Migrating Whales Putting On Show Off The Coast

MONTEREY (CBS SF) – The migration of whales up the California coast is in full swing and nowhere is this more evident than in the waters of Monterey Bay.

Dorris Welch is a local marine biologist and the owner of a whale watching tour called Sanctuary Cruises operating out of the harbor at Moss Landing.

She says that in the last month the massive creatures have begun to put on quite show for watch watching charters.

“Things are really increasing as far as whale activity goes here out of Moss Landing,” she said. “In the last month, we’ve had a significant increase in the number of whale sightings and consistency.”

A sense of wonderment comes over Welch every time she sees a breaching whale.

“It’s really powerful to be so close to such a large animal,” she said.

As she speaks to KPIX 5, three humpback whales are in the background, frolicking in the Bay.

“This year we’ve had a lot of strong winds, and waves, and upwelling of nutrients and so we have more food (to attract the whales),” she said.

While the humpback and gray whales are providing whale watchers with visions of beauty, pods of killer whales are providing them with lessons in the brutal side of Mother Nature.

This last month, whale watchers have witnessed killer whales attacking and killing mother gray whales and their calves.

The Monterey Bay is perfect hunting ground as gray whales make their way up the California coast to Alaska.

“We’ll usually see three to four attacks a year and they’re sort of spread out,” said Mike Sack who is a partner in the Sanctuary Cruises operation. “We never know (when) and they’re in different areas. This year, we have had a stretch of about two weeks when we have had one (killer whale attack) about every day.”

More from Betty Yu
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