Sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat
On our first trip of the day we found humpbacks whales about 14 miles offshore, close to the pilot station. There were nine whales in the area feeding in 100 feet of water.
We saw fluke dives from these animals, as well as lunge feeding. There was one coordinated lunge feed with two whales.
The whales in the area moved around a lot. Different groups were constantly moving apart and coming together.
There were birds hovering over the whales and anchovies on the fish finder. We stayed with the whales for about 30 minutes.
On our next trip we found the whales several miles east of the previous location. The whales were near buoys 1 and 2, directly in the shipping lane.
There were four humpbacks feeding in 60 feet of water.
We saw fluke dives and some coordinated lunge feeding from these whales. Large ships and the pilot boat were nearby.
There were lots of birds in the area, particularly shearwaters. The birds were flushed from the surface of the water by the whales several times.
We stayed with these animals for about 45 minutes. There were another 2-3 spouts in the distance as well.
On our final trip of the day we found one whale in almost the exact same spot, directly in the shipping lane.
After seeing a few spouts and getting a good look at the dorsal fin, we identified the whale as Akula - a frequent visitor to this area.
Akula wasn’t fluke diving, but after a few minutes she began tail slapping, allowing us to get a good look at the orca tooth rakes on her fluke.
There were anchovies on the fish finder and birds hovering over Akula, so it is likely she was feeding. We stayed with Akula for about 40 minutes.
There were ships present over the course of the trip. We also saw a large sunfish come down the side of our boat.
There were California sea lions on the shipping lane buoys as well.