Sightings Report: July 30, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat


As we began our trip, we received reports of humpbacks east of the Golden Gate Bridge. We went slower through the bay than we normally would have to look for them. On our way, we spotted two harbor seals and a sea lion one after another; it made it easy to see the differences in swimming between seals and sea lions. 

We found two humpbacks by the south tower of the bridge, with one spout just beyond the bridge. We saw a few flukes, both from the ones inside the bay and from a few more that were spouting off in the strait. 

We then spotted a whale between us and Alcatraz, and concluded that that was probably the whale that had been reported on the radio. 

We saw lots of spouts and flukes, but the whales kept their distance and we didn't push them. When we were finished we slowly left the area. 


The fog was starting to roll in, the wind was picking up, and visibility was diminishing as we set out on our final trip of the day. We found two humpbacks by Cavallo Point, spouting in the one sunny spot in the entire bay. We saw them from 500 yards away, but they disappeared and we did not relocate them. 

We then saw a humpback by Fort Point and approached the south tower at a crawl. There was boat traffic everywhere, with many different kinds of small and large boats speeding in between us and the whales. We watched this whale from at least 250 yards away and ended up drifting just outside the Golden Gate Bridge. 

We lost sight of our whale and decided it was time to leave. Just as we were starting to go, the whale popped up 50 feet from our bow, spouted a few times, and then dove under us to the other side. It resurfaced again 100 yards away from us and we slowly left the area. I felt that our patience and gentleness had paid off. 

There were harbor porpoise everywhere on this trip, especially underneath the bridge. The sightings were reported to the Coast Guard and to NOAA via 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!***