June 20, 2016 • Trip Reports
Our June 25 Farallon Islands whale watching expedition got off to a promising start when we encountered a group of bottlenose dolphins just outside of San Francisco Bay. During this sighting, we witnessed 12-15 dolphins traveling northwest toward Pt. Reyes. They periodically leapt up and out of the water and splashed through the sea at remarkable speeds.
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After the excitement of the dolphins, we made our way out to the Farallon Islands through buffeting winds and unpredictable seas. Our passengers proved to be true, tough explorers and stoically weathered the elements on this open-ocean safari. Their grit was rewarded once we reached our destination as a keen-eyed passenger spotted a Tufted Puffin basking in the sun along with a nearby cormorant
After observing thousands of seabirds and a host of barking sea lions on the islands, we went off in search of whales. It didn’t take long. About a mile from the southeast Farallon Islands we encountered a group of 4 humpbacks feeding together. This group was the first of 54 humpback whales we would encounter, and today they put on an amazing show.
We witnessed a wide range of humpback whale behaviors, including:
In total we saw: