Sightings Report: July 26, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat


We started off the day with glassy seas and a bit of fog. We headed towards Muir Beach to see if the whales would repeat the same route as the previous day, and on our way out we spotted many active harbor porpoises, harbor seals, and California sea lions in the Golden Gate Strait.

But it turned out we didn't need to go all the way to Muir Beach, because there were four humpbacks feeding just off of Point Bonita in only 50 feet of water. The tide line was visible with the different colored bay and ocean water, and some sea foam had formed along the line. 

We saw several fluke dives, and also noticed a great deal of bird activity right above the whales, suggesting they were pushing the fish up to the surface. I also noted more diving pelicans than usual. 

On our way in, we spotted another humpback near the Golden Gate Bridge, but didn't stay with it for long. 


As we set out on our second trip of the day, we heard reports on the radio of whales by Baker Beach and Diablo Cove. We headed out into the strait, but had no spouts in the reported areas. 

A foamy tide line separates the bay and ocean water. 

A foamy tide line separates the bay and ocean water. 

We found one humpback outside of Mile Rock near the Cliff House. The tide line was much more dramatic than on the previous trip, and the ocean side was much more choppy and green with phytoplankton. We also looked at our sonar readings and found that the bay water showed no food, but the ocean side showed anchovies down to about 90 feet. The whale, who had a distinctive rounded fluke, worked this line the entire time. We also spotted 3-4 more spouts on the horizon. 

On our way back in we saw a California sea lion snapping up a king salmon, with several western gulls lingering above, hoping to steal a bite. 

These sightings were reported to the Coast Guard and NOAA on the Whale Alert app. 

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