Moss Landing & the Monterey Submarine Canyon

Under the waters off the Monterey coastline lies an undersea canyon that's deeper than the Grand Canyon.  Ocean upwelling brings cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface, supporting blooms of phytoplankton and seaweed, the foundation of a vibrant food chain.  Because of this undersea geography, it's one of the best places to see whales along the west coast.  In the spring, Gray whales with their newborns travel through here as they return from the warm lagoons of Mexico, migrating back up to their Oregon and Alaska feeding grounds.  Pods of Orca whales wait for the calves in ambush, attacking from below as they float over the canyon.  In late summer, Humpbacks and Blue Whales come here to feed. Unlike the Gray and Blue whales, Humpbacks are energetic hunters that feed on baitfish as well as krill. They tend to be a lot more fun to watch, lunge feeding at the surface, scooping up large mouthfuls of anchovies.  This year's anchovy boom was particularly massive, attracting feeding frenzies of seabirds that stretched hundreds of miles.