Sightings Report: March 29, 2018

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

8am: 

On our first trip of the day we saw lots of harbor seals near the Golden Gate Bridge. It was high tide, so they were likely out looking for food. We also spotted some California sea lions and harbor porpoises. 

As we headed outside the bridge, we spotted a few gray whales near Mile Rock. They were easily identifiable by their heart-shaped spout. 

 The back of a gray whale.

The back of a gray whale.

The water was flat and calm. Large groups of birds rested on the surface. 

We saw  a few fluke dives from the whale, who seemed to be staying in one spot. In between sightings we stopped to pick up a plastic water bottle.

11am: 

The weather for our 11am trip was still flat and sunny. We again saw harbor seals by the bridge, as well as some California sea lions. 

We spotted a spout by Mile Rock and slowly headed towards it. As we got closer to the end of the strait, the spout was seen again back behind us. After 8-10 minutes, we saw it surface again near Mile Rock. 

It was a gray whale, and we saw a few fluke dives. At one point the whale surfaced 50 yards from our starboard side. 

 A gray whale with Point Bonita in the background.

A gray whale with Point Bonita in the background.

Near the end of the trip, a tug, barge, and two container ships passed by us. 

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2pm: 

On our third trip of the day we headed out to where we last saw the whales. When there was no sign of them, we headed across the strait to Point Bonita, then went north along the protected coastline. Some California sea lions rested on the shipping lane buoy. 

Near Rodeo beach we picked up a large piece of styrofoam floating in a large group of surf scoters. 

We turned around and headed back towards the bridge, spotting harbor seals and harbor porpoises but no whales.