Highlight: On July 5, 2010 we observed over 70 blue and humpback whales feeding on krill in Monterey Bay.
Monterey Bay Whale Watch is Observation Post #9 on Journey North, which tracks the northward migration of gray whales and other species.
This website features sightings and news provided by observers at observation posts along the entire gray whale migration route from Baja California to northern Alaska.
Monterey Bay Whale Watch offers year-round whale watching trips to observe the spectacular diversity and abundance of whales and dolphins inhabiting the Bay. Monterey is the best place in the nation to view a variety of marine mammals and seabirds. The Monterey Submarine Canyon approaches close to the shore, allowing deep water species of whales, dolphins, and seabirds to occur near the coast. Shallow water species, such as the gray whale, are found very close to shore in the narrow shelf region.
Depending on the season, whales and dolphins that are frequently observed include Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Risso's Dolphins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins, Common Dolphins, Killer Whales, and Dall's Porpoise. We occasionally spot Fin Whales, Minke Whales, Harbor Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphins, and Beaked Whales.
Our captains have over 20 years of experience with nature trips and offer excellent views of marine wildlife. All our trips are led by marine biologists, most with 10+ years experience, who fully narrate and answer questions during trips. Our whale watching trips are educationally oriented and our biologists collect valuable data on the marine mammals sighted during these trips, including distribution, relative abundance, and behavior of whales and dolphins. We also photo-identify individual whales and dolphins, contributing to assessments of population, residency patterns, and migration or movement patterns.
We are unique in that we are the only whale watching group that has marine biologists on all trips, offers trips in Monterey Bay on a regular basis, schedules trip lengths depending on the season to allow enough time to watch whales and other marine life, and has the most skilled captains who know where to find whales and how to approach them. There is a world of difference between our quality trips and shorter trips offered by others, providing merely a quick glimpse of a whale with no information. That's why we are considered the best of the whale watches in Monterey Bay!
July 2010 - Exceptional number of Blue Whales and Humpback Whales feeding on krill in Monterey Bay.
Whales crowd Monterey Bay to feast on krill bonanza (Sacramento Bee, July 24, 2010)
Large blue whale gathering a boon for Monterey tourism (Pete Thomas Outdoors, July 12, 2010)
Best of times for whale watchers off Monterey (San Francisco Chronicle, July 11, 2010)
Blue whale sightings on rise in Monterey Bay (KGO Channel 7 News, July 7, 2010)
Blue whales visit Monterey Bay in search for food (Monterey County Herald, July 7, 2010)
Blue whales, drawn by multitude of krill, emerge for a feeding frenzy (Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 7, 2010)
Spotting Of 28 Blue Whales 'Once In Decade Event' (KSBW article and video, July 6, 2010)
Rare Blue Whales in the Monterey Bay (KION article and video, July 6, 2010)
An Extraordinary Number of Blue Whales and Humpback Whales Arrive to Monterey Bay - Monterey Bay Whale Watch feature article with photos
Killer Whales from Puget Sound Resident L-Pod were spotted off Monterey on March 5, 2009.
Southern Resident Killer Whales Sighted in January and February 2008 in Monterey Bay
On January 27, 2008 Monterey Bay Whale Watch sighted about 40 members (some identified as L Pod) of the Southern Residents best known from Puget Sound and an endangered group of whales in Monterey Bay. These Killer Whales were seen again on February 2.
Above mother & calf photos taken by Nancy Black on February 2, 2008.
Endangered killer whales emerging in Monterey Bay (Santa Cruz Sentinel Feb. 26, 2008)
Video featuring Nancy Black: Killer whales visit Monterey Bay (Santa Cruz Sentinel, Feb. 25, 2008)
Puget Sound orcas feeding in California -- again (SeattlePI.com, January 28, 2008)
California here we come, say Washington's (hungry) orcas (SeattlePI.com, January 28, 2008)
Members of Lpod sighted heading south off Monterey Coast, January 27, 2008 (Center for Whale Research)
On November 15, 2008 Nancy Black gave a presentation about Orcas in a Changing World at the ACS Conference in Monterey.
On May 31, 2007 Nancy Black gave a presentation about Killer Whales: Their behavior and ecology in California Waters at the ACS Monterey Bay Chapter meeting.
Read March 28, 2007 Seattle Times article: Orca pod shows off newest member, named L109 for now
Puget Sound Resident Killer Whales (K and L pods) sighted off Monterey on March 24 & 25, 2007. See article about the sightings, including photographs.
Read January 30, 2007 San Francisco Chronicle article: 5 dozen killer whales believed to be hunting salmon off S.F. coast
Blue Planet - Seas of Life TV special was shown on Animal Planet. Monterey Bay Whale Watch is featured in Episode 1 - Ocean World, and in Episode 9 - The Making of the Blue Planet.
Discovery Channel's Animal Planet featured Monterey Bay Whale Watch in the television show Caught in the Moment, Episode Seven: Monterey Bay. For details see Caught in the Moment on the Animal Planet website.
The Gray Whale Obstacle Course PBS Special originally aired on July 19, 2006, and was shown again on August 16 at 8 p.m. Part of a series of Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ocean Adventures, this special traces the Gray Whale migration from Alaska to Baja California and back. In Monterey Bay Jean-Michel and his team are joined by killer whale expert and biologist Nancy Black. Local scenes include killer whales attacking a gray whale mother and calf.
Killer Whale Attack Caught on Tape KNBC-TV, Los Angeles (April 2006).
Spring and Summer Sea Life in Monterey Bay California Tour and Travel (2005).
Monterey Bay Whale Watch sponsored a fund-raising whale-watching boat trip for the Monterey Bay Chapter of the American Cetacean Society (ACS/MB) on Sunday, August 21, 2005. Learn more about this trip.
On August 2, 2005: Nancy Black gave a presentation entitled Orcas: Behavior and Ecology of Killer Whales at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA.
On May 25, 2005, a story about Monterey Bay Whale Watch, Nancy Black, and Killer Whales was featured on the CBS Evening News.
On May 11, 2005, Nancy Black and Monterey Bay Whale Watch were featured on the Today Show on NBC.
The BBC film "Killer Whale: Killer Culture" was featured on the Discovery Channel on September 14, 15 and 21, 2004. Nancy Black and Richard Ternullo of Monterey Bay Whale Watch were scientific consultants on the film project for parts filmed in Monterey Bay as well as in Alaska.
Chasing the Killers: Killer whale researchers document the recent violence of Monterey Bay Monterey County Weekly (June 2004).
Orcas feast on harvest of gray whale calves San Francisco Chronicle (May 2004).
Watching's better than killing, says man who's done both Dolphin World (Oct. 2003).
Killer Whales -- Killing Other Whales National Geographic News (March 2003).