All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat
Before our first trip of the day we stopped by the fuel dock, where I noticed a juvenile blue heron among the usual cormorants and gulls. The weather was foggy and cold, but we headed out under the Golden Gate Bridge, hugging the north side of the Golden Gate Strait.
We found one humpback whale near Bonita Cove with a very small spout and back. It was diving in 30 feet of water, and we couldn't see any fish on the sonar. The whale seemed to be swimming in circles, and we didn't see any fluke diving, probably due to the shallow sandbar underneath us.
On our way back in, we saw part of a telephone pole floating in the strait and reported it to traffic. We also noticed a California sea lion eating salmon close to the bridge.
On our second trip we headed back out to Point Bonita, and found that 6-7 whales had showed up while we were gone. Large groups of birds swarmed over the area, picking up any anchovy leftovers they could get. We saw a lot of spouts and fluke dives, and had one breach by Mile Rock.
The same whale we had been seeing for the past few days came within 100 yards of us, surfacing first on our starboard and then coming back up on our port side. 300 yards away there was a group of three humpbacks spouting and fluking in synchrony.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org! I'd love to add them to this post for others to enjoy (with credit to you). Thank you!***