Sightings Report: October 15, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

8am: Farallon Islands

An easterly wind pushed us west as we headed out for our trip to the islands. We spotted harbor seals and harbor porpoises, but were shocked to see spouts underneath the center span of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

The tip of a fluke just past the Golden Gate Bridge.

The tip of a fluke just past the Golden Gate Bridge.

The humpback whale feeding in the bay was also seen feeding here in August and September. We saw many fluke dives from this whale in the deepest part of the bay. There were lots of anchovies on our fish finder. 

Humpback whale.

Humpback whale.

We continued on our way to the islands, but stopped again to view another humpback whale northwest of the shipping lane. This whale was also feeding; a huge cloud of birds gathered over it. 

We continued on to the islands, which were full of pinnipeds and seabirds.

One humpback spouted a few times near Saddle Rock before heading west. 

The easterly wind which had pushed us out to the islands was against us on our way back. Since it was opposing the northwestern swell, it made the conditions much rougher than usual until we were about ten nautical miles from home, at which point the headlands blocked the wind and the seas became flat and calm. 

A huge plume of smoke was visible to the north from the Santa Rosa fires. 


We found two humpbacks northwest of the shipping lane. One of the two had been sighted the previous day.

They were feeding in about 100 feet of water, with some bird and porpoise activity nearby. The conditions were calm and sunny.