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Normally We Love Seeing Whales on the Bay

One of the many great things about sailing San Francisco Bay is the frequent whale sightings the past few years. They’ve returned in force. Their spouts, breaches, tails and flukes are fun to see — except for times like the J/105 Jam Sessions’s rudder-disabling collision with a whale during the Three Bridge Fiasco, and, sadly, the occasional sighting of a dead whale. Matthew Sessions came across just such a scene. He was thus reminded of why you should never sail downwind of a deceased whale without holding your nose. They spotted this whale about 300 meters from Southampton Shoal heading southbound in the ebb.

Whale on the Bay
After a winter of watching plenty of debris wash out of the mountains you still have to keep an eye out for obstacles arriving from the ocean.
© 2019 Elena Stephens

Matthew, with friends Mike and Elena Stephens, was out for a Sunday Bay tour on his new-to-him Freedom 36 Swan, which he’s joined as one of four partners sailing out of San Francisco Yacht Club. When not pleasure-sailing aboard Swan, Matthew races in events like the Corinthian Friday Night Races aboard the J/124 Good Call, or with — or against — son Nick, who’s been burning it up on the race course.

Freedom 36 Swan
When not racing, Sessions has found a good partnership for cruise mode.
© 2019 Matthew Sessions

Curious about whales? The American Cetacean Society meets monthly at the Bay Model in Sausalito. A great place to learn more and get answers to your questions.

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