Sightings Report: September 12, 2017

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

8am: 

On our way out of the Golden Gate Strait, we heard reports of whales south of Mile Rock. We went south to search. On our way we picked up a big sheet of bubble wrap floating in the water.

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When we didn't find anything, we went west out to shipping lane buoys 1/2. We paralleled the shipping lane on the north side as we went east. Some ship traffic passed us and we sighted lots of California sea lions and harbor porpoises. 

 California sea lions on the shipping lane buoy.

California sea lions on the shipping lane buoy.

We finally found our humpback at the entrance to the shipping lane by buoys 7/8. It was the same whale as the 3pm trip yesterday. We saw a few fluke dives in 60 feet of water. When we were roughly 150 yards away we saw one big tail slap. 

 Humpback whale.

Humpback whale.

After the tail slap, the whale had a behavioral pattern of spouting once and then doing a fluke dive. It repeated this pattern 3 times. 

We slowly left the area, marking the spot so we could return. The weather was calm and sunny for the entire trip. 

 Humpback fluke in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Humpback fluke in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

11am: 

On our 11am trip we went straight to our previous mark. When we didn't find a whale we made a large circle, then went across the shipping lane. 

There was no shipping traffic. We sighted large groups of harbor porpoises as well as California sea lions resting on the buoys. 

 Harbor porpoises.

Harbor porpoises.

We went back in through the original spot before heading back to port without sighting a whale. 

All sightings were reported to Vessel Traffic.

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!