Sightings Report: August 11, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

2pm: 

On our 2pm trip we found the whales out at Mile Rock. It was the same humpback I had been seeing all week, with distinctive white patches on its fluke. The whale did several fluke dives about 150 yards away from us in an average of 100 feet of water. The tide was strong and quickly pulled us back towards the bay.

 Humpback in between us and a large container ship.

Humpback in between us and a large container ship.

We saw 4-5 small sharks (~3 ft) leaping from the water. I suspect they were leopard sharks, but the caudal fin was long and pronounced. It could potentially have been a juvenile thresher shark or spiny dogfish, but as of now the species is unconfirmed. I didn't get any photos of these animals.

 The distinctive fluke. 

The distinctive fluke. 

There was a lot of shipping traffic during this trip, and at least three container ships passed between us and the whale. We wanted to make sure we weren't putting pressure on the whale, so we stayed across the strait as it moved away from the ships. 

 Heavy shipping traffic.

Heavy shipping traffic.

The weather was nice on this trip, with just a little bit of fog obscuring the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.

5pm: 

On our last trip of the day we found a spout right under the center span of the Golden Gate Bridge. We approached slowly. 

 Humpback whale near Diablo Cove.

Humpback whale near Diablo Cove.

The humpback was headed out towards Diablo Cove, where we saw several fluke dives. I noted that it was a different individual than the one from our last trip. The whale seemed to be slowly making its way out to Mile Rock. We occasionally could see rainbows in the spout.

We had several harbor seals very close to our boat, and the harbor porpoises were very active. The swell increased slightly from the last trip but the last of the fog dissipated and we had sunshine around the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

 Harbor seal.

Harbor seal.

All sightings were reported to the Coast Guard and to NOAA using the Whale Alert app. 

 

***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!***