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Friendly and active humpback whales, lots of ocean birds

AUGUST 14, 2017:

It's been a local whale fest all week. Most of our sightings have been starting less than one quarter mile from the Santa Cruz Harbor! We have been watching humpback whales actively feeding near the surface along the Santa Cruz county coastline. We've observed almost every behavior, from the usual surfacing to lunge feeding (right next to the boat today!), chin slapping, pec slapping, lots of tail throws, and even some friendly whales that were holding their tails up only a few feet from the boat!!

All close encounters have been of the whale's own volition. We have been approaching with caution, as always, and it just happens that sometimes these whales get curious about the boats. We are always very respectful and attentive to their behavior, in order to avoid causing stress to the animals.

Otters, seals, and sea lions were also spotted, along with common murres, pigeon guillemots, Brandt's cormorants, brown pelicans, elegant and Caspian terns.

 

Jenny O'Leary | Mon, Aug 14, 2017 3:42 PM