Tag Archives: humpback whales

california sea otters monterey

Springtime otters, breaching humpbacks, migrating gray whales

Spring is here bringing a lively mix of sunny days, cleansing rain, and a wonderful variety of marine wildlife to see with Santa Cruz Whale Watching! Several species of whales & dolphins, sea birds, otters and sea lions mix it up, to delight all visitors to Monterey Bay.

Sunday 3/19/17 — We had two breaching humpback whales out on Monterey Bay! We saw a pod of 12 Risso’s dolphins, and got great looks at harbor porpoises, harbor seals and California sea otters in the kelp beds near Santa Cruz.

Saturday 3/18/17 – Springtime proves to be a great time of year to see multiple whale species out on Monterey Bay! We found four humpback whales and 10 gray whales. Gray whales will continue to travel northbound along the Santa Cruz coastline throughout April and May.

Join us this week! Thursday 3/23, Friday 3/24, Saturday 3/25 and Sunday 3/26 whale watching trips depart at 11am. Call 831-427-0230 or order online at www.santacruzwhalewatching.com

Spring nature whales monterey

Monterey Bay, March 19, 2017
Photo: Michael Nelson

#montereybay #santacruz #whale #whaletail #whales #whalewatching #dolphins #humpback #humpbackwhale #humpbackwhales #montereywhalewatching #santacruzwhalewatching #monterey #stagnarowhalewatching #stagnaro #sanfrancisco #sanfranciscobay #marinelife #seaotters #wildlife #orca #birdwatching #otters #seals #california #oceanlife #springbreak

Gray, Humpback Whales, Springtime Dolphins

Over the last week we have had some delightful whale watching trips! Last Sunday we found lots of gray whales over the outer Monterey Bay, and got great looks at a huge pod of dolphins that swam and played alongside the boat!

On Tuesday we hosted a group of high school students who brought us great luck – spotting humpback whales near Santa Cruz, and gray whales further out towards Monterey.

Saturday whale watching another lovely day – between storms we’ve had some beautiful conditions! Guests spotted several humpback whales, and one breached out of the water! We noted that the 2 gray whales we saw on this trip seemed to be heading south! Most likely these animals will be late for the breeding season in Mexico. Usually at this time of year in Monterey we are starting to see gray whales migrating northbound, returning to Alaska for the summer.

It’s also exciting to see migratory ocean birds visiting Monterey Bay – This trip a keen-eyed passenger spotted a Tufted Puffin!

Tufted Puffin Monterey Bay March 4 2017 Notice the red feet and the large plumes on the head. Photo: James Maughn

Tufted Puffin, Monterey Bay, March 4 2017
Notice the red feet and the large plumes on the head. Photo: James Maughn

Join Santa Cruz Whale Watching on Monterey Bay this weekend!

Saturday 3/11 at 10:00 AM and Sunday 3/12 at 11:00 AM.
For tickets call 831-427-0230 or visit us online www.santacruzwhalewatching.com

Spring Break Whale Watching Trips run daily April 1-16!

#Monterey #whales #dolphins #birds #wildlife #California #sanfrancisco #santacruz #springbreak

monterey whales

Gray Whales, Humpbacks, Otters, Birds

Monday 1/16/17 Mom and baby day! We spotted a sea otter mama and pup on the way out, and a gray whale mom and calf on the way home! In between we were treated to wintering humpbacks showing their tail flukes while diving on bait over the Monterey Bay Canyon. We counted 6-8 humpbacks, one breacher!
Photos: Michael Nelson

seagull with otter

humpback whales

Sunday 1/15/17 Lots of humpback whales in the bay! We had a humpback whale breaching, and saw more gray whales crossing the outer Monterey Bay. Seabirds: common murres

common murre

Saturday 1/14/17 We had 4 gray whales heading south and several humpback whales – one humpback whale did a tail throw for us!
The weather is beautiful out there. (Video: Michael Nelson)

Winter Wildlife Viewing at its Finest! Join us year round with Santa Cruz Whale Watching Trips on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. For a Trip Schedule, Call 831-427-0230.


Winter Solstice brings friendly humpback whales, lively dolphins, and ocean birds

Wednesday, 12/21/16:  A beautiful winter day on the Monterey Bay! We had multiple pairs of humpbacks, one of which came in for a close inspection of the boat! We were also treated to a large group of pacific white sided dolphins, bow riding and frolicking in the waves. On the way home we encountered some of our earlier humpbacks feeding near the surface. Birders enjoyed looks at a black footed albatross, many species of shearwater, and northern fulmars.

dolphins, santa cruz, monterey

Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Monterey Bay, Dec. 21, 2016.  Photo: Michael Nelson


Albatross, Monterey Bay, CA Dec 21, 2016.
Photo: Michael Nelson

monterey whale watching

Lunge Feeding Whales, Sea Lions

Saturday 12/3/16 We had some great looks at a large group of lunge feeding humpback whales on Saturday. The whales were dining midday out at Pajaro Canyon, alongside hundreds of California sea lions. These are late season whales in Monterey Bay. We are soon expecting to see gray whales on their annual migration between Alaska and Baja California.

Join us on board Velocity or Legacy for an unforgettable adventure on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary – one of the top wildlife viewing locations in the world!

Santa Cruz Whale Watching trips run every weekend, and DAILY starting December 20 through January 1.

Photo: Michael Nelson

Photo: Michael Nelson

Humpback whales, Monterey Bay November

November Humpbacks near Santa Cruz

Sunday 11/6/16 ~ Whale Watching on ‘Legacy’
Five humpbacks, one minke whale, and 200 to 300 common dolphins west of the Soquel Canyon.

Friday, 11/4/16 ~ Whale Watching on ‘Legacy’
Group of four humpbacks over the Soquel Canyon. Pair of humpbacks one of which did a couple of tail throws, and a few scattered whales throughout the Monterey Bay. A couple of large packs of sea lions swimming with the whales.

We also continue to see a few whales near West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz.


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

Beautiful day up close with humpback whales: VIDEO

Tuesday, Sept. 27 – Mama and baby humpback playing with us today! Calf was breaching and pec slapping. Humpback whales are scattered, feeding throughout the Bay.

Monday, Sept. 26– We found whales! 7-8 humpback whales and ~100 sea lions center of Monterey Bay.