All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat
The tours earlier in the morning had found humpback whales inside the Bay Bridge by the ballpark - a new record for San Francisco Whale Tours. Two whales appeared to be swimming in circles in rougly 50 feet of water. The Coast Guard was nearby protecting the whales from boat traffic, and our SFWT captain noted some seemingly agitated behavior from the whale. When I got on board at 2pm, we decided not to go to those whales since they were already experiencing a lot of stress.
Instead we headed out into the wind towards the Golden Gate Strait. Right away we noticed a lot of sea lion feeding activity and spotted a few harbor seals and harbor porpoises as well. We were almost at the Golden Gate Bridge when we saw several spouts by the south tower.
Over the next hour we saw spouts and flukes from three different humpbacks, but the wind and current pushed us hard to the east and the whales generally stayed away from us. One whale gave a large tail slap within 100 yards of the boat. There was a lot of traffic going in and out underneath the bridge, and we reported our whale sightings to the Coast Guard and continued to follow the 100 yard rule.
By our second trip the wind had calmed quite a bit and more whales had moved in underneath the bridge. We counted six different spouts in various spots in the Golden Gate Strait. We saw many spouts and flukes and one breach out by mile light. There was a lot of porpoise activity, and several surfaced multiple times within 30 feet of our boat; there was one large group of five porpoises who were feeding in the wake of the whales.
The sighting was reported to the Coast Guard and vessel traffic was warned of the presence of whales. SFWT photographer Angelica Patyten was on both of these trips - check out her photos below.
***If you were on one of these trips and have photos, send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org! I'd love to add them to this post for others to enjoy (with credit to you). Thank you!***