Mar 9 2014 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

A spy-hopping gray whale.Participants on Saturday's Half Moon Bay gray whale watching trip left the marina in thick fog and headed nine miles northwest. As the fog cleared and the boat headed southwest, a humpback whale was seen breaching in the distance. As the boat headed toward this sighting, passengers encountered two gray whales which turned out to be a mother with her calf. This pair stayed close to the boat and participants were able to view their blows and backs.

Participants on Sunday’s trip enjoyed calm seas and sunny skies to view ten gray whales that came within 50 feet of the boat. These sightings included one cow-calf pair, one whale that breached four times and another that was seen spy-hopping. These whales were observed snorkeling and fluking for about 40 minutes.

Other marine mammals sighted included California sea lions and harbor porpoises. Species of seabirds observed on both trips included: Western Grebes, Sooty Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans, Brandt’s Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Heerman’s Gull, California Gulls, Western Gulls, and Common Murres.



Feb 16 2014 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

Participants on Sunday's Half Moon Bay gray whale watching trip traveled 7 miles west and 15 miles south among 4-5 foot swells on a windless day.

A highlight of the trip were sightings of approximately 8 harbor porpoises and 20 California sea lions.

Species of sea birds sighted included: Common Loons, Earred Grebes, Western Grebes, Northern Fulmars, Brown Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Brandt’s Cormorant, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Common Merganser, Western Gull, Common Murre and Rhinoceros Auklet.

Feb 15 2014 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

Participants on Saturday’s Half Moon Bay gray whale watching trip enjoyed a beautiful day on the water with clear skies and flat seas. The group headed a mile offshore and north to Pacifica where a gray whale was spotted briefly.  

The Salty Lady then cruised out another four miles and south to the Ritz Carlton before heading back to the harbor. Hundreds of Common Murres were observed sitting in the water within a mile of shore.

California sea lions were also seen on this trip. Species of sea birds sighted included: Western Grebes, Clark’s Grebes, Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Pelagic Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Black Scoters, California Gulls, Herring Gulls, Western Gulls, and Common Murres.

Feb 1 2014 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

Participants on Saturday’s Half Moon Bay gray whale watching trip headed six miles due west and then headed south. While heading south, passengers spotted a juvenile gray whale near Martins Beach. They were able to view the back and blows of this whale for 20 minutes as it came within 50 feet of the boat.

As the boat headed back north along the coast, a second gray whale was encountered and was observed breaching seven times. This encounter lasted for 10 minutes with the whale coming within 100 feet of the boat. As the boat was almost back to port a third gray whale was seen breaching and came within 100 feet of the boat.

Other marine mammals spotted on this trip included California sea lions and harbor porpoises. Species of sea birds sighted included: Common Loons, Western Grebes, Northern Fulmars, Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Brandt’s Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Herring Gulls, Western Gulls, and Common Murres.


Jan 26 2014 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

Participants on Saturday’s gray whale watching trip from Half Moon Bay headed out under sunny skies and flat seas to find numerous harbor porpoises and enjoy a rare sighting of a Mola mola, or ocean sunfish.

Participants on Sunday’s trip also enjoyed sunny skies and flat seas. The boat headed West about 12 miles where they found one gray whale. The whale circled around for about 20 – 30 minutes, surfacing twice before disappearing.

Other marine mammals observed over the weekend included harbor porpoises, Dall's porpoise, California sea lions, and elephant seals.

Species of sea birds sighted on both trips included: Common Loons, Buller’s Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans, Double Crested Cormorants, Brandt’s Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Western Gulls, and Common Murres.


Jan 11 2014 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

Participants on Saturday’s gray whale watching trip from Half Moon Bay headed seven miles due west in 8-10 ft. swells. The boat then headed southeast for four miles and then north for five miles before heading back to the dock.

During this trip, passengers sighted five harbor porpoises, 50 California sea lions, and one large male Steller sea lion lounging on a buoy. Participants were also treated to a great look at the Mavericks surf break which was very large. 

Species of sea birds sighted included: Common Loons, Western Grebes, Northern Fulmars, Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Brandt’s Cormorants, Pelagic Cormorants, Surf Scoters, White Winged Scoters, Western Gulls, Common Murres, and Rhinoceros Auklets.


Jan 4 2014 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

January 4 Sightings

Participants on Saturday’s Half Moon Bay gray whale watching tour headed out in foggy weather which cleared to a very nice morning after 30 minutes. After heading five miles West, the boat then headed South and saw a blow in the distance. Participants viewed one gray whale heading South and stayed with it for about 30 minutes. Continuing south, participants found another gray whale and stayed with it for about 25 minutes before heading in.

January 5 Sightings

Participants on Sunday’s trip headed West 13 miles from Pillar Point Harbor and then South for five miles in calm, sunny weather. Participants spotted one gray whale heading South and observed its blows and back. The whale came within 300 yards of the boat.

Other marine mammals sighted over the weekend included over 20 harbor porpoises, California sea lions, and Steller sea lions.

Species of sea birds observed on both trips included: Pacific Loons, Common Loons, Eared Grebes, Western Grebes, Northern Fulmars, Sooty Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans, Brandt’s Cormorants, Pelagic Cormorants, Black Scoters, Surf Scoters, Black Oystercatchers, Heerman’s Gulls, California Gulls, Western Gulls, and Common Murres.

For more information or to sign up for a trip, visit our Half Moon Bay Whale Watching page.


 

Dec 28 2013 (All day)
Half Moon Bay

December 28 Sightings

Participants on Saturday’s Half Moon Bay gray whale watching tour headed five miles North and then turned South, heading eight miles offshore. Participants viewed one gray whale heading South and stayed with it for about 30 minutes, getting good views of its blows and back.

December 29 Sightings

Participants on Sunday’s trip headed eight miles West of Pillar Point Harbor and spotted two gray whales heading South. The whales were observed spy-hopping and breaching. Participants also got great looks at their backs and blowholes. This encounter lasted 45 minutes.

On the way back to the harbor, participants encountered another gray whale swimming South and got great looks at its blows, back and flukes.

More than 20 harbor porpoises were also seen during the trips. Species of sea birds sighted on both trips included: Pacific Loons, Common Loons, Eared Grebes, Western Grebes, Northern Fulmars, Sooty Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Brandt’s Cormorants, Surf Scoters, Black Oystercatchers, Heerman’s Gulls, California Gulls, Western Gulls, and Common Murres.

For more information or to sign up for a trip, visit our Half Moon Bay Whale Watching page.


Dec 7 2013 (All day)
n/a

The Farallon Islands Whale Watching season has ended. Our gray whale watching season from Half Moon Bay, CA will begin on December 28 and continue through mid-May 2014. 

Visit our gray whale watching page for more information or to sign up for a trip!

 

Breaching gray whale


Nov 17 2013 (All day)
Farallon Islands

Naturalist: Susan Sherman
Boat: Salty Lady
Highlights include sightings of over 30 Risso's dolphins and 20 humpback whales 

Participants on Saturday’s Farallon Islands nature cruise headed straight west out to the islands in flat seas. During the trip out, participants viewed 30 Risso’s dolphins surrounding the boat. After dropping off two biologists at the islands, the Salty Lady headed to the Continental shelf where participants saw 20 humpback whales spread out over six miles. All passengers had great views of their blows, backs, and flukes.

Other marine mammals sighted include over 20 harbor porpoises, California sea lions, northern elephant seals, and harbor seals.

Species of seabirds sighted on this trip included: Pacific Loons, Common Loons, Western Grebes, Northern Fulmars, Pink-footed Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Brandt’s Cormorants, Black Oystercatchers, Red-necked Phalaropes, Heerman’s Gulls, California Gulls, Western Gulls, Glaucous-winged Gulls, Common Murres, and Cassin’s Auklets.