The Bay's Newest Guests
There’s been a lot of action in the bay lately and it’s not on land! The whale watching has been phenomenal with four species spotted and a lot of love from our giant pals in the sea. Observers can expect an animated show and it’s not uncommon to get sprayed by a humpback as they exhale on their way around the boat.
Whale watchers in Santa Cruz County have seen Blue whales, Fin whales, Humpbacks, and Orcas enjoying the scenery in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Blue whales have been regular visitors to the area over the past few years due to a high volume of krill, their food source, in the bay. Fin whales, however, are fairly new visitors and they and their larger counterpart, the Blue whale, are giving onlookers quite a thrill.
“There is no creature larger than a Blue whale,” said Ken Stagnaro, of Santa Cruz Whale Watching. “We were right next to one that was about 90 feet long the other day. It was amazing and the conditions couldn’t have been better. The water was clear, the sun was shining, and the whales were out and about.”
While the Blue whale and Fin whale are grandeur in size and grace, it’s been the Humpback who has been the star of the show.
“People come out to see the Blues, but they leave remembering the Humpbacks,” said Stagnaro. “The Humpback whale is definitely the most active whale in the bay and has been known to come so close to the boat that onlookers are sprayed by their spout.”
To do some whale watching of your own, check out Santa Cruz Whale Watching or Chardonnay. Tours are currently going out every day of the week and last from 3.5-4 hours. Dress warm because it can get chilly out on the water, but it’s definitely worth it! Ocean lovers can also learn more about the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary at the Visitor's Exploration Center set to open in mid July.
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