We’ve been having scattered humpbacks lately. But they’re putting a great show once we get to the right spot.
Random lunges. It was hard to predict. They were pretty much coming up one at a time. Photo: Sack
Early on we heard reports of feeding humpbacks just off the beach in Marina. But we wanted to at least get a couple of looks at a lone humpback feeding just outside of Moss Landing Harbor. We had a couple of ok looks, but after the first 10 minute dive cycle we decided to make a course for the 45 minute run to Marina.
A mating pair of southern sea otters. Photo: Sack
It was a good call. We had a lot of feeding humpbacks, sea lions and birds. Also the occasional vertical surface lunge. I love turning the engines off and listening to all the mayhem. It’s quite a spectacle with all the birds going crazy, sea lions barking and whales blowing.
A father common murre looks for it’s chick to feed it an anchovy. Everything seems to be feeding on the anchovies. Photo: Sack
So that’s what we had in the morning. It was a little lumpy to get down there for the after noon trip. Plus we had a handful of humpbacks right out front and for a 2-hour trip it makes more sense to hang with what we had. We also had a nice breacher for the evening trip. So that was great. This thing breached 3-4 times right in front of the boat. I love when that happens.
Humpbacks on the prowl just outside Moss Landing Harbor. Beautiful conditions, easy watching. Photo: Michael Sack, 12-28-2015.
So far so good for winter whale watching. We still have about six humpbacks feeding in front of Moss Landing. There’s also been a lot of birds working the area feeding on anchovies.
Humpback whale goes down for a dive. Photo: Michael Sack, 12-28-2015.
The weather has been unstable for the last few weeks. So it’s been hit or miss. But when a nice weather window opens like we’ve had over the last couple of days, we’re loving it.
Humpbacks just outside of the harbor. Photo: Michael Sack, 12-27-2015.
Most of the action has been just outside of the harbor. We have done some exploring and more often than not, things are pretty quiet out there beyond three miles. No birds, no anchovies, no whales.
I did do an early morning scouting trip this morning and came across about 200-300 common dolphins right outside of the harbor. But we didn’t see them on our 10:30 trip.
Right now it’s all about the weather. So when the weather has been nice we’re on it. We’ve also heard reports of orcas in the area. So we’re always keeping an eye out for the big black fin of the male orca.
For the moment we’re planning on running as much as possible to take advantage of the humpbacks right outside the harbor. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of months. We may be looking at a repeat of last years historic event where 6-10 humpbacks didn’t do the normal migration to Southern Mexico. They stayed here for the entire year. We plan on running most days for the next few weeks as long as the humpbacks stick around. Stay tuned for updates.