Recent Sightings Archives

Humpbacks near Boardwalk in Santa Cruz!

Thursday August 21, 2014

What a treat!  We were entertained by 8-10 humpbacks right in front of the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz!  The mammals were showing off many behaviors: lunge feeding, tail throws, tail lobs and peck slaps.  Among them were a mother and calf. Whale watching in Monterey Bay continues to be amazing!

photo by Richard Duck

photo by Richard Duck

 

Four Orca Saturday morning whale watching trip

On the morning trip Saturday, August 16 we saw four Killer Whales out in Monterey Bay! Awesome. They swam right under the boat! We spotted at least 20 humpback whales Saturday and 25 on Friday… Also on Friday we had a pod of Dall’s porpoises bow-riding. This was all just 5 to 6 miles out from Santa Cruz, over Soquel Canyon. We have one great whale watching trip after another these days!

We have plenty of room during the week. Join us!
Next trips are Monday at 12:00 PM and Tuesday at 10:00 AM.

 

PHoto: DJ Nordland.
Velocity - Stagnaro Charter Boats, August 2014

Humpback whales, dolphins, orcas active in Monterey Bay

Over the last few days we have had full boats and event-ful whale watching trips! It is great to have passengers visiting from Europe, Asia and South America on board alongside California natives seeing the beautiful Monterey Bay.

We’ve seen many humpback whales on each trip this week, exhibiting many surface behaviors! On some occasions whales have ventured close to the boat to pec-slap, tail-slap, and even breach near the boat. When a humpback swims nearby, we can smell the whale’s breath – “Oooh! and ewww.”
We’ve seen Dall’s Porpoises, Common Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphins. One odd sighting was a Pacific Sunfish (Mola-Mola) eating a jellyfish right up at the surface. We even had  sightings of killer whales feeding on a sea lion a few days ago!

Photo: Michael Nelson

Photo: Michael Nelson

Common Dolphin, Monterey Bay August 2014. Photo: Michael Nelson

Common Dolphin, Monterey Bay August 2014.
Photo: Michael Nelson

Read more about summer whales in the beautiful Monterey Bay: SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL NEWS ARTICLE

 

Breaching humpback whale, Monterey Bay, CA
August, 2014 - Photo: Jolynne Jones

Whale Watching in Monterey Bay is as good as it gets right now!

August 6, 2014:
The last several trips have included many different awesome behaviors from multiple humpback whales, as dozens of animals continue summer feeding in Monterey Bay. In the last week we have seen breaching, tail throws, pectoral slapping and even surface lunge feeding from the animals. We have also had bow riding Dolphins and giant ocean sunfish (Mola Mola) come under the boat! Whale Watching from Santa Cruz in Monterey Bay is as good as it gets right now!

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Humpback whales, Monterey Bay, CA., July 2014 Photo: Aaron Neff

Humpback whales, Monterey Bay, CA July2014 - Photo: Aaron Neff

Read on for highlights and photos from recent trips this amazing summer in Monterey Bay!

August 5, 2014:
Whale watching out on the Sea Stag Six private charter, they saw a mother humpback and her calf breaching in unison, along with many more active whales and a mola mola!

Mola Mola (Sunfish), Montery Bay, CA August, 2014 - Photo: Jolynne Jones

Mola Mola (Sunfish), Montery Bay, CA
August, 2014 – Photo: Jolynne Jones

July 19, 2014:
Friendly humpbacks circle the boat up close! They breached, pec slapped and threw their flukes countless times. We saw approximately 40 whales just 20 minutes out from Santa Cruz.

The ultimate selfie!  Thank you Adam Strauss

The ultimate selfie!
Thank you Adam Strauss

July 20, 2014: See for yourself! Thank you to Aaron Neff and Sean Kelley for sharing their awesome images of humpback whales, jellies, California sea lions and otters!

Humpback whales, Monterey Bay, CA July 20, 2014 - Photo: Sean Kelley

Humpback whales, Monterey Bay, CA
July 20, 2014 – Photo: Sean Kelley

California sea lion, Monterey Bay, CA July 20, 2014 - Photo: Sean Kelley

California sea lion, Monterey Bay, CA
July 20, 2014 – Photo: Sean Kelley

Humpback whales, Monterey Bay, CA July 20, 2014 - Photo: Sean Kelley

Humpback whales, Monterey Bay, CA
July 20, 2014 – Photo: Sean Kelley

Beautiful Jellly, Monterey Bay, CA July 20, 2014 - Photo: Sean Kelley

Beautiful Jellly, Monterey Bay, CA
July 20, 2014 – Photo: Sean Kelley

Sea Otters, Monterey Bay, CA July 20, 2014 - Photo: Sean Kelley

Sea Otters, Monterey Bay, CA
July 20, 2014 – Photo: Sean Kelley

July 22, 2014: Dozens of humpback whales, blows near and far in every direction! We passed several juvenile male humpbacks that were exploring up near Santa Cruz to get out to Monterey Canyon near Moss Landing to where we found numerous whales and activity: tail throws, breaching and surfacing – some near the boat! the whales were surrounded by rafts of 100s of sea lions. Along the way we discovered a pod of about 20 Dall’s porpoises, very fast animals, very sleek and with black and white coloring similar to killer whales. The porpoises zoomed alongside and under the boat!

Santa Cruz Whale Watching trips depart out of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor aboard Velocity or Sea Stag Six, offering fully narrated 3-4 hour tours of the amazing wildlife and vistas of our Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. See our complete schedule here: SCHEDULE AND TICKETS

2014 Velocity and humpback whale breach-pec-CROP2

Lunge feeding humpbacks fill Monterey Bay

Update July 20: This morning reports coming in of lunge feeding humpbacks at Seacliff State Beach. Join us this afternoon – Trip added at 4:00 PM today!

July 17-19, 2014: Thursday and Friday we had incredible amounts of lunge feeding humpback whales in Monterey Bay! We began to spot whale spouts out at the mouth of the submarine canyon. We saw very dramatic lunge feeding, spy-hopping, tail throws and pec slaps! Many whale behaviors were on display, mixed in with the odd breach here and there.

Photo: TANIS GOMEZ October, 2011 Humpback whales feeding in Monterey Bay

Photo: TANIS GOMEZ
October, 2011
Humpback whales feeding in Monterey Bay

Saturday there were more humpback whales over the canyon – over 20 whales were spotted! They were breaching high out of the water, One humpback whale “chin-slapped” for quite a while. A mother and calf did quite a few “drive-bys.” They seem to be curious about the boat and all the interested passengers.

All three days “Wilbur’” our resident humpback whale welcomed us back to Santa Cruz a quarter-mile off the beach and gave us close-up looks all three days. Wilbur is a little guy who has been feeding off Santa Cruz for almost two months now.

More about this season whale watching in Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary:  Whale Show Returns to the Bay

whale watcing monterey

Tuesday Blue whales in Monterey Bay

Tuesday Blue whales in Monterey Bay! The Blue Whale is the largest animal to ever inhabit the earth including the dinosaurs. Their distinctive high spout can reach over 25′ and be spotted many miles away. Blue whales can usually be found in the Monterey Bay in the summer when they feed on krill (small shrimp like crustaceans).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014: 3 BLUE WHALES! Yesterday whale watching we saw 3 blue whales out in Monterey Bay: a blue whale mother with her calf, which is fairly rare to see! …and one big blue whale. TICKETS

whale watcing monterey

Blue whale feeding in Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz Whale Watching. July 1, 2014 Photo: Michael Nelson

We saw 12 humpback whales in middle of Monterey Bay, plus sea lions and a sweet visit with sea otters at the kelp beds.IMG_5425

Monday, June 30, 2014: Three Humpback whales just one mile off of Santa Cruz; More out in the middle of the Bay! The whales were breaching, feeding, good action! Two big whale breaches from a whale on the way back in to Santa Cruz Harbor. Also saw Risso’s dolphins.

About the trip:  Whale Watching on Monterey Bay
This 3-4 hour Monterey whale watching trip focuses on the Humpback Whale. The local herd comes to Monterey Bay and the central coast for seasonal feeding. They feed on anchovies, sardines, and krill (shrimp like crustaceans). There is also an increased change of spotting Blue whales in Summer and Fall.
$46.95 Adults
$32.95 Children under 14
Buy tickets online at Zerve

Welcome aboard!

 

 

View from the bow aboard Velocity, Santa Cruz, CA. Photo: Ken Stagnaro

Lots of humpbacks in middle of Monterey Bay!

Lots of humpbacks in middle of Monterey Bay! On the Tuesday whale watching trip we saw 25 whales with a couple of tail throws and close drive bys! Recent trips we have seen one whale in particular that’s been feeding on anchovies in the north Bay waters, off our home harbor of Santa Cruz.

Click here for MORE recent whale and dolphin sightings

Join us whale watching on Monterey Bay! Our next outing is tomorrow, June 26, departing from the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor at 11:00 AM. Tickets: $46.95 for adults and $32.95 for kids age 4-13. infants to 3 years old ride free!

Click here to purchase TICKETS
Check-in instructions will provided with your e-ticket.

About the Spring and Summer trip: Santa Cruz Whale Watching offers a 3-4 hour Monterey whale watching trip focusing on the Humpback Whale. The local herd comes to Monterey Bay and the central coast for seasonal feeding, usually arriving mid-April and remaining through November, or as long as their food source is present. They feed on anchovies, sardines, and krill (shrimp like crustaceans). There is also an increased change of spotting Blue whales in Summer and Fall.

Humpback whale fluke and California Sea Lions feasting, Monterey Bay, November 2013. Photo: Jim Holtan

Humpback whale fluke and California Sea Lions feasting, Monterey Bay, November 2013. Photo: Jim Holtan

 

whale watching monterey

Lunge feeding humpback whales, May, 2014, Monterey Bay. (photo: Michael Nelson)

 

Friendly humpback whales near Santa Cruz Monterey Bay

Sunday, June 22, 2014: Today we enjoyed the sights of many humpback whales near Santa Cruz on Monterey Bay. One of the whales approached us and swam right underneath the boat!

Humpback whale "drive by" photo: Ken Stagnaro

Humpback whale “drive by” photo: Ken Stagnaro

Our next whale watching trip is Tuesday, June 24, departing at 11:00 AM. All trips depart out of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. Our ticket office/check-in is conveniently located at 2896 Soquel Avenue in Santa Cruz, just off Highway 1. Advance tickets are available online, at TICKETS.

 

Photo: TANIS GOMEZ
October, 2011
Humpback whales feeding in Monterey Bay

Whale watching humpbacks in Monterey Bay

Sunday, June 22, 2014: Whale watching on Monterey Bay – Friday and Saturday both whale watching trips saw about 15 humpback whales over the submarine canyon. Its feeding time in Monterey Bay!

Humpback whales come to feed in the waters off of Santa Cruz, Moss Landing and Monterey each year from spring through fall. Join us for amazing whale watching, also dolphins, blue whales, birds, and amazing marine life.

Orcas and humpback whales at Monterey Canyon

Saturday, June 14, 2014: Today we got to see KILLER WHALES and nine humpback whales over the Monterey Canyon. And on our way home, close to Santa Cruz we came across three more humpbacks; one breached numerous times from a fair distance!

Humpback whale breach, Monterey Bay whale watching archive photo

Humpback whale breach, Monterey Bay whale watching; archive photo

Whale watching Monterey Bay trips depart out of Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. Next trips are Sunday, June 16 at 12:00 PM and Monday, June 16 at 10:00 AM. Join us whale watching on Monterey Bay!