Recent Sightings Archives

Humpback whale, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching, March 2014. photo: Jenn Byrd

Gray and Humpback Whales Feed Together

Friday, February 20: We saw 8 humpback whales, a few came close to the boat! and 1000 common dolphins, bow riding alongside Velocity.

Saturday, February 21: More humpback whales and a few graysw passing through. We caught sight of about 100 common dolphins out in the Monterey Bay on Saturday.

Sunday, February 22: Sunday whale watching trip – We saw 6-7 humpback whales together with gray whales! The grays and humpbacks were traveling and feeding together, following giant bait balls of anchovies. Joining in the active feeding were sea lions, pelicans, cormorants, gulls. It was quite a party about 6 miles out from Santa Cruz, just north of the Soquel Hole.

Our dolphin sightings were up again on Sunday; we saw at least 1000 common dolphin enjoying life in the Bay!

MAP: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

MAP: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)

Photo: Gabe Torres

Humpbacks “wintering” in Monterey Bay

Sightings Report for February 18, 2015:

On Wednesday’s whale watching trip we had a breacher! Several humpback whales who are “wintering” here in Monterey Bay showed us some amazing action, surface behaviors fairly near to the boat. We also saw gray whales.
Tickets available for whale watching this weekend – Saturday at 12pm and Sunday at 11am. Call 831-427-0230.

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Humpback & gray whales, common dolphins

Whale and Dolphin Sightings Report

Friday 2/13: We saw 4 gray whales, 1000 common dolphins on our outer Monterey Bay Whale Watching trip. Also got great looks at sea lions and otters in the kelp.

Saturday and Sunday 2/14-15: More gray whales, 6-10 humpback whales, and hundreds of common dolphins!

Monday and Tuesday 2/16-17: Both days we saw 12-15 humpback whales. We watched surface feeding and diving/tail fluking. There were hundreds of common dolphins on Monday, though we saw only about 20 dolphins on our Tuesday outing.

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Join us for year-round marine wildlife adventure! Next whale watching trips are Saturday, February 21st at 12:00 pm, and Sunday the 22nd at 11:00 am. See the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with Santa Cruz Whale Watching!

Welcome back Velocity! Our main tour boat is now powered by new engines that meet the latest EPA standards in clean burning, fuel saving marine motors. Look for Velocity in Dock F at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor.

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Monterey whale sightings this week

Sightings Report -Tuesday, February 10, 2015: a beautiful day on board Sea Stag Six for whale watching on Monterey Bay. We spent time watching a pair of humpback whales close to Santa Cruz, tail fluking and surface feeding, along with a pod of dolphin. The whales and dolphins were both feeding on small fish – we could see the feeder fish at the surface! Migrating gray whales could be seen from afar, passing through Monterey Bay.

Welcome back Velocity! Our main tour boat is now powered by new engines that meet the latest EPA standards in clean burning, fuel saving marine motors. Monterey whale watching trips resume Friday, February 13 and continue daily through President’s Day. Get your tickets to see whales, dolphins, sea lions, otters, birds and more on the beautiful Monterey Bay. All trips leave out of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS.

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

Photo: DJ Nordland.
Velocity – Stagnaro Charter Boats, August 2014

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Humpback and gray whales just 2 miles out

1/24/15 Great trip whale watching on our six-pack boat “Sea Stag Six” this weekend. With sunny winter conditions, it was fun day finding whales in Monterey Bay!

We saw 4 humpback whales and 6 gray whales, with lots of tail flukes from both, and a couple of close drive-bys from a humpback whale. We saw whales from just two miles out from the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor and out to the Monterey Canyon ten miles out!

For the next few weeks, our large public tour boat Velocity is in the shipyard undergoing a complete re-powering. She will soon be powered by engines that meet the latest EPA standards in clean burning, fuel saving marine motors.

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We’re taking reservations for whale watching on board Velocity February 13 and beyond.

Check out whale watching Monterey on the Sea Stag! Our six-pack vessel Sea Stag Six is available for private charter Monterey whale watching. Call our ticket office in Santa Cruz or see our full schedule/purchase tickets online.

Santa Cruz Whale Watching Private Charter whale watching Monterey

Whale Watching Trip on Sea Stag Six, heading out from the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor

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Gray whale migration Alaska to Baja, Mexico

Gray whale season is in full swing on Monterey Bay! Each year more than 20,000 gray whales pass through Monterey Bay waters during their annual migration between Alaska and Baja, Mexico. Keep an eye out as gray whales can often be seen from shore! This winter we have a small population of humpback whales who are either staying late or arriving early. Dolphins, sea lions, otters and birds make whale watching an amazing wildlife tour.

Gray whale, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay. Photo: Teddy Daligga

Gray whale, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay. Photo: Teddy Daligga

Notice: From January 5th thru February 5th our main vessel Velocity will be in the shipyard undergoing a complete re-powering. She will soon be powered by engines that meet the latest EPA standards in clean burning, fuel saving marine motors.

Meanwhile we will have our smaller 6-pack charter vessel Sea Stag Six available for whale watching trips in January. The Sea Stag offers small-group and private charters to see the gray whale migration. Our on-board naturalist and captain take you to the best wildlife viewing locations! SEA STAG TRIPS AND TICKETS

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Tickets are available on Velocity for trips February 13th and beyond. CLICK HERE FOR WHALE WATCHING TICKETS

New Year, New Whales

January 1, 2015 New Year’s Day. The wind is down and the sun is up, a great day for whale watching! Today we saw COMMON DOLPHINS, a GRAY WHALE MOTHER AND CALF, and TEN HUMPBACK WHALES, breaching and one that breached multiple times near the boat.

The highlight of this whale watching trip were the gray whales. Our naturalist Megan said that the baby gray whale was tiny, just a newborn! It’s unusual to see this early in the season, and what a sight for our crew and guests!

Humpback whale lunge feeding, showing baleen. Santa Cruz Whale Watching archive photo courtesy Peter Bodin, April 2013.

Happy New Year! Humpback whales remain active in Monterey Bay

Happy New Year! Even in late December the humpback whales are still populous in Monterey Bay. Whales are feeding on krill and anchovies out near Moss Landing and over the deep waters at the Monterey Canyon. We’ve been spotting multiple humpback whales each trip!

Migration: We are also now seeing gray whales heading south to their winter breeding & calving grounds in Baja California. Over 10,000 gray whales will pass through our waters this winter as they make the trek south to Baja then back north again in early spring.

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Pacific Gray Whale Migration, Alaska to Baja California – Map

For now in Monterey Bay we continue to enjoy the antics of the lingering – and hungry – humpback whales.

Friday, December 26: We saw about 6 humpback whales and also several gray whales on their southbound migration between Alaska and Baja California.

Saturday, December 27: A terrific lunge feeding event in the middle of Monterey Bay. We counted about 30 humpback whales, with a fair amount of close “drive-bys” for amazing looks at the animals.

Tuesday, December 30: A windy day out there, but wonderful sights of the humpback whales lunge feeding. The animals were feeding particularly close by the boat, giving passengers the opportunity to see lunge feeding from the perfect angles, great views of the whale “tongue” and baleen filters.

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Introducing our six passenger boat, Sea Stag Six, also available for private, smaller tours.

Happy New Year from all of us at Santa Cruz Whale Watching! We hope to see you soon on board Velocity, or the Sea Stag Six!

humpback whale breach monterey bay

Winter humpbacks, dolphins and gray whales

Saturday, December 20, 2014: Whale Watching on Velocity we saw 15 humpback whales! The whales were breaching, pec slapping, tail throws… Amazing activity!

Sunday, December 21, 2014: We saw 6 humpback whales and around 200 common dolphins! Clear water allowed to see them under the boat as they rode alongside. Then at the end of the trip a small humpback breached by the boat countless times!

Common Dolphins bow riding alongside Velocity. Monterey Bay, CA Photo: Michael Nelson

Common Dolphins bow riding alongside Velocity. Monterey Bay, CA Photo: Michael Nelson

Tuesday, December 23, 2014: A variety of species today! We saw 4 gray whales and 9 humpback whales. The sun was shining for us today on the 3rd day of winter!

Join us on the beautiful Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – Fully narrated 3-4 hour whale watching trips depart out of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor aboard our 60 foot passenger yacht “Velocity.”

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