Kicking off Whale Watching with Breaches and Humpbacks

The start of whale watching season brought some rough weather, high seas, and some amazing sights. Gray Whales are making their way past the coast in a slow but determined pace and our team has seen some amazing sights!

Naturalist Taylor shared an exciting day on the water earlier this week:

We weren’t sure what type of whales we saw on the horizon as we approached. Once we got closer, we noticed they weren’t sticking to a standard south-bound route which was the first tip-off that they weren’t Gray Whales. When the whales went to fluke we noticed the dorsal fin and coloration which is when we realized they weren’t Gray Whales but in fact Humpbacks!


Humpback Whales have a distinctive dorsal fin.


As if the morning Humpack Whales wasn’t good enough, Taylor and our afternoon guests had an exciting afternoon out on the water!

“Out of nowhere we saw a small blow almost directly in front of us. Once we got closer we realized it was a juvenile Gray Whale. It was then that the juvenile spy-hopped and then began breaching! We stopped counting how many breaches after 12. We were thinking it just wanted to show off for us. After we passed it, it had spy-hopped once more before continuing on.”

Check our Instagram to see the breach video!

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego