Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate: 7/23/19

Sightings from the Golden Gate Bridge

I headed to the Golden Gate Bridge at about 4pm. High tide was scheduled for 5:20 pm.

For the first 30 minutes that I walked the bridge, I only saw pelicans and other seabirds.

As I walked toward the center span, I spotted a bright white spot on the water. It was a mola mola (ocean sunfish). These are rare inside San Francisco Bay, so I was surprised to see one coming in with the tide underneath the bridge!

As the tide came up farther, I spotted a harbor seal near the center span.

Eventually I started seeing a few porpoises as well. They were moving quickly under the bridge, usually in groups of 2-3 individuals. The water is cloudy with plankton at this time of year, so it is difficult to track the porpoises once they dive under.

I saw several large ships pass underneath the bridge. I also spotted the coast guard helicopter.

Sightings Report: December 3, 2018

Sightings from the Golden Gate Bridge

I arrived at the bridge a few minutes after high tide, around 9:00 AM. It was a cold, clear morning, with the Farallon islands barely visible on the horizon.

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I was able to spot seabirds and a few porpoises under the bridge.

I observed one foraging attempt.

I also saw one mother traveling with her calf.

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Sightings Report: October 24, 2018

8 AM Sighting from San Francisco Whale Tours vessel Kitty Kat

On this trip we headed out past the Golden Gate Bridge and into the Golden Gate Strait. A crew member spotted a whale near Mile Rock. It was a single humpback.

The humpback was feeding in an area with a lot of tidal action. We saw many lunge feeds as the whale fed on anchovies. We floated in the vicinity of the whale for a while before the whale began using the tide to come towards us. We saw at least one lunge feed within 50 yards of our boat.

As the tide came in, the whale moved towards the Golden Gate Bridge. We did not see fluke dives from the animal, but we were able to identify it based on the scars and markings on its body.

1 PM Sighting from Golden Gate Bridge

We only had one trip on the boat on this day, so after the tour a few members of Golden Gate Cetacean Research met on the Golden Gate Bridge to see if we could spot the whale.

The humpback had used the tide to move far into the bay. We could see it breaching and spouting near Alcatraz. At one point a large cruise ship passed by the whale.

While we waited for the tide to change, we photographed harbor seals and porpoises underneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

We spotted several mother-calf pairs among the harbor porpoises.

We also witnessed porpoises chasing fish and at least one mating attempt.

We lost sight of the whale for a while. Then I finally spotted it near Fort Point, only a few hundred yards from the bridge. We managed to get a few photos before the whale swam under the bridge and came out on the other side.

The whale breached in the Golden Gate Strait and continued to move out with the tide.