All, One Sunday 8/6, a hardy group of folks went on a 12-hour pelagic for whales and birds with Monterey Bay Whale Watch. We departed from Monterey Harbor at 7:30 and found conditions to be fairly calm the entire day. Water temperatures ranged; peaking right around 62 degrees. We roamed the seas, spending time in both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.
Just across the county line in Santa Cruz waters, a TUFTED PUFFIN buzzed the boat by a mere ten feet on it's initial pass. For those who missed it the first time, it circled the boat twice before heading south towards Monterey Co. Smiles were everywhere as folks checked their cameras. As for the other alcids, CASSIN'S AUKLETS were numerous in both counties. We encountered RHINOCEROS AUKLETS in both counties as well.
RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were numerous all day and a few RED PHALAROPES seen.
Tubenoses included: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, SOOTY SHEARWATER and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER but the highlight for many came farther offshore where BULLER'S SHEARWATERS (12) generated some excitement. Their numbers were difficult to tell as they were sometimes clustered in groups of 4-5 sitting on the water and other times streaming by the boat individually. A very conservative estimate would be a dozen.
The cetacean show was impressive as well. HUMPBACK WHALES (26) put on show after show of feeding, breaching, and sometimes getting quite friendly with the boat. BLUE WHALE (7) and FIN WHALE (12) numbers were mind boggling. Currently, we studying photos of a probable SEI WHALE. DALL'S PORPOISE (12) rode the bow at times and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN (150) also showed up.
It was really a full day! Highlights and photographs can be found at both Monterey Bay Whale Watch facebook page:
as well as at Monterey Seabirds facebook:
Lastly, MONTEREY SEABIRDS is heading out on 13 more trips this season. To see our complete schedule and to sign up go to:
Hope to see you out there,