Tag Archives: gray whale

Santa Cruz Whale Watching sea lion

Whales near shore Santa Cruz; Rare sperm whale spotted in Monterey Bay

Sunday 10/23: Again we found Humpback Whales near Santa Cruz, feeding along with rafts of California Sea Lions. (Photos courtesy Michael B Nelson)

california whale watching

Photo: Michael Nelson

Saturday, 10/22: Humpback whales close to Santa Cruz!
Friday 10/21: Whales up the coast a bit, near Davenport!
Thursday, 10/20: We spent time with 3 lunging humpback whales outside Wilder Ranch, then a cruise back down to Aptos to find a white shark near the Cement Ship, Seacliff State Beach.

MONTEREY BAY – For the first time in five years, a sperm whale has been sighted in the Monterey Bay.

Santa Cruz Whale Watching

Photo: Michael Nelson

Santa Cruz Whale Watching sea lion

California Sea Lion, Photo: Michael Nelson

Gray whale, Spring migration, Monterey Bay, 3/23/16. photo Michael Nelson

Albatross, Gray and Humpback Whales

Saturday, April 2: Today the fog burned off early and we set off on board Velocity to see what wildlife we could find in Monterey Bay!
We saw

Four gray whales – 2 pairs — near Santa Cruz
One Black-footed albatross (archive photo John Bruckman)
One humpback whale that was lunge feeding, showing lots of surface behavior: horizontal, vertical lunges and rolling around near to the boat.
one tiny sunfish (mola-mola), and many harbor porpoises and otters.

ALBATROSS JUNE 2015 © john c. bruckman

ALBATROSS JUNE 2015 © john c. bruckman

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Santa Cruz Harbor is Open

The Santa Cruz Harbor is open and whale watching trips are running daily for Spring Break!
Thursday 3/31— We saw a BLUE WHALE! Plus a gray whale close drive by– a couple of folks got “spouted” on!
Tuesday 3/29—2 humpback whales, spotted just about a mile out from Santa Cruz. One was playing in the kelp and came up out of the water with a comical seaweed wig! We also saw a gray whale, and 200 common dolphins, bow riding and doing flips
Sunday 3/27— 4 gray whales, common dolphins, otters
Saturday 3/26— 2 humpbacks, 4 gray whales, 40-50 common dolphins

Blue Whale, Monterey Bay, June 2012. Photo: Gene Manako

Blue Whale, Monterey Bay, June 2012. Photo: Gene Manako

Blue Whale, Monterey Bay, June 2012. Photo: Gene Manako

Blue Whale, Monterey Bay, June 2012. Photo: Gene Manako

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Gray Whales, 1000 Dolphins

Sunday 2/21/16 Whale Watching on board Velocity, Monterey Bay
2 gray whales – good looks
1 humpback whale – good activity and one breach!
1000 common dolphins – the dolphins were with us the entire trip, in groups small and large, spread out for miles!

 

winter gray whales

Gray Whale Migration

1/18/16 There are lots of gray whales migrating southbound along the Monterey Bay shoreline. Over the last week, large pods of dolphins and Orcas (killer whales) were also spotted in the bay. This is a good time for to see ocean birds, too, such as albatross, shearwaters, cormorants, brandts, loons and more!

Winter until the spring is Gray Whale season in Monterey Bay. The chance of sighting California Gray Whales cross Monterey Bay during this period is around 90% as they migrate from cold arctic waters to the warm Baja Peninsula.

20,000 California gray whales make their annual migration from Alaska to Baja California each winter

20,000 California gray whales make their annual migration from Alaska to Baja California each winter

gray whale

Gray Whale, Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz. Photo: Teddy Daligga. January 15, 2012 (Stagnaro archive)

Gray Whale, Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz. Photo: Teddy Daligga. January 15, 2012 (Stagnaro archive)

Photo: Joey Stagnaro

Friendly humpback whales this weekend

Saturday, May 16, 2105: We counted 12 humpback whales out in the center of Monterey Bay. Four very friendly humpback whales stayed with the boat for a half-hour! These friendly whales were spy-hopping, pec-slapping, breaching and spinning near the boat, and looking up “people watching.” Everyone got sprayed by their spout!

photo: Michael Nelson

photo: Michael Nelson

Sunday, May 17, 2015: There were 15 humpback whales on Sunday, and what a show! We got to see all types of whale surface behavior on display, including tandem breaches! Tandem tail lobbing! One whale approached the boat to look up at the people, another friendly encounter.

Join us this week and Memorial Day Weekend! Three-four hour tour departs from the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor at the north end of Monterey Bay. Adults $47.95 and Kids age 4-13 $32.95.  Click HERE to purchase tickets online.

Wednesday, May 20 at 11:00 AM
Friday, May 22 at 12:00 PM
Saturday, May 23 at 12:00 PM
Sunday, May 24 at 12:00 PM
Monday, May 25 at 12:00 PM

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humpback whale monterey

Photo: Michael Nelson

 

whale watching monterey

Whales and Dolphins Monterey Bay

Saturday, March 21, 2015: Breaching humpback whales! We saw a total of 8 humpbacks across Monterey Bay and near Santa Cruz, plus a small group of common dolphins.

Sunday, March 22, 2015: Counted 12 humpback whales doing every kind of behavior, and 200 common dolphins out in Monterey Bay.

Monday, March 23, 2015: Five gray whales feeding – a rare sight! The gray whales took a migration break to feed in about 35 feet of water just off Santa Cruz, on the north side of Monterey Bay. Also had some close “drive-bys” from the gray whales today. We saw 200 common dolphins – the dolphins were breaching and bow-riding and having a great time!

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Whale watching Monterey

3-20-15 Humpback whale breach sequence, Monterey Bay with Santa Cruz Whale Watching. Photo Courtesy: Geoff & Tommy Mitchell

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Gray Whale northbound migration in full swing now through April, early May!
Read 5 fun facts about gray whales http://www.opb.org/news/article/five-insights-into-the-gray-whales-that-migrate-past-oregon-twice-a-year/

Join us for year-round marine wildlife adventure! Next Monterey whale watching trips are Wednesday and Friday this week, and daily whale watching next week for Spring Break starting March 28- April 3. FIND OUR FULL SCHEDULE HERE: https://www.zerve.com/Stagnaros/Whale

Commitment to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Our main tour boat Velocity is now powered by brand new engines that meet the latest EPA standards in clean burning, fuel saving marine motors. These engines are quiet, no gassy smell, and fast!

See the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with Santa Cruz Whale Watching!
FOLLOW LINK TO BUY TICKETS

Gray Whale spy hop. Monterey Bay, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching. Photo: Michael Nelson

Migrating Gray Whales Put on a Show

Tuesday, March 17: For St Patrick’s Day we had really exciting showings from five gray whales migrating across Monterey Bay. We were able to observe a group of three gray whales for 45 minutes up the coast. The whales were exhibiting lots of behaviors we don’t always get to see from grays: chin slapping, spy-hops, a great show from gray whales. Then we saw two more gray whales breaching out of the water about 3 miles off the Santa Cruz coastline. We also had a super fun pod of long beaked common dolphins riding alongside the boat!

whale watching monterey

Long beaked common dolphins. Monterey Bay, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching. Photo: Michael Nelson

TICKETS

Twice every year over 20,000 gray whales pass through Monterey Bay waters off of Santa Cruz. The first time occurs from December through mid February when they are migrating south from the cold arctic waters of the Bering Sea to their winter calving grounds off of the Baja Peninsula. Then north again to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea of Alaska. Northbound whales are usually traveling across Monterey Bay from mid February through April.

This 10,000+ mile round-trip is one of the longest migrations of any animal known. Peak northbound migration is around mid March. The gray whale can reach 45′ long. Females are usually larger than males. During their migration they are constantly traveling at 2-4 miles per hour. This can make for ideal viewing. Gray whales will sound (dive) for 2-5 minutes, sometimes longer. Their northern migration tends to be more social and leisurely. At times they can be spotted mating, breaching and “spy-hopping”.

Join us for year-round marine wildlife adventure! Next whale watching trips are Friday, March 20 at 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 21 at 12:00 PM and Sunday the 22nd at 10:00 AM. Spring Break Trips on offer, too! Whale watching trips run Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week.

See the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with Santa Cruz Whale Watching!

TICKETS

Commitment to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Our main tour boat Velocity is now powered by brand new engines that meet the latest EPA standards in clean burning, fuel saving marine motors. These engines are quiet, no gassy smell, and fast!SC-WHALE-home

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.