Sighting from Tamalpais Charters vessel The Tamalpais for the Marine Mammal Center.
On Friday morning, the Marine Mammal Center staff set out on a charter of the Tamalpais to find some whales. First stop was to check out the harbor seals hanging out on the docks at Angel Island.
Next we headed out to the shipping lane, where the conditions were beautiful. There was very little wind or swell, although there was some cold fog.
Near buoys 3 and 4 we found the first humpback whale. We were on the tip of the north bar, so the water was only 32 feet deep. More whales started to be reported in the area from the pilot boat and fishing boats. We followed them as they moved to the south side of the shipping lane. We were also seeing more spouts on the horizon, numbering at least ten in total.
We saw lots of activity from these animals, including a few breaches, body rolls, and pectoral fin slaps.
We also saw a few coordinated lunge feeds.
We slowly moved west with the humpbacks until we were about 14 miles offshore in 95 feet of water. Once the whales were in deeper water we started to see more of their fluke dives.
Thank you to Tamalpais Charters for a great trip!