Three humpback whales put on a tandem show in Monterey Bay on Sunday, performing an extremely rare triple breach that delighted whale-watchers out for a tour.
As seen in the video below, two adult humpbacks and a calf did what appeared to be a coordinated dance as a trio, each breaching in succession and splashing back into the water. The lively group continued putting on a show, slapping fins and chins. As ABC 7 reports, experts say these moments are part of how the whales communicate with each other — they weren't doing this for the benefit of any human audience. The audience on Sunday just happened to luck out.
The video was captured by Princess Monterey Whale Watching, and they tell ABC7 that the captain of the boat had never seen a triple breach in his 45 years out on the water.
The humpback whale traffic in Monterey Bay has been especially crowded for several months, as SFist previously reported in July. These enormous ocean mammals are in the process of a southward migration to their breeding grounds in Mexico, and they need to feed as much as possible and pack on blubber before they arrive down there, where food sources will be more scarce.
Experts have been saying that an abundance of anchovies and sardines in the Northern Pacific this summer have been attracting whale gatherings like this. And hopefully this abundance continues into the spring when the whales will begin their trek north to Alaska, in a more malnourished state.
Back in June, rare appearances of blue whales were being reported near the Bay Area coast due to an abundance of krill — the tiny crustaceans that are these whales' favored food — occurring closer to shore than usual.