Timing Is Everything with Whale Sightings
There have been recent reports in the media about humpback whale sightings on the Bay, saying this is unusually early for them to be seen. Not so, according to Jan-Petter Haugen, who sails his Islander 28 Dire Straits II out of Berkeley, and sent us photos from his phone of a humpback he saw March 21 last year, and again this year.
As JP says, “Pay attention to date and time. These sightings are to the hour, one year apart and almost in the same place! Guess where I will be in a year. I feel like I have a date with a whale.”.
We don’t want to suggest the whale will date just anyone, but it did treat Tiburcio de la Carcova, sailing aboard the Contessa 26 Sarah out of Berkeley Marina, to a great leap at R4 off Point Blunt. It was caught on video:
We also saw a humpback in Raccoon Strait while sailing with Nick Raggio aboard Alpha. Could this be the same whale that shows up early every year just to keep scientists and sailors on their toes? The timing was right for both JP and Tiburcio. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready.
This looks to be a grey whale
Humpback, with the large pectoral fins.
Please be alert. We were very nearly rammed by an outbound whale two years ago as we crossed southward from Yellow Bluff to Blackaller. His quick 90 deg turn opened up a big hole in the water. He punctuated his displeasure with a Big tail stand and fluke slap about 40 ft away. It was a trouser changing moment.
J.P. Haugen took a picture in the future? That’s taking High Tech in a totally new direction.
This is a friendly identification of the whale who was breaching near Sarah. It’s a gray (or grey) whale, from the look of the shape of the head, the pectoral flippers shorter than a humpback’s, the color, shape, and its general posture. It is good, however, to look out for breaching whales and any whales in the water nearby. Sometimes they aren’t paying attention, especially if they are feeding.