Sunday, February 12, 2017: Today we were able to catch up with 2 adult southbound gray whales, that allowed us to watch them surface and dive many times, treating the crowd to close looks and several tail flukes! Along the way we spotted Risso’s dolphins, numerous sea otters and sea lions, and a variety of seabirds in winter plumage! As we were nearing the harbor, we spotted a third gray whale, on its way north. A beautiful, crystal clear day to view some of California’s unique marine wildlife!
Thank you to everyone who visited our booth at the Migration Festival this weekend, and a special thanks to Natural Bridges State Park for hosting. We look forward to having you out on a whale watching trip!
Pelican, Santa Cruz, CA | photo courtesy Luv Kothari
*Saturday, February 11 from 11 AM to 4 PM
*End of West Cliff Dr. at Swanton Blvd., Santa Cruz, California 95060
Come to Natural Bridges State Beach for a full day of activities that celebrate the migration of whales, butterflies, birds and the many creatures that travel. The park will host migratory animal talks, active kids’ games, crafts, skits, live music by the nature-loving 5M’s Band, educational booths and displays, along with the now-famous free habitat-cake served at the end of the event. You can purchase a picnic at the park or bring your own. Event is free; vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609 or email NaturalBridgesStateBeach@gmail.com.
Facebook Event Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/150443888786351/
Monday 1/16/17 Mom and baby day! We spotted a sea otter mama and pup on the way out, and a gray whale mom and calf on the way home! In between we were treated to wintering humpbacks showing their tail flukes while diving on bait over the Monterey Bay Canyon. We counted 6-8 humpbacks, one breacher!
Photos: Michael Nelson
Sunday 1/15/17 Lots of humpback whales in the bay! We had a humpback whale breaching, and saw more gray whales crossing the outer Monterey Bay. Seabirds: common murres
Saturday 1/14/17 We had 4 gray whales heading south and several humpback whales – one humpback whale did a tail throw for us!
The weather is beautiful out there. (Video: Michael Nelson)
Winter Wildlife Viewing at its Finest! Join us year round with Santa Cruz Whale Watching Trips on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. For a Trip Schedule, Call 831-427-0230.
January 2, 2017 – Happy New Year! We’ve continued to see our winter humpback whales over the past weeks! Gray whales are starting to pass through the area. Plus today, a pod of Northern Right Whale Dolphins.
Wednesday, 12/21/16: A beautiful winter day on the Monterey Bay! We had multiple pairs of humpbacks, one of which came in for a close inspection of the boat! We were also treated to a large group of pacific white sided dolphins, bow riding and frolicking in the waves. On the way home we encountered some of our earlier humpbacks feeding near the surface. Birders enjoyed looks at a black footed albatross, many species of shearwater, and northern fulmars.
Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Monterey Bay, Dec. 21, 2016. Photo: Michael Nelson
Albatross, Monterey Bay, CA Dec 21, 2016. Photo: Michael Nelson
Saturday 12/3/16 We had some great looks at a large group of lunge feeding humpback whales on Saturday. The whales were dining midday out at Pajaro Canyon, alongside hundreds of California sea lions. These are late season whales in Monterey Bay. We are soon expecting to see gray whales on their annual migration between Alaska and Baja California.
Join us on board Velocity or Legacy for an unforgettable adventure on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – one of the top wildlife viewing locations in the world!
Santa Cruz Whale Watching trips run every weekend, and DAILY starting December 20 through January 1.
We loved having so many family groups out on the boat this week. Each day of Thanksgiving week we got some great views of 10-20 humpback whales that are active in Monterey Bay right now. These humpback whales are feeding and showing surface behaviors such as tail slaps and breaching above the water. We’re getting to see big pods of common dolphins, otters in the kelp beds, and California sea lions. Our cover photo is from passenger Matija Vižin, taken on Tuesday 11/22 when we saw 10 humpback whales – one full breach! – Good looks, lots of flukes.
We’ve had a certain population of humpbacks staying around over winter for the last several years. As long as they are able to eat they will stay in the area instead of participating in migration to Central America.
We’ll soon be keeping an eye out for gray whales migrating south towards their winter mating/calving waters in Baja, Mexico. Over 20,000 gray whales pass through Monterey Bay every year!
Santa Cruz Whale Watching Trips run every weekend in December, and DAILY from December 23 – New Year’s Day. Join us for adventure on the Bay!
Tickets are $48.95 for adults and $34.95 for kids age 4-13. Reservations recommended; Call 831-427-0230 or click the link toBook Online Now.
Over the last week up to 6 humpback whales have been seen spouting and feeding near Santa Cruz and the north part of Monterey Bay. Long beak common dolphins and Risso’s dolphins are also active in the Bay right now.
Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s the whale watching schedule this week:
Tuesday 11/22 at 11am
Wednesday 11/23 at 11am
Thursday 11/24 at 10am
Friday 11/25 at 12pm
Saturday 11/26 – two trips! – 8:30am and 12:30pm
Sunday 11/27 at 12pm
Click BOOK NOW or Call 831-427-0230 ~ We look forward to having you on board!
Saturday, one lunge feeding humpback right in front of harbor, then 200 common dolphins by the Pajaro Canyon, as well as one breaching and pectoral fin slapping humpback, plus a few other scattered humpbacks.
Good looks at a group of lunge feeding humpbacks near Pajaro.
Here’s some recent video from our friend Michael Nelson ~ A glimpse of a feeding frenzy with humpback whales and California sea lions, October 2016. Visiting Santa Cruz
Check out these fun traveler tips for an easygoing visit to Santa Cruz – This article highlights some of our favorite beaches and places to eat and drink, just a bit off the beaten path. Enjoy! Click here to read about Santa Cruz travel tips.
Thanksgiving Week Our whale watching schedule for November and December is now up on our website. Book your family outing now! Call 831-427-0230 or click the “Book Now” button at santacruzwhalewatching.com. Welcome aboard!