Sighting from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat
There was wind in the forecast as we set out towards the Farallon Islands on Saturday morning. We made our way out through the Golden Gate Strait, sighting a couple of spouts by Mile Rock. We decided to continue past the whales in hopes of beating the wind to the islands.
We turned north and headed up the coast until we hit Bolinas. We then turned west and continued for twenty miles in sunshine and relatively calm water.
7 miles from the islands the sun disappeared behind a thick layer of fog and the wind picked up. At one point a humpback popped up 50 yards from our boat. We saw it spout once more before it disappeared.
It was slow going through rough water for those last few miles, but we made it. We headed for Mirounga Bay so that we could have the swell at our back as we explored the islands. Murres, guillemots, cormorants and gulls all circled the islands and rested on the rocks.
We also spotted elephant seals, Stellar's sea lions and California sea lions on the islands and in the water close to shore.
We stayed on the lee side of the island, then slowly started the push home. A few minutes into our return journey we saw a large spout. We stopped and floated while a fin whale approached us to 30 yards, swimming around our port side to the stern before disappearing.
As we continued our journey back to port, the weather slowly improved. We noticed some sea lions resting on the shipping lane buoys and some harbor porpoise in the channel.
As we continued in, we found one humpback underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. We saw a couple of fluke dives from this animal.
There were also a lot of harbor seals near the bridge. It was still very windy when we made it back to port.