Sightings Report: October 10, 2018

Sighting from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

2pm:

On this trip we headed north up the Marin coast. We found a humpback whale near Muir Beach.

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The whale was moving north but seemed to be feeding as it went. We saw a few small lunge feeds and there was some bird activity above the whale. We also spotted anchovies at the surface.

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The whale was very close to the rocky reef and shoreline. We followed it north all the way to Steep Ravine.

Sightings Report: October 3, 2018

Sighting from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

8am:

As we headed out on our first trip we had light eastern winds and flat seas. We headed south to Pacifica, where we found 6 humpbacks.

There were two pairs and two individuals all feeding in the same general area. There were lots of birds above each whale.

We saw feeding behavior and fluke dives spread out over a few miles.

There were a lot of moon jellies and sea nettles in the water.

11am:

On our next trip we returned to the same spot and found one humpback.

We saw several fluke dives from this animal.

A few miles away as we made our way back in, another humpback breached and then dove 200 yards from the boat.

2pm:

On our last trip we returned to the same area a few miles off the coast. We went all the way to San Pedro before turning around and making our way back closer to the shore. Here we found three humpbacks.

One of them was close while the other two were farther away.

We saw one breach and one fluke dive from the closer animal.

Sightings Report: October 6, 2018

Sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

On this trip we had a northwestern wind and swell which pushed us south to Pacifica. We found two humpback whales there.

We saw a few fluke dives and lots of bird activity near the whales, which were relatively close to shore. One of the whales breached 150 yards from the boat.

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When we started heading back, we had another whale within a hundred yards off our port bow. We waited for it to pass us before continuing onward.

Sightings Report: September 22, 2018

Sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

3pm:

We headed to the north bar on this trip and found three humpback whales feeding in 47 feet of water.

Two of them were spouting and not showing flukes.

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The farther one was slapping its tail and pectoral fins and continuously breaching.

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We attempted to approach, but lost the whale.

Sightings Report: September 19, 2018

Sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

8am:

On our first trip of the day we started west in search of whales. A few miles west of the Golden Gate Strait, we started to see anchovies boiling at the surface. Then we found one humpback.

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It showed a couple of flukes and was moving around a lot.

It was very sunny on this trip. We also spotted several jaegers, harbor seals and harbor porpoises.

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11am:

Our second trip was still sunny, with slightly larger seas. We headed west again and found a different humpback close to shipping lane buoys 7 and 8.

It showed a few flukes and approached us a couple of times.

We also spotted jaegers, harbor seals, and porpoises.

2pm:

It was very windy by our last trip. We headed all the way out to the end of the shipping lane, but did not find any whales.

Sightings Report: September 12, 2018

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

8am:

On our first trip of the day we headed north towards Muir Beach. We found a single humpback on the bar feeding in 37 feet of water.

The humpback was on the move and proved difficult to locate, especially as the wind started to pick up.

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It was not showing its fluke. It seemed to be heading for Point Bonita.

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11am:

On our next trip we found the humpback whale near Bonita Cove in the Golden Gate Strait. This was the first time we had seen a whale in the strait in several months. Since we did not get a good look at the flukes of the whale on the earlier trip, we aren’t sure if it was the same whale.

The humpback was feeding and fluking. As the tide rushed in, the whale moved with it.

It swam all the way from Bonita Cove to Angel Island over the course of our trip - almost four miles.

2pm:

The whale was still in the bay when we returned, although it had moved back towards Cavallo Point. We followed the whale as it moved all the way out to Point Bonita and into the choppy waters of the Pacific. It spent a lot of time close to the rocks on the west side of Point Diablo.

There was also some harbor porpoise activity as they surfed in the swell.

Sightings Report: September 8, 2018

Sighting from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

We headed out towards the Farallon Islands with heavy wind in the forecast. We started up the north coast to Bolinas, then turned west towards the islands.

The swell and wind were heavy, but we persevered and eventually made it to the Farallons.

The islands were covered in California sea lions, Stellar’s sea lions, and northern fur seals.

Near the islands we spotted several black footed albatrosses and a few tufted puffins.

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There were some murres near the islands, but they were finished with nesting for the year.

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Near the islands we spotted two feeding humpback whales. The whales threw flukes and surfaced in synchrony with each other.

Sightings Report: September 6th, 2018

Sighting from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

11am

On this tour we headed 8.5 miles offshore, just west of the shipping lane. We were alerted by the Pilot vessel to the presence of whales in the area.

We were positioned outside the lane with views of at least eight humpbacks in the area.

One whale repeatedly breached close to fishing boats. We also observed the whale slapping its pectoral fins and its tail.

There were anchovies at the surface and lots of feeding birds in the area.

We spotted parasitic, pomarine, and long-tailed jaegers attempting to steal food from other birds.

We were able to catch a whiff of whale breath on this trip as well.

The fishing fleet was close by, and we saw a few whales approach the fishing vessels.

We also had a few ships pass by us.

Sightings Report: September 5, 2018

All sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Happy Days

8am:

We started out on a cold and foggy morning. We started northwest and found a single humpback.

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The whale was not showing its fluke. We saw it surface several times as it traveled around the area.

11am:

On our second trip we headed back to the same spot. Visibility had improved.

We found a humpback whale a little bit closer to shore than on the previous trip. This whale did show us a few fluke dives.

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Birds were hovering over the whale, indicating some potential feeding activity.

Sightings Report: September 1, 2018

Sightings from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

3pm:

We headed north on our search to find the whales. We spotted a humpback near Muir Beach.

We saw a few dives from this whale, but it was not showing its fluke. Birds were hovering above it, suggesting some feeding was happening.

We saw a breach from the whale from less than 100 yards away.