Sightings Report: August 17, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

2pm: 

 Harbor seal off our stern.

Harbor seal off our stern.

Our 2pm trip started with quite a bit of wind and some big swell to go with it. Nonetheless as we made our way through the bay we found harbor seals and harbor porpoises. 

We found a humpback whale in the middle of the Golden Gate Strait, just past the Golden Gate Bridge. We saw several fluke dives around 100 yards away. 

 Fluke just outside the bridge. 

Fluke just outside the bridge. 

Eventually we moved to the north side of the strait to avoid a tug pulling a large barge. As we were leaving the area, we spotted another spout, suggesting that the whale we saw could have been part of a mother-calf pair.

Before we left a fishing boat sped past us right where the whale had been sighted.

5pm: 

As we headed out on our last trip of the day, we saw a spout close to the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. By the time we made it over, the humpback had moved closer to Crissy Field. 

 Whale surfacing near the Palace of Fine Arts.

Whale surfacing near the Palace of Fine Arts.

We slowly followed the whale at a safe distance as it made its way back toward the bridge, where it was joined by a second humpback. We saw several fluke dives here. 

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The incoming tide continuously pulled us east, and the slight western wind gave us a good whiff of some stinky whale breath. We moved under the bridge and put the boat in neutral as we floated back towards the whales. One of them surfaced 50 feet from our bow. 

We saw large groups of harbor seals and terns on this trip as well. 

 Harbor seals floating together.

Harbor seals floating together.

All sightings were reported to Vessel Traffic and NOAA via 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!***