Tag Archives: humpback whales monterey

So many whales! Blues and Humpbacks

Sunday, July 17, 2016: 60 humpback whales and 5 blue whales out at Soquel Canyon, breaching, tail slaps, throws, every type of surface behavior!

Saturday, July 16: Beautiful whale watching day! At one point we could count 20 humpback whales feeding around our boat, Legacy, and 2 blue whales.

Wild Orca, Monterey Bay - April 13, 2016. Photo: Michael Nelson

Killer Whales, Humpbacks on Wednesday

Thursday, April 14, 2016; Today we were visited by a trio of humpback whales, they gave us super close-up looks, feeding on krill. One was a tail-slapper, so we could observe good surface behavior. We saw a few albatross, and lots of otters in the kelp.

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Wednesday, April 13, Wow! Orcas! We got to watch 6 killer whales/ orca as they cruised around through Monterey Bay. We had a similar orca sighting on April 3, spotting 4-6 orca that day. We also saw about 10 humpback whales.

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Orca in Monterey Bay, April 13, 2016, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching (photo M. Nelson)

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Orca in Monterey Bay, April 13, 2016, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching (photo M. Nelson)

Monday, April 11, we found humpback whales sprinkled across the bay, getting some good looks up close. The adventure ended with a humpback tail slapper, who did a big barrel roll with pec fin flourish!

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“Pec slap” Humpback whale,, Monterey Bay, April 11, 2016. photo Michael Nelson

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Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, April 2016

humpback whale monterey

Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, April 2016

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November Whale Watching Monterey

Last trip was Saturday, Nov 14 – Another great outing on Monterey Bay, and we didn’t have to travel far for wildlife action. We saw 8 humpback whales within 3 miles of Santa Cruz, feeding, and tail throwing. Then we saw 300 common dolphins out near the Soquel Canyon, bow riding and jumping. Great trip!

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Feeding Humpbacks, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching. Photo: Nancy Costa

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Friday, Nov 20 at 11:00 AM
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Velocity, Star of Stagnaro Charter Boats on Monterey Bay

Velocity, Star of Stagnaro Charter Boats on Monterey Bay

Humpback whales lunge feeding, Monterey Bay, September 30, 2015.
With Santa Cruz Whale Watching
Photo: Michael Nelson

Monterey whale watching continues

Wednesday 9/30/15 Great trip! About 10-20 humpback whales on our Monterey whale watching trip…Big open lunge feeding near the boat.

Humpback whales lunge feeding, Monterey Bay, September 30, 2015. With Santa Cruz Whale Watching Photo: Michael Nelson

Humpback whales lunge feeding, Monterey Bay, September 30, 2015.
With Santa Cruz Whale Watching
Photo: Michael Nelson

Friday 10/2/15 Many whales! We had some close “horizontal” lunge feeding about 20 yards from the boat, the humpback whale showed its pectoral fin then lunged sideways in a way we were able to see its eye! Later we had about 20 whales surface lunge feeding at the same time, and numerous common dolphins.

How many whales can you count? Photo Michael Nelson

How many whales can you count? Photo Michael Nelson

Saturday 10/3/15 More fabulous views of humpback whales in Monterey Bay! Close breaches! Close-by pec slaps and tail slaps.

Humpback whales Monterey Bay, with Santa Cruz Whale Watching. archive photo: Aaron Neff

The whales of August Monterey style

Monterey Bay Whales have been seen from shore near Santa Cruz since the first week of August. Humpback whales and small groups of dolphins have been spotted out in front of Seabright Beach and also along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz.  A couple of dolphins even got to frolicking inside the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor for a few days!

The real action is out on the Monterey Bay! Join us on board Velocity for a whale watching trip — week days and weekends out of the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor. BUY TICKETS

Here’s an update of what we’ve been seeing this week out in the Monterey Bay.

Over last weekend, Aug 8-9 we saw numerous humpback whales feeding over the canyons nearby Moss Landing– 8 animals surfacing, one calf! And a few pec slaps. Also Friday, 150 or so common dolphins were swimming with the boat, playing alongside the boat, breaching and bow riding.

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Dolphins Monterey Bay Santa Cruz Whale Watching 8-7-15 Megan Peterson

Monday and Tuesday, August 10-11 we had large groups of humpback whales feeding over the Monterey Canyon. Instead of krill this day they were chasing huge schools of anchovies, right under boat (the water very clear! – We could see them swimming several feet down!) The whales displayed lots of great fluke ups, one energetic breach on Tuesday, many tail throws, some tail slaps. We saw many common dolphins both days. The dolphins were breaching high out of the water and bow riding. Seabirds including a jaeger and albatross.
We also saw the same little humpback calf swimming around; yesterday he followed us and swam under boat!

August 12 – Wednesday we had calm waters, got to see 20+ humpback whales feeding with sea lions…and hundreds of common dolphins.
And today, Friday 8/14 we saw whales! Lots of humpback whales feeding over Monterey Canyon… However the wind came up pretty fast & furious and we had to move out of the area.

Thriving sea life abounds in Monterey Bay!

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Santa Cruz has whales, dolphins and sharks

Sunday, July 5, 2015:
Balmy conditions, good visibility through to the sea floor near Santa Cruz. Just east of the Soquel Canyon we found a pod of 12 Risso’s dolphins; we could see them under the water, down about 20 feet. Risso’s are not usually very playful but this day they were leaping or “porpoising,” spy-hopping and acting quite animated for us to see.
We did not have to travel much farther for some beautiful views of humpback whales. We started to see several small groups of 2-3 animals about the middle of Soquel Canyon hear Santa Cruz. We saw breaching, pec slaps, fin slaps, and a few whales swam up to and around the boat. Later we saw a half-dozen harbor porpoises and a raft of about 20 otters in the kelp near Santa Cruz. To top it off there were harbor seals on the docks, soaking up the sun in the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor.

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Albatross, Monterey Bay, CA. Photo © john c. bruckman

Monday, July 6, 2015:
On Monday we barely made it out of the harbor before spotting a pair of whales breaching repeatedly, maybe a mile or 2 off shore. As we got closer, we discovered that this was a mom and calf frolicking in the sunshine! They displayed pectoral fin slaps, tail throws, tail slaps, chin slaps, and some breaches as well! Later, a third whale joined the party. On the way home, we spotted a few otters wrapped up in the kelp, aerating their fur with their paws. Great day!

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Otters in the Kelp near Santa Cruz, CA Photo: Jim Goff

Tuesday, July 7, 2015:
Tuesday we had another neat encounter with 20 Risso’s dolphins. The dolphins were in echelon swimming formation- which is all in a row ahead of the boat. We also had fun alongside 6 pacific white sided dolphins bow-riding with the Velocity. In the middle of the bay, near Monterey Canyon we found several humpback whales feeding, some surfacing close to the boat. And one of our favorite pelagic birds: 2 black-footed albatross!

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Risso’s Dolphins near Santa Cruz CA. Photo: Michael Nelson

On our weekend trips we’ve been visiting South Santa Cruz County near Seacliff State Beach to catch glimpses of the juvenile great white sharks that are spending some time in the area.

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Great white sharks visit Santa Cruz County on the Monterey Bay, June/July 2015. Photos: Azure Cohen

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We’re also very pleased to report that our local heroes – the Whale Entanglement Team (or WET) successfully freed a humpback whale caught up in fishing line this week. Go Team!

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World Oceans Day with humpback whales

What a treat to spend World Ocean Day seeing humpback whales in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary! Sunny skies and calm ocean conditions added to the beauty of it all. We saw multiple humpback whales doing all types of surface behavior!

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Humpback whales – tail slaps – Monterey Bay, CA with Santa Cruz Whale Watching (Azure Cohen)

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Memorial Day on Monterey Bay

MEMORIAL DAY! Monday, May 25, 2015: Today we saw 25 plus humpback whales out on Monterey Bay. There were many close “drive-bys” and close-up pec slapping behaviors, and a couple of tail throws! What a splash! We saw whales all along the way to the middle of Monterey Bay; several small groups of feeding humpback whales coming and going. We had good weather this trip!

humpback whales monterey bay photo: joey stagnaro

First Blue Whale of the Season

Over the weekend we saw the first blue whale of the season! Plus a few Orcas were spotted in the last few days near Monterey. Whale watching Monterey – abundant marine wildlife to be seen this spring!

Sightings Report for Wednesday, April 8, 2015: One BLUE WHALE, 8 HUMPBACK WHALES – 2 of which showed us all their tricks – and 200+ COMMON DOLPHINS!

Next whale watching trips are Thursday 4/9 at 10:30 AM, Sunday, 4/12 at noon. Call 831-427-0230

Now’s your chance to see blue whales, humpback whales, gray whales, dolphins and possible orcas! All have been sighted in Monterey Bay this week.

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

Blue Whale, Monterey, June 2012. Photo: GManako

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

Blue Whale, Monterey, June 2012. Photo: GManako

Humpback whale breach with Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey. Saturday, March 7, 2015. Photo: Michael Nelson

Great whale watching this week!

Here are the latest sightings whale watching on Monterey Bay.
Friday, March 6— We saw at least 8 humpback whales and 100 common dolphins.

Common Dolphins, Monterey Bay, March 2015. Photo: Michael Nelson

Common Dolphins, Monterey Bay, March 2015. Photo: Michael Nelson

Saturday, March 7— Great looks near and far of 8-10 humpback whales and amazing surface behavior: breaching, tail flips, pec-slapping! Plus 20-30 common dolphins bow riding alongside the boat.

Whale Watching Monterey 3/7/15. Photo: Michel Nelson

Whale Watching Monterey 3/7/15. Photo: Michel Nelson

Sunday, March 8— Group of 5-8 humpback whales were feeding and surfacing very close to the boat! We stayed and watched the action for over an hour.

Wednesday, March 11— A little rain won’t stop us! The sun came out as we ventured out onto flat calm seas. Passengers were treated to more surface feeding and activity near the boat by 4-5 humpback whales. Great looks at 2 gray whales on northbound migration. Check out some video from March 11 on our Facebook page CLICK HERE

Join us for year-round marine wildlife adventure! Next whale watching trips are Friday, March 13 at 10:30 AM, Saturday, March 14 at 12:00 PM and Sunday the 15th at 10:00 AM. We’ve got a Tuesday trip next week on Saint Patrick’s Day! See the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with Santa Cruz Whale Watching!

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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, have no gassy smell, and fast!

Velocity, Star of Stagnaro Charter Boats on Monterey Bay

Velocity, Star of Stagnaro Charter Boats/ Santa Cruz Whale Watching, Monterey Bay.

Santa Cruz County Visitor Center website is full of places to stay and more things to do in Santa Cruz on beautiful Monterey Bay.