Sightings Report: April 22, 2018

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

We headed out on this trip on a sunny, windy afternoon. We started off towards the Golden Gate Bridge and continued through the Golden Gate Strait towards Mile Rock. There was a lot of bird activity in the strait.

When we made it out to the Pacific Ocean, we made a large circle in hopes of locating a spout. While we were searching, the captain heard a report of whales near Angel Island. 

 Windsurfer underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

Windsurfer underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

We made our way back towards the Bay and headed for Raccoon Straits. There was a lot of traffic in the strait with sailboats, yachts, and small outboard motors. 

 Traffic in Raccoon Straits.

Traffic in Raccoon Straits.

We spotted the first spout close to Angel Island. It was a gray whale with a large white patch near its blowhole. 

As we waited for the whale to surface again, another whale surfaced near the yacht club in Tiburon. We knew immediately this was a different gray whale because the scar pattern on its body was markedly different from the other one. 

We watched both whales continue to spout, keeping a safe distance and modeling best practices for all of the other boats in the area. We reported the whales to vessel traffic as well. 

The whale near Tiburon spouted infrequently. Usually it would spout just once before diving for several minutes. The whale near Angel Island spouted more regularly, taking a few breaths before going down for a deeper dive. 

The whales seemed to be using the current to stay in the same location for the duration of our trip. Several small boats came very close to the whale.