Recent Sightings Archives

Santa Cruz Whale Watching finds Friendly Whales in Monterey Bay

Thursday, October 16th-Sunday October 19th: Thursday & Friday brought us many friendly humpback whales.  Santa Cruz Whale Watching enjoyed spy hops and long looks close to the boat.  Friday we saw a dozen Humpbacks and Risso’s dolphins.  Monterey Bay kept on providing entertainment with twenty Humpbacks and a pod of 100 Common Dolphins on Saturday.  You guessed it, Sunday we saw more Humpbacks!

We have trips Friday 10/24, Sat 10/25, Sun 10/26 & Mon 10/27.

Humpback, photo by Jeff Rockwell, Oct. 18, 2014

Humpback, photo by Jeff Rockwell, Oct. 18, 2014

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Whales near shore in Santa Cruz

Friday: Humpbacks surface feeding very close to shore in Santa Cruz!  Many surface lunges, right here by the Boardwalk, Wharf and Harbor!

Humpback whales at Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, October 10, 2014

Humpback whales at Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor, October 10, 2014 photo: Megan Peterson

This shoreline activity continued over the weekend in Santa Cruz as whales and sea lions and birds followed “bait balls” of anchovies and fed to their heart’s content. Today we went whale watching out a little farther down towards Moss Landing where we saw humpback whales do all the surface behaviors: Breaching – full body leaps way out of the water! Pec-slapping, tail throwing, spy-hopping, close drive-bys, too. Its a great time to be out whale watching on the Monterey Bay!

Spy-hopping photo: Michael Nelson

Spy-hopping
photo: Michael Nelson

Humpback whales, California sea lions, Monterey Bay, CA. October 14, 2014. photo: Michael Nelson

Humpback whales, California sea lions, Monterey Bay, CA. October 14, 2014.
photo: Michael Nelson

 

 

 

 

humpback whale monterey

Humpback whales cool off in Monterey Bay

Monday, October 6, 2014: Sunday we had a super warm day on the bay! Hundreds – rafts – of California sea lions were interacting together with humpback whales. We had nice close looks at 10-15 humpback whales near Moss Landing, with many more whales in sight farther out over the deepest parts of the Monterey Bay Canyon.

Today we had a great display of humpback whales surface lunge feeding, vertical lunges out at the Soquel Hole, near Santa Cruz. We saw about 7-8 humpback whales out near Soquel Hole, but one guy was exploring very close to Santa Cruz just a mile out from the Harbor. We also had a group of bottlenose dolphin riding along with us just outside the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor.

Next whale watching trips are this weekend – Friday through Monday. Plus,

BONUS: Fireworks Cruise! Saturday night, October 11, 7-10 PM for the Monte Foundation Benefit Fireworks Show over Capitola Village!

Click here for FIREWORKS CRUISE TICKETS

And, this coming Monday, October 13, is Columbus Day! Climb aboard “Velocity” to explore the Monterey Bay!

humpback whales santa cruz monterey

Humpback whales near shore at Santa Cruz

Friday, October 3, 2014: We continue to see scattered humpback whales near shore at Santa Cruz, occasionally lunge feeding…More whales lunge feeding together out in the middle of the bay in groups of 6-10 humpback whales. We saw double-breaching whales Sunday and Monday, plus one pod of 6 dolphins swimming with 200 sea lions with really close drive-bys. October! Still excellent whale activity, and should stay sunny and warm through the weekend!

Otter party! Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Sharing the wonders of Monterey Bay marine life

Sunday, September 14, 2014: Yesterday our whale watching trip was another rewarding adventure! We had a great group of visitors from around the world to our next door neighbors, sharing the wonders of Monterey Bay marine life. Among the sights:

  • 100s of common dolphins
  • Humpback whales – One big breach near to the boat!
  • Dozens of otters and California sea lions

After the trip we received a note from one of our guests, Tina, who wrote:

“…We were so lucky; we got to see so many whales, a slumber party of otters and some beautiful dolphins and sea lions.  The highlight was obviously when one of the humpbacks decided to breach and I was so astounded, that I did not get it on film but I did get lots of pictures of gorgeous whale tails and of course the otters… “

Well, Tina, we have that moment for you with this photo sent in by another passenger!

humpback whale breach

Humpback whale breach, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Colin Wade

Thank you to Jeff Wade for sending this image. Photo credit goes to his son, Colin Wade.

More images from Sunday’s whale watching trip on Monterey Bay
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Humpback whale tail, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Humpback whale tail, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Humpback whale tail, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Humpback whale tail, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Humpback whale tail, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Humpback whale tail, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Common Dolphins, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Common Dolphins, Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Otter party! Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Otter party! Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay, CA. 9/14/14. Photo: Tina Hughes

Humback Whales still giving a great show in Monterey Bay

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014

Whale Watchers on Monterey Bay saw about 30 Humpbacks showing off their tricks.  One passenger took over 600 pictures!

Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014

Santa Cruz Whale Watching passengers oohed over about 10 Humpbacks in Monterey Bay.  We also were thrilled by 50 Common Dolphin, Sea Otters and Sea Lions.  Even a small Sun Fish or “Mola Mola” showed up to play.

Friday, Sept. 12

The Humpback Whales were having fun in the sun today on Monterey Bay!  We were graced by about 15 Humpbacks on the Santa Cruz side of the Soquel Hole.  They were showing us their surface behaviors such as Breaching, Peck Slapping and Tail Throwing.  Whale Watching on Monterey Bay continues to amaze!

Orca, Monterey Bay, CA. September 2014.
Photo: Michael Nelson

Humpback whales, dolphins, orcas active in Monterey Bay

Thursday, September 4, 2014: Today on Sea Stag Six we saw a pod of 5 orcas, including mama and calf practicing their spy hops together! For quite a while we were also able to observe a group of docile humpbacks surfacing amidst a raft of sea lions. But we have to admit the orcas kind of stole the show.

September 3 – 7: Great trips all week! We’ve been running busy whale watching trips on both our boats – Velocity  and Sea Stag. Every time out we’re seeing humpback whales this side of Monterey Bay near Santa Cruz. We watched a pair of humpbacks right off the Lighthouse/ Steamer Lane.  Whales feeding on large schools of anchovies are being seen from the Harbor-mouth along West Cliff Drive all the way to Natural Bridges. As well as the near-shore sightings we see multiple animals offshore 4-6 miles out over the Soquel Hole and deep water canyons Santa Cruz side of Monterey Bay.  Humpbacks near and far can be seen breaching, tail throwing, pec-slapping – We see about 25 whales each trip!

Common dolphins have been joining us, bow-riding with the boat out in deeper waters, and we’ve been seeing bottlenose dolphins right outside the Harbor, too!

August 23, 2014 Monterey Bay humpback whales. Photo: Michael Nelson

Whales and dolphins all near Santa Cruz

Wednesday, August 27, 2014: Lots of whale and dolphin action this week on the Santa Cruz side of the bay, about 5-6 miles out from the Santa Cruz Harbor, over the Soquel Canyon. Yesterday we had a lot of fun with about 600 common dolphins frolicking alongside the boat. These dolphins were bow-riding, spinning, breaching and darting under the boat. Clear calm waters let us see them in the water down 20 feet!

Common Dolphin zooming by. photo: Michael Nelson

Common Dolphin zooming by. photo: Michael Nelson

August 23, 2014 Monterey Bay humpback whales. Photo: Michael Nelson

August 23, 2014 Monterey Bay humpback whales. Photo: Michael Nelson

We also spotted 20 humpback whales, many doing close drive-bys near the boat – a few surface lunges near the boat, and many tail throws and breaching from distance.

All last weekend we’ve  had active humpback whales, showing tail throws, pec slaps, breaching and close approaches, even under the boat! We count 15-20 whales on average each time we go out.

 

 

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 pec 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.