Sightings Report: May 4, 2018

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

8am: 

Right as we started heading out on our first trip, we heard reports on the radio of whales two miles past Point Bonita. Just outside the bridge the water was glassy. There was no strong wind or swell, but a strong incoming tide meant that it was still a little choppy. 

Just past Point Bonita we saw our first spouts. We continued past the whales at a safe distance, then turned to have the swell and tide at our backs. 

We had 9 whales in the area, with three groups of two and three single individuals. 

Huge groups of birds gathered above the whales. One group south of us tail slapped a few times. 

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Most of the whales stayed in pretty much the same spot the whole trip. Most of them were between us and the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Some of them moved towards the northern shipping lane. 

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There were many harbor seals and harbor porpoises all around as well. 

11am: 

For this trip we returned to Point Bonita. The weather had not changed, and the whales were still feeding in the same spot. 

We floated in 150 feet of water watching one group of three whales. They seemed for the most part to be separated into a pair and an individual, surfacing separately but in synchrony. 

Near the end of the trip, we saw all three whales surface together, almost touching each other. With this we were able to identify Topspot and Gator and the unnamed individual they have been travelling with.

On our way in we saw a California sea lion killing a striped bass. We also spotted harbor porpoises and harbor seals, including one who looked very small and young.