Sightings Report: September 28, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

8am: 

On the first tour of the day we had very low visibility. A wet, thick fog surrounded the bay; near the bridge we could only see 200-300 yards. There were reports that the fog got worse farther out. 

 A fishing boat heading out into the fog.

A fishing boat heading out into the fog.

We headed out to the spot where we had found the whales yesterday. On our way, we spotted harbor porpoises and harbor seals. At 10 miles out, the fog started to clear up and after a few minutes we had found a whale. 

The humpback did three large tail slaps right in front of our boat, followed by a fluke dive. After that we saw a few shallow fluke dives, with lots of bird activity above the whale. 

 Humpback whale.

Humpback whale.

The water was flat and calm, but the fog meant that it was very cold. 

11am: 

We headed back to the same spot on our second trip. The visibility had vastly improved, but low clouds still covered the sky outside the bridge. 

 Fog waiting by the Golden Gate.

Fog waiting by the Golden Gate.

At the previous spot, we found 7-9 whales feeding in groups of 1-2 surfacing all around our boat. A few of the whales surfaced very close to us. 

There were large clouds of birds over each whale. We saw one side-lunge feed followed by a pectoral slap. We also saw one tail slap. 

On our way in we saw a mother and calf surfacing together. They were a few miles away from the other whales. 

2pm: 

For our last trip of the day we headed once again out to the same spot 12 miles offshore. On our way out, we saw harbor porpoises and California sea lions in the Golden Gate Strait.

5-6 whales were feeding on anchovies 12 miles offshore. There was one pair of whales which we soon discovered was the mother and calf. 

 Humpback about to slap its tail.

Humpback about to slap its tail.

The calf tail slapped over and over again. A few other whales also tail slapped. We also saw some lunge feeding on this trip and a lot of bird activity over every whale. 

 Tail slap.

Tail slap.

A few container ships passed by in the distance, but none came close to the whales on this trip. 

 Humpback fluke.

Humpback fluke.

All sightings were reported to Vessel Traffic.

If you were on one of these trips and have photos, send them in to info.whalegirl@gmail.com! I'd love to add them to this post for others to enjoy (with credit to you). Thank you!