The gray whales led the way on Sunday! We kept our whale watching tour along the coastline, following several sets of gray whales swimming northbound through Monterey Bay. There were plenty of gray whales just 1-2 miles offshore from Santa Cruz — wonderful to see whale spouts over here, there, everywhere! We followed several small groups of whales up the coast towards Davenport; a few groups of two, then a trio of gray whales who were the most active, showing tail flukes (diving), a spyhop, and other active surface behaviors.
On the way in we got good looks at otters in the kelp beds. It was a beautiful day on Monterey Bay!
*Saturday, February 11 from 11 AM to 4 PM
*End of West Cliff Dr. at Swanton Blvd., Santa Cruz, California 95060
Come to Natural Bridges State Beach for a full day of activities that celebrate the migration of whales, butterflies, birds and the many creatures that travel. The park will host migratory animal talks, active kids’ games, crafts, skits, live music by the nature-loving 5M’s Band, educational booths and displays, along with the now-famous free habitat-cake served at the end of the event. You can purchase a picnic at the park or bring your own. Event is free; vehicle day-use fee is $10. For more information, please call (831) 423-4609 or email NaturalBridgesStateBeach@gmail.com.
Facebook Event Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/150443888786351/
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
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
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.
We loved having so many family groups out on the boat this week. Each day of Thanksgiving week we got some great views of 10-20 humpback whales that are active in Monterey Bay right now. These humpback whales are feeding and showing surface behaviors such as tail slaps and breaching above the water. We’re getting to see big pods of common dolphins, otters in the kelp beds, and California sea lions. Our cover photo is from passenger Matija Vižin, taken on Tuesday 11/22 when we saw 10 humpback whales – one full breach! – Good looks, lots of flukes.
We’ve had a certain population of humpbacks staying around over winter for the last several years. As long as they are able to eat they will stay in the area instead of participating in migration to Central America.
We’ll soon be keeping an eye out for gray whales migrating south towards their winter mating/calving waters in Baja, Mexico. Over 20,000 gray whales pass through Monterey Bay every year!
Santa Cruz Whale Watching Trips run every weekend in December, and DAILY from December 23 – New Year’s Day. Join us for adventure on the Bay!
Tickets are $48.95 for adults and $34.95 for kids age 4-13. Reservations recommended; Call 831-427-0230 or click the link toBook Online Now.
Over the last week up to 6 humpback whales have been seen spouting and feeding near Santa Cruz and the north part of Monterey Bay. Long beak common dolphins and Risso’s dolphins are also active in the Bay right now.
Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s the whale watching schedule this week:
Tuesday 11/22 at 11am
Wednesday 11/23 at 11am
Thursday 11/24 at 10am
Friday 11/25 at 12pm
Saturday 11/26 – two trips! – 8:30am and 12:30pm
Sunday 11/27 at 12pm
Click BOOK NOW or Call 831-427-0230 ~ We look forward to having you on board!
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.
Sunday 10/23: Again we found Humpback Whales near Santa Cruz, feeding along with rafts of California Sea Lions. (Photos courtesy Michael B Nelson)
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.