Sightings Report: August 18, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

8am: 

Our first trip of the day had glassy seas with no wind. We found a humpback whale right under the center span of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

 Humpback in front of San Francisco.

Humpback in front of San Francisco.

The whale moved in towards Fort Point. As we observed it, we spotted another spout underneath the bridge, suggesting it could be the mother-calf pair we had been seeing recently. 

The whales continued to move east, feeding between Fort Mason and Alcatraz. We saw several fluke dives in this area. 

Eventually one of the whales moved closer to Sausalito, and the other moved to the northwestern side of Alcatraz. There was an immense amount of bird activity in this area. We also spotted sea lions, harbor seals, and quite a bit of porpoise activity. 

 Cormorants on Alcatraz.

Cormorants on Alcatraz.

When we slowly left the area at the highest point of the tide, the whale seemed to be westbound.

11am:

We received reports of whales near Fort Mason, but ended up finding our spouts right underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. We had three humpbacks in the area. 

 Humpback fluke.

Humpback fluke.

There was heavy traffic near the bridge due to a sailboat race. We saw the same two whales as the first trip moving back into the bay, while the third whale headed back out into the strait. 

 Humpback whale in front of the Americas Cup sailboat.

Humpback whale in front of the Americas Cup sailboat.

We saw several fluke dives and 3-4 tail slaps from the smaller individual, who then breached 150 yards from the boat. 

 Tail slap.

Tail slap.

We also noted harbor porpoise, harbor seal, sea lion and bird activity in the area. 

 Bird activity near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bird activity near the Golden Gate Bridge.

The whales moved further in over the course of the trip, and were close to Sausalito when we slowly left the area. 

 The mother's fluke.

The mother's fluke.

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!***