongside the boat.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale Humpback whale cruising for krill off Moss Landing.

They’re still around, just not concentrated. We’re still getting some great looks and reports of many whales throughout the Monterey Bay. Nice conditions overall. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

06-05-2017: Many Humbpacks Everywhere in The Bay, Biggest Concentrations off Moss Landing

Moss Landing Harbor Seal Friendly harbor seal just outside of Moss Landing Harbor. Photo: Sack

The summer action is starting to kick into full-gear as more and more humpbacks start showing up through out the Monterey Bay. We’ve also been seeing Pacific white-sided dolhpins, Risso’s dolphins, Northern right-whale dolphins, black-footed albatross and a lot more.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale Quite the lunge-fest we witnessed. We’ve been seeing regular lunge-feeding. Photo: Sack

Conditions have been nice in the morning with a little more lump and wind in the afternoon. Today we had a great look at a friendly harbor seal. The animal just casually swam alongside the boat and looked at everyone standing on the rail. It was pretty cool.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale We get on these lunge-feeding events and sometimes they last for hours or days, sometimes an hour. Photo: Sack

We’re starting to see more and sea nettle jellies. That’s why we’ve also been seeing some 4′-5′ mola mola’s. Their favored prey is the sea nettle jelly.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale I love when they go into a feeding frenzy. Photo: Sack

Overall the humpbacks have been putting on a pretty good show. Some trips they are more active than others. But on every trip the sheer numbers of whales and usually dolphins we see is astounding. The action should just start getting better.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale Non-stop for about an hour and that was that. Photo: Sack

The salmon bite is on again as well. A commercial guy came in with 29 fish the other day. That’s a good score for out here over the last few years. The system seems to be thriving.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale The rostrum of the humpback whale. Photo: Sack.

06-03-2017: Humpbacks Continue Feeding In Front of Moss Landing, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Risso’s Dolphins

Check out some video from a recent trip

Pacific White-sided Dolphin Pacific White-sided dolphins were going nuts. They were chasing fish right along side the humpbacks. It’s amazing. Photo: Michael Sack,

Moss Landing continues to be the place to be for whales and dolphins on the Monterey Bay. Right now we’re talking humpbacks, Pacific white-sided dolphins, northern right-whale dolphins, Risso’s dolphins and more. If you take a boat out of Monterey or Santa Cruz, you will likely end up on an hour or more boat ride to Moss Landing before you see anything worthy. Because that’s where the big show is. We’re on the animals 10-minutes from the time leave the harbor. You get a lot more face-time with animals if you leave out of Moss Landing.

Northern right-whale A Northern right-whale dolphin breaches. Photo: Michael Sack,

Today we came across many groups of humpbacks as we explored along the north ledge of the Monterey Bay Submarine Canyon. We also came across scattered groups of Pacific White-sided dolphins. So that was fun. They were giving us some nice bow riding views.

Pacific white-sided dolphins riding our wake. Photo: Michael Sack,

Moss Landing Pacific white-sided dolphins These things were in full feeding frenzy mode. Photo: Michael Sack,

We had some great looks at the Northern right whale dolphins this week also. We don’t see this species as often as some of the others. But when we do, they often occur with the Pacific White-sided dolphins. So we’re always on the look out for the odd looking dolphin with no dorsal fin. We had them jumping in the air earlier in the week.

Moss Landing Humpback Whale Close-in humpback whale. That’s Moss Landing Beach in the background, just north of the Moss Landing Harbor. Photo: Michael Sack.

There was also a black-footed albatross or two soaring around close to the water as they ride the air lift above the swells. The black-footed albatross are incredible birds. They fly all the way from nesting sites in the Hawaiian Islands. They lock their wings into place and can do something called dynamic soaring. They use the wind.

They are thought to have a lower heart rate when they are flying than when they are in the water. They are part of the tubed nose order. They can desalinate sea water to drink using a tube above their beak. They feed mostly on fish, squid, dead sea animals. We always see them show up during killer whale predation events.

black-footed albatross Black-footed albatross. Photo: Sack

It’s just incredible out there right now. But make sure you go out of Moss Landing. Much more face time with the animals and we also have more time to explore if we want. Plenty of room on all our trips. Trips depart daily at 09:30