Artie Raslich Photography: Blog http://www.artieraslich.com/blog en-us (C) Artie Raslich Photography araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 24 Sep 2017 13:56:00 GMT Sun, 24 Sep 2017 13:56:00 GMT http://www.artieraslich.com/img/s12/v187/u505224301-o1007081913-50.jpg Artie Raslich Photography: Blog http://www.artieraslich.com/blog 120 117 Seasickness is preventable. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/seasickness-is-preventable SEASICKNESS!!

Do not ruin your and your parties Whale Watching adventure by being Seasick! It can happen to anyone in any type of seas from flat to raging and it is preventable. People who are prone to motion sickness in cars, airplanes, or carnival rides may also be more susceptible to seasickness. However, the motion on different ships affects people differently. Just because you get seasick in a small boat does not mean you will have problems on a larger boat or ship.

Here is a list of "Doctor Recommended" name brand remedies that work! Almost all are not available on Whale Watching boats so be prepared and check your local drug store, health store or online weeks before your trip or buy and be seasickness ready.  

BONINE: it’s said this is the best OTC remedy.

DRAMAMINE – “stick with it if it works” but beware it really makes people drowsy.

SEABAND: Acupressure - They work and are reusable.

MOTIONEAZE: An herbal remedy AND from what I have read it is the only one that will help “AFTER” you have already become sea sick but it's a 50/50 shot.

GINGER: Ginger settles your stomach quickly! Gin-Gins candy, Ginger Beer, Ginger Ale, Crystalized Ginger, Ginger Tea or Ginger pills.

PEPPERMINT and LAVANDER: Same as Ginger.

HYOSCINE AKA SCOPOLAMINE – NOT OTC! Doctor prescribed and serious stuff if all else fails. Patch or Tablets (Not cheap).  

MUSIC – distraction, pop in your ear buds and crank the Grateful Dead or whatever music floats your boat.

 

TIPS: You need the sea sickness remedies working in your system well in advance of your trip especially Bonine or Dramamine. Take the remedy the night before your trip, as soon as you wake up and then right as the boat pushes off.

A good attitude – no joke. You can scare yourself into sea sickness, seen it happen. I have been told by many a captain. If you keep thinking about it, it’s going to happen.

(I was in the beer business and chartered a 6-pack fishing boat to take 5 buyers Striper fishing in Montauk. It was 6-10ft and nasty and we went out! This one idiot in the bunch that was on the boat was hungover, had a big breakfast before getting on the boat and was extremely worried about getting seasick that day. That idiot did get sick and that idiot was me! I had a few things going against me on the trip that day hungover, ate too much and was worried about it)

Do not be hungover or hit it hard the night before, honestly if you wake up dizzy just stay home. 

Do not eat a big meal or overdo it on the food.

Do not stay in the cabin. Do not lay down. You need to fight the seasickness, stand up and anticipate the rolling, hold onto the rail and be your own stabilizer.  

You need fresh sea air, an unobstructed view and always look to the horizon. While you’re at it look for whales and dolphins it will help take your mind off the sea sickness.

Back of the boat moves less than the front.

PLEASE do your friends, family and everyone around you a favor! – DO NOT get sick on or inside the cabin and especially not in the bathroom! You will now make everyone around you who’s teetering on seasickness to get sick. You need to get up, get outside and get to the back of the boat.

 

Please understand this fact – The boat is not going back or in early, no matter how much you beg! You will need to deal with your seasickness demons so be prepared because you do not have to be seasick!  

 

BTW Pictures never really show how intense the ocean is so if it looks nuts in photos chances are it was insane! In this picture of a Humpback Breaching I was 7 miles off and it was starting to get big 5-7ft+ and rough, you can somewhat see it in the photo. I followed the whale for a little while and gave myself two minutes more and I am going in, it was getting too rough for a 26ft boat. Seconds before I was turning the boat around, BOOM a big breach, I got the shot and  I high tailed back to the inlet. No...I did not get seasick.

 

 

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/seasickness-is-preventable Sun, 24 Sep 2017 13:16:51 GMT
The most important fish in the sea. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/the-most-important-fish-in-the-sea READ THIS, IT IS IMPORTANT!

YOU LIKE FISHING ON ANY LEVEL FROM THE BACK BAYS TO THE OPEN OCEAN?

YOU LIKE SEEING HUMPBACK WHALES AND DOLPHINS OFF THE SHORES OF NEW YORK??

YOU LIKE SEEING OSPREYS AND EAGLES RETURNING TO NEW YORK???

If you do, you are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Amendment either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission have scheduled their hearings to gather public comment on Draft Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden and NY’s public hearing is Tuesday, Sept 12th.   

 

PUBLIC HEARING

The NY Public Hearing on Atlantic Menhaden Draft Amendment 3 is tomorrow.

September 12, 2017 6:00pm - 8:00pm.

NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources

205 N. Belle Mead Road, East Setauket, New York

 

CAN’T MAKE IT, SEND AN EMAIL!

Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on October 20, 2017 and should be forwarded to Megan Ware, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Amd. 3).

Final action on the Amendment, as well as specification of the 2018 TAC, is scheduled to occur on November 14th at the BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD.

 

 

Draft Amendment 3 seeks to manage the menhaden resource in a way that balances menhaden's ecological role as a prey species with the needs of all user groups. To this end, the Draft Amendment considers the use of ecosystem reference points (ERPs) to manage the resource and changes to the allocation method. In addition, it presents a suite of management options for quota transfers, quota rollovers, incidental catch, the episodic events set aside program, and the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery cap.

The 2015 Benchmark Stock Assessment Report identified the development of ERPs as a high priority for Atlantic menhaden management. Menhaden serve an important role in the marine ecosystem as prey for a variety of species including larger fish (e.g. weakfish, striped bass), birds (e.g. bald eagles, osprey), and marine mammals (e.g. humpback whales, bottlenose dolphins). As a result, changes in the abundance of menhaden may impact the abundance and diversity of predator populations, particularly if the availability of other prey is limited. ERPs provide a method to assess the status of menhaden within the broad ecosystem context. Draft Amendment 3 provides a variety of reference point options, including the continued development of menhaden-specific ERPs as well as the application of precautionary guidelines for forage fish species.

Draft Amendment 3 also considers changes to the allocation method given concerns that the current approach may not strike an appropriate balance between gear types and jurisdictions. Specifically, under the current allocation method, increases in the total allowable catch (TAC) result in limited benefits to small-scale fisheries, and to several states. Furthermore, the current method may not provide a balance between the present needs of the fishery and future growth opportunities. Draft Amendment 3 considers a range of allocation alternatives, including a dispositional quota (bait vs. reduction), fleet-capacity quota (quota divided by gear type), jurisdictional quota, including a fixed minimum quota for each state, and an allocation method based on the TAC. In addition, the document considers five allocation timeframes including 2009-2011, 2012-2016, 1985-2016, 1985-1995, and a weighted approached which considers both historic and recent landings.

 

Final action on the Amendment, as well as specification of the 2018 TAC, is scheduled to occur on November 14th at the BWI Airport Marriott, 1743 West Nursery Road, Linthicum, MD.

For more information, please contact Megan Ware, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at mware@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

 

ALL THESE PHOTOS WERE TAKEN IN NYC WATERS. IT WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE IF THE MENHADEN FISH AKA BUNKER WERE NOT HERE IN NUMBERS FOR THE HUMPBACK WHALES TO FEED ON!

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/the-most-important-fish-in-the-sea Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:49:20 GMT
Bottlenose Dolphins on the CRESLI Great South Channel trip http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/bottlenose-dolphins Sunday September 10, 2017 on the American Princess with Gotham Whale. No humpbacks on the run today but tons of Bunker on the surface and we did meet up with some Inshore Bottlenose Dolphins.

The meeting started off slow, a few dolphins seen, then a few more and then many but very spread out over a large area in all directions. A few calves in the mix of the pod and all dolphins were chasing down food. It looks like they are playing but I’m sure it’s all part of catching their food or maybe a little bit of both - not a dolphin expert, will never be.

The coolest thing I have ever seen live involving bottlenose dolphins happened today AND I caught part of it in a 15-photo sequence (love the 1DX II).  A dolphin kicked with its tail a Bluefish straight up, clear out of the water and into the air like 10-12 feet. The tail of the Dolphin was not seen in the photos because of the white water from the action. Oh-man I can’t believe I got that shot, very hard to get dolphins doing cool stuff because they are so unpredictable. Whales on the other hand are more predictable.     

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/bottlenose-dolphins Mon, 11 Sep 2017 00:32:54 GMT
30 Dolphins and Kristi's Birtday http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/30-dolphins-and-kristis-birtday Cold, windy and a very large East wind chop was on tap for today but the American Princess goes out because it’s what it does! Capt. Frank at the helm ready for the challenge of finding whales and dolphins for the crowd. Not a large crowd but it didn’t matter because they were into what the day could bring. There was a group on board celebrating a birthday for an old friend and research associate of Gotham Whale and the American Princess, Kristi aka “the Dolphin whisperer”. A nice rowdy bunch of whale and dolphin lovers who, if we didn’t see what we came for, was just enjoying the cold air, cold beer and company of friends in pursuit of seeing Dolphins!!!!

We ran around everywhere and just when most, if not all, gave up Capt Frank found the impossible – a pod of 30 Bottlenose Dolphins. I gotta say what the dolphins didn’t make up in numbers and time spent with them they made up in by way of a very nice dolphin show. They were active and very close at times to the AP.

As the captains always say, never give up hope until we are tied up at the dock!

Fun had by all today and Happy Birthday to Kristi, she got the Birthday gift she wanted…TO SEE DOLPHINS.  

30 Bottlenose dolphins seen.

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/9/30-dolphins-and-kristis-birtday Sun, 03 Sep 2017 00:07:43 GMT
JERRY IS BACK! http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/jerry-is-back Went out late in the day looking for Humpbacks, Dolphin or anything that’s out there. Conditions were perfect! Light winds, no ground swell and near glass to a foot chop on the sea. I was on the SHIP OF FOOLS but did see the American Princess on her way in.

We meet up with K-CUP and it was logging and when I say this I mean totally on the surface, sleeping out like a light, looking like, you guessed it…a log. I shut the boat off and turned up the music and watched K-CUP for some time.

K-CUP woke up and shook us. We stayed in the area looking at the bunker schools to see if any other whales would show and it was time to go.

Driving back, a few miles from where we were we ran back into K-CUP by catching sight of a chance blow.  Bunker schools are ready for the taking and K-CUP is setting up for its lunge feedings. K-CUP is going at it and there is another whale on the inside feeding also and then another on the outside.

Now we have 3 whales!

The Humpback on the outside was moving in the direction of where K-CUP was logging so it’s on its own.

Now we have two whales very close to each other, one we know is K-CUP the other whale unknown.

Both whales pass within 100 feet from each other and go in different directions and we follow the unidentified humpback. 

 

Here are a few of K-CUP

 

 

Now we are watching the “new” whale at a distance and as time goes by I have many chances to view this whale.

it’s dorsal, it looks floppy, bent to one side and familiar.

 

 

It starts surface feeding, I start seeing its patterns of how it feeds, its more familiar now.

I see the Peduncle and Its Peduncle Ridge has its back bone sticking out way more than most Humpbacks I see or know.

 

 

Hmmm, I think I know this whale! I just need one tell tail sign and its not its Fluke its the right side of its peduncle, and am looking for prop scars! The humpback dives down and I see what I need to see, the right side of its peduncle does have healed propeller scars and now I 100% know its my favorite whale NYC0011 a humpback that is also known as “Jerry” is back in NYC!

 

 

It was getting late, Jerry was done feeding and we were running out of light and went back in and on the way grabbed a few sunset shots but still over the top about Jerry being in town!

 

 

WOW…JERRY IS BACK IN NYC!!!!

Jerry, the most famous NYC whale that did a spy hop directly in line with the Empire State Building back in 2013 is here, alive and well, bigger and fatter than ever...in NYC Waters for a 4th confirmed year!

WELCOME BACK JERRY!

Fyi - I didn’t see Jerry last year in 2016 but have in 13,14,15 and now 17. We know he was in Montauk on Aug 6, 2017 as he was seen by Artie Kopelman on the CRESLI Viking Whale watch in Montauk. Jerry is the 2011 calf of SMOG in the GOM Humpback Whale Catalog. Jerry is known as NYC0011 in the NYC Humpback Whale Catalog.

Jerry went out and we went in and we will see you tomorrow and hopefully up through late September!

 

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/jerry-is-back Sat, 26 Aug 2017 13:12:37 GMT
Yellowfin Tuna on the CRESLI Great South Channel Trip http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/yellowfin-tuna-on-the-cresli-great-south-channel-trip I was on the CRESLI trip, run by Artie Kopelman, to the Great South Channel on August 13th to the 15th.

We just left a pod of Risso's Dolphins and Common Dolphins.

I was very surprised at the ocean conditions, it was like glass, a very small ground swell and a breath of a wind, in a nutshell - perfect sea conditions. When the ocean is like this you can see a disturbance on the surface miles away.

We were on the hunt for Humpback Whales and all around us was fish breaking the surface of the water, very quick hits, and BIG FISH!

Up in the air were two small single prop aircrafts, one near us and the other a ways away, they both were circling the area. In the distance and getting closer was a crazy looking boat, 30ft-35ft in length. It had a large tuna tower and a pulpit gang plank both extremely long and exaggerated. What was on the surface was getting closer to our vessel and so was the boat, the Airplanes were off somewhere else.

Right by the boat was a very large disturbance, big splashes and I was camera ready and got a few shots.

The fish that were breaking the surface were Yellowfin Tuna estimated to be 200-300lbs. There were a few breaches but didn’t get those, these Tuna are fast.  

The crew and captain of the Viking grabbed their fishing gear and hit the back of the boat and were pulling in some Mackerel on every drop, the mackerel was the bait. They dropped a few tuna rigs but got one to bite but it got away.

It was incredible to see this all happen live a bonus to an awesome Humpback Whale trip with CRESLI.

 

 

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/yellowfin-tuna-on-the-cresli-great-south-channel-trip Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:33:00 GMT
Common Dolphin on the CRESLI Great South Channel Trip http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/common-dolphin Common Dolphin, my favorite Dolphin so far! I Love seeing these mammals out in the ocean. I have seen them here in NYC waters from time to time and they are so much fun to be around.

I was on the CRESLI trip, run by Artie Kopelman, to the great south channel on August 13th to the 15th.

We just left a pod of Risso's dolphins and we ran into this big pod of Common Dolphins.

All my encounters are basically the same with Common Dolphins...AWESOME!

The Dolphin pod spots the boat.

The whole pod quickly changes directions in unison and heads directly at the boat.

In minutes, there are common dolphin very close and all around the boat.

They are riding the bow pressure waves of the boat, playing, jumping, making very loud clicks and by the looks of it they are having a blast doing all this!

YES, every time it’s the same and it happened on the CRESLI Trip. It was a short but sweet visit with the Common’s but what a great experience and the photos, because they are so close always come out great.

Here are a few photos…

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/common-dolphin Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:36:00 GMT
RISSO'S DOLPHINS! On the CRESLI Great South Channel Trip http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/rissos-dolphins I had the pleasure of going out on one of the CRESLI bi-yearly trips run by Artie Kopelman to the great south channel, August 13th to the 15th. GSC is a deep channel at the southern end of the Gulf of Maine. GSC’s location is between Georges Bank, Nantucket Shoals and where we went was off the shores of Chatham Massachusetts. It’s a major feeding area for many marine mammals, fish, shark and sea birds. Its an exciting adventure for me because I never travel outside of the NY Bight to see humpbacks and I mostly say in the sights of NYC.

I woke up early, 4:45am before astronomical dawn and grabbed a cold cup of coffee from the pot thats been there from the night before. I readied my camera gear for a day of photographing what would be seen. I went to the bow of the boat with a cold cup of Joe and a few cameras and what I saw and smelt was awesome. A Flat, glassy ocean, the sun was not even up on the horizon, just a yellow sky no clouds. Splashes all around the boat and the smell of Humpback whale breath just hung in the air.

The splashes got closer, the few that were up on deck saw what was making those splashes, Dolphins. Not your regular everyday bottlenose dolphins but funky looking dolphins. I am shooting away and they are giving us a show, breaching all over, mom’s with their calves and they coming close to the boat. I still have no idea what kind of dolphin’s these are. Someone literally screams, as loud as someone can at 530am RISSO’S!!! Instantly, I am thinking “who is Rizzo, he or she better get their ass out of bed and get upside quick”. Then another person scream RISSO’S I can’t believe it, RISSO'S DOLPHINS, I always wanted to see them! OK, I am with the program now, the "dolphins" are called "Rizzo’s Dolphins", got it. I never seen them before, I never heard of them before but apparently this is a big deal and I love it! Artie K, get on the horn and say's this is the first time Risso’s Dolphins were seen on a CRESLI trip. NOW I get why people are freaking out and am very happy to be part of the madness.

These Risso's dolphins were big Dolphins 10-12ft but they looked like they have been in some epic battles! There were about 25-50 of them in the pod and they were beat up, markings and bite marks everywhere, some markings looked like Aboriginal Patterns. Some had deep open wounds and one must have gone after baited fishing gear and was hooked up and released because it had a leader coning from its mouth.

The sun broke the horizon and gave us who were up amazing lighting for a few shots and the encounter was over.

That’s my Risso’s dolphin story, check out the photos.

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/rissos-dolphins Mon, 14 Aug 2017 11:36:00 GMT
Tuesday August 9th. A small Dolphin pod and 2 humpbacks way off. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/tuesday-august-9th-a-small-dolphin-pod-and-2-humpbacks-way-off Tuesday August 9th on the “SHIP OF FOOLS”. Another perfect summer day on the water, 2-3+ ocean swell, light offshore winds, warm water and broken clouds.

Jumped in the boat with the cameras and charged out of ER to see “if” I can locate some whales, dolphins or bunker.  I love days like these with no chop, flat waters. Yes there is an ocean swell but it doesn’t get in the way of going fast when you see something, a chop does. Whale watching is very boring at times but when you find something it makes up for it.

I didn’t see bunker until miles out but I found them. With them, I saw what looked like a balloon on the surface 2 miles away, minutes later a splash and I knew it was Dolphins. I let them be, as most of the time I do, I am looking for Humpbacks.

An hour later and 5 miles further out I saw a very faint, weak blow, then a good sized splash followed by another good blow during that splash, I just spotted two Humpbacks. The Humpbacks were 3+ miles away in the other direction and I was already 14 miles from the inlet. I could have been there in 4-5 minutes but then, when I arrived in that area, I had to find them, watch them (photograph) and get back. I didn’t have that time.

I chose to turn around and head towards home and if I saw those dolphins from the beginning of the watch I will stop for a few photos. I did meet up with that pod and there were 15 or so dolphins with a few calf’s in the mix. They were feeding and playing but they didn’t want anything to do with the boat, as usual, and kept their distance. All the better, I had to go anyway.

15 dolphins, 2 Humpbacks and a decent amount of Bunker on the surface during the 40+ mile run. I didn’t get the Humpback photos but I saw them and that’s the way I goes sometimes.

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/tuesday-august-9th-a-small-dolphin-pod-and-2-humpbacks-way-off Wed, 09 Aug 2017 11:33:58 GMT
Sunday August 6th a Humpback in Ambrose. NYC0061 aka New Jersey or Jersey. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/sunday-august-6th-a-humpback-in-ambrose Sunday August 6 and it was slated by the weather people to be a top ten weather day of the year, well they failed with that forecast! But it was one hell of a whale watching day. The conditions were cloudy, cool, ZERO Ocean swell, 1 foot wind chop, the wind was gusty out of the SW and the water was still murky from the rain yesterday

We charged out of Breezy, got to the ocean and the boat didn’t even rock, flat seas! The bunker were there but not in numbers and not on the surface. We quickly came upon a Humpback Whale and it quickly went into lungefeeding mode. What’s weird is that I didn’t see one bunker fly out of its mouth or around the whale once? Maybe they were almost at the surface and we didn’t see them. The whale did a bunch of lunge feedings today but one was very unique. Different whales do different things when they lungefeeding. Some get out of the water in an all out attack on Bunker, others don’t waste to much energy and take it slow. This whale did a lungefeeding, then stayed on the surface rolled over and displayed its Ventral Pleats. Then rolled over to its right side and did a blow half in and half out of the water and that was loud!

Second day in a row a Humpback came 5 feet from the boat and gave a scare to a few that were right there.

The whale we met today is a new Humpback Whale to NYC and it gets number NYC0061 in the NYC Humpback Whale Catalog held by Gotham Whale its nickname is New Jersey or Jersey for short. If you didn’t know, I am the curator, and quite honored to be the curator of that catalog. Its also a pleasure to work on the AP with GW. The Captain’s, crew and the GW team are awesome and I also meet some very interesting people that come on the WW’s, an overall great situation for me I must say.

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/sunday-august-6th-a-humpback-in-ambrose Mon, 07 Aug 2017 01:20:36 GMT
Saturday Aug 5th Whale Watching on the AP with GW. 1 Humpback NYC0060. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/saturday-aug-5th-whale-watching-on-the-ap-with-gw-1-humpback-nyc0060 Saturday August 5th on the American Princess with Gotham Whale. A nice day to be out on a whale watch in NYC with an afternoon breeze out of the west, waves 1-3ft, water temp 75. The water was a little murky (its been beautiful all year) but It rained heavy in the overnight into the morning and it’s a full moon so its pull on the ocean increases and the tides were ripping! The sky’s were dark and cloudy at the start but the sky’s cleared and it turned out to be a beautiful day.

We went out of Breezy Point and Captain Frank locks in on a Humpback early in the run. I see the blow, we get closer and I start to see its behavior. It’s a sketchy Humpback! Its on the right side of the AP one minute and then its on the left side of the AP another minute. I know this behavior in a humpback and its NYC0060 aka “K-CUP” but have not seen its fluke yet.

There are very little, if any bunker anywhere from the bottom to the top in the water column, none on the surface. This humpback is looking for food and right now there is none where we (the whale and the AP) are. We stayed with the whale giving it lots of room as she looked for food and we looked at her. A big Car Transport ship passed us by in the channel and separated us from the whale, it happens and we met up on the other side. We were in the channel, the whale went deep, arched its back and then gave us a chance to see its fluke and I got a clear fluke shot. I look at the photo, zoom in and see a “Capital K” on its left fluke…BOOM it is NYC0060 aka “K-CUP”.

K-CUP has been here since 7-23 eating up bunker and taking in the sights. I call her an equal opportunity whale for whale watchers. It traverses back and forth on the sides of the AP giving both sides of the boat equal time on the whale watch. This whale came so close on one pass, all was watching on the right and the whale was on the left side 5 feet from the boat. It gives a big blow and that sound scared the hell out of people on the rail. It sprayed a disgustingly smelling blow all over those whale watcher. Its what I call a Baptism or a Rite Of Passag. if you will. The wind carried a few blows to the boat and that same smell took many people by surprise. The way I can describe the smell is, Imagine crushing up 10 bunker fish, put that it in bucket with some water, cover it and let it sit. Come back a day later open the bucket and stick your head in the bucket…that’s the smell and its smelly!

Today, no breaches, lungefeedings or anything over the top but we did see a humpback in NYC and one we know and this is spectacular in itself.

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/8/saturday-aug-5th-whale-watching-on-the-ap-with-gw-1-humpback-nyc0060 Sun, 06 Aug 2017 12:55:50 GMT
Finback Whale in NYC...NOW that's nuts! http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/finback-whale-thats-nuts Sunday July 30th on the “SHIP OF FOOLS”. A perfect summer day to be on the water, 1-3ft ocean long period swell, light offshore winds, warm water and bright sunshine. Boy, did the Marine Weather forecasters get this weekend prediction horribly wrong for the waters of NYC! They predicted gale force winds and 4-8 ft swells and it turned out to be perfect conditions for a whale watch.

I jumped in the SOF with the cameras and charged out to see “if” I can locate some NYC whales. Let me tell you, it aint easy spotting whales. Even when you go out almost on a daily basis and know where they are, sometimes you don't find them. 

The Bunker were setting up on the surface in numbers, Sea Birds including Ospreys were working the bait balls. I saw some big splashes in the bunker schools thinking it was Bass or Blues but did see them. I did see a Threshers tail knock a few bunker out of the water. Later that night I heard from a reliable source that there were Mako's working on what was under the bunker but I didn't see them as well. 

It was three hours into the run, I see a few big splashes and thought it was a boat wake from a tanker. Something in that area catches my eye like a very faint blow but not sure. I focus on the area and like 4 minutes later I see a blow that went straight up, very thin and very high. WOW, that’s a really big blow! That’s either the biggest humpback whale I have ever see...ever or that aint a humpback and I might need a bigger boat!

I know I am on a whale, but its under for a very long time and it was quite a distance away from the boat the last time I saw its blow. I see near the boat, under, down into the clear water, I see this giant light grey body of whale. Its close, moving fast, and its coming up for a breath. I see the giant blow again and-its-a…IT IS A FINBACK or Fin whale! OK. I didn’t see that coming! I am on my 26ft boat watching the second-largest animal after the blue whale feeding in NYC waters. This is one "big" whale compared to a humpback. I have see many Fin's before out on the CRESLI Trip with Artie K, but I have only seen fins here in NYC 4 times over the years. Here are some facts on the Fin Whale

The Fin didn’t do much on the surface. Fin whales are not known for acrobatics like the humpbacks are but its just incredible that there's a Finback Whale off NYC! 

The Fin whale stayed around for an hour or so feeding on bunker, got its fill and he heading out and I went in. 

Nice day to be out on a boat!

(All photos taken by me Artie Raslich. Photo usage, contact araslich@gmail.com)

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/finback-whale-thats-nuts Sun, 30 Jul 2017 23:06:07 GMT
Whales, Cownose Rays and Dolphins in the Western Bight http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/whales-cownose-rays-and-dolphins-in-the-western-bight Saturday July 15th 2017. Went out on the AP with GW. I haven’t been on the water since last Sunday’s GW-AP whale watch and whales have not been around for a few weeks. The Dolphins have been around and they have picked up the slack in the whales absence here in the Bight. Over all, the summer has been great so far for sightings of both whales and dolphins and its just getting started.

Great day to be out on the water. Temp low 80’s, Water temp 74, waves small and the winds were light.

We charge out of Breezy and real quick, after passing the jetty, we met up with a small pod of dolphins and they weren’t interested in us and gave us the slip,  so we moved along looking for whales.

The Bunker were everywhere on the surface, this is first time since last fall the bunker were in big numbers like this! The sounder was recording a solid mass of bunker 50ft deep in 65 feet of water and they were packed together tight on the surface. When the bunker are in these tight schools pressed up to the surface It looks and soundes like rain falling on the water. It is crazy but you can actually smell the fish before even seeing them. All this is awesome news because these large bunker schools are the dinner bell for Humpback Whales to come and feed.

Traversing the Bight, looking down in the water, Cownose Rays were flying by in the ocean. There were many, and they ranged in size from napkin size to 3ft wide. Some were finning and sunning others would dive down and move away from the boat, always cool sight to see.

Moving along looking for whales we saw a splash, then a blow and we have Humpback Whale. This whale looks like it was coming in from the deep and just started to feed on the thick schools of Bunker aka Menhaden. It did a few lungefeedings gobbling up as much bunker it can, one gulp at a time. The whale took a break from feeding and then started breaching in succession One-Two-Three and then a Fourth! This whale really likes to get some air, it launched itself almost all the way out of the water with the last breach being the highest. The breaches were about 150 feet away and the splash and white water was gigantic with that sound of a big whale hitting the water, its loud.

The whale came to the surface took a breath and then started pectoral fin slapping. I like that, it’s a different look and you get to see their eye and sometimes the whale is looking at you. The whale was heading towards the boat, must have sensed it was getting close stopped the slapping and dove under.

Between it all this whale was all over the map, one minute the whale was on the left, then in the front, back to the right, now to the back. There was a little lull, the whale was last seen off the port bow side and without any notice a full on backwards breach paralleled with the boat on the starboard bow side 30 feet from the boat. WOW…THAT was scary close, extremely close, so close that I could not get the shot with my 300MM. Passengers on the front of the boat got splashed and I thought I was going to get wet also. The whale went back to Lunge feeding a few more times and then it was time to go. WOW what a freaking day!

Looking at the fluke shots of this Humpback, it is a “new whale” to the NYC area! I gave it a number, it is now documented as #NYC0059 in the Gotham Whale “NYC Humpback Whale Catalog”. WHALE HELLOOO Nice to meet you NYC0059, I will see you around! 

 

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/whales-cownose-rays-and-dolphins-in-the-western-bight Tue, 18 Jul 2017 00:13:03 GMT
Bottlenose Dolphins with small calves in the Pods off of Coney and Breezy. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/bottlenose-dolphins-with-small-calves-in-the-pods-off-of-coney-and-breezy Sunday July 9th 2017. Days like today on the water are few and far between, a 2ft ocean swell, light variable winds, Water temp at 73, Air temp 75. The wind did pick up at the end but an overall beautiful day for a Whale and Dolphin adventure.

We headed out of Breezy and went south. Very early into the trip I spotted way off in the distance what I thought was balloons floating on the water. I kept looking in that area and something was catching my eye but could not pin it down as to what it was. I normally would never tell the captain’s of the AP about something like this unless I am sure I “see” a Whale or a Dolphin. You feel like a fool when you say you saw somethin and they turn the 95ft boat and look for something that’s not there wasting time and fuel…not cool! BUT, I gotta feeling and told Captain Tom. He turned the boat, we drove to the area and there were a decent size pod of Bottlenose Dolphins.

The Dolphins were everywhere and in the pod were the smallest Dolphin babies or Calves I have ever seen! I mean, these Dolphins must have been born like in the past week.

The Bottlenose Dolphins we are meeting up with this year are by far the friendliest and inquisitive. This pod today didn’t let us down on the excitement. They were right up on the boat at times, playing, feeding and did a few jumps which I didn’t catch but its OK I at least saw the action.

A great day on the American Princess with Gotham Whale! 100+ Dolphins on the day, a Cow Nose Ray, Tons of Sea Birds and a female Blue Claw crab (HEY! We saw the crab, it needed to be noted).

 

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/bottlenose-dolphins-with-small-calves-in-the-pods-off-of-coney-and-breezy Mon, 10 Jul 2017 01:25:43 GMT
Friday July 7th 2017 Lots of rain and Dolphins http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/friday-july-7th-2017-lots-of-rain-and-dolphins Its Friday July 7th 2017, I am driving through deep puddles, some resembling ponds or lakes with cars actually stuck in them, I think “is this boat going out in this weather?” As I get to the parking lot and drive through the deepest puddle yet I see the AP. There are a good amount of people on the boat and all is ready to go. So the answer to that question is YES…Rain (even heavy rain) is not holding back the American Princess Whale and Dolphin adventure cruise!

Most people are prepared for these outdoor adventures, have all the gear to keep them dry and are happy to be out in the elements…sounds crazy, but its true! The great news for this day is the start was rainy but it ended in bright sunshine, big blue sky's, light winds, a calm sea, beautiful Caribbean green waters, gorgeous views of the city skyline AND 75-100 Bottlenose Dolphin!

I guess, the Bottlenose Dolphins this time of year are very playful and unafraid of the boats. In years past I usually don’t even shoot Dolphins or if I did its very few images. This year its seems the Dolphins are very entertaining, acrobatic and interested in being around the American Princess. So its been a good year so far watching Dolphins here in the Bight, better than I could have ever thought.     

We met up with the dolphins half way through the trip. In the pods were juvenile and adult bottlenose dolphins but I didn’t see the very small calves like in days past. They were in very tight groups feeding on Menhaden and playing like crazy. I captured a few photos that I usually do not capture. A bunker being batted out of the water by a dolphins tale. A Dolphin throwing its whole body out of the water sideways. That was cool!

The dolphins were in every direction you looked, near and far from the AP. The backdrop of NYC and ships with dolphins playing in the foreground cant get any better!

What a day out in the NY Bight on the American Princess with Gotham Whale. No whales today but the passengers did get what they came for, a very good day on the water!

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/friday-july-7th-2017-lots-of-rain-and-dolphins Sat, 08 Jul 2017 15:46:36 GMT
SHARK! http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/shark The Ocean is a big place with many big things in it. You never know what's swimming with you until you see it or it sees you. Chances are "IT" knows you are there before you know "ITS" there.

On the AP with GW on July 2nd out looking for dolphins and whales. The beaches were packed and the surf was up. Perfect conditions for paddle boarding, surfing, body surfing or just getting wet. We met up with a dolphin pod in the surf line off Rockaway Beach and I took some photos of the paddle boarders and dolphins together.

While taking photos a very large fish (I thought it was an Atlantic Sturgeon and so did others) comes out of the surf line away from the Dolphins, Paddle Boarders and Surfers towards the boat. I did scream shark so people on the right side of the boat would look. They did look and saw the same thing I saw and captured in photos but still had no idea what type of fish or shark it was.

The photos went under review from experts and citizen scientists almost all point to this large fish of 6ft+ to be a Blue Shark.

 

OK a large Blue Shark was just feet away from the paddle boarders and Dolphins, it swam away from them, came to the AP and then went under the boat and disappeared.

SOOOOoooo next time your at the beach this summer and you flip out because Seaweed brushed your leg, it might not be Seaweed!  

 

These photos were taken within the same time of 2:10pm, in order that they were taken.

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/shark Thu, 06 Jul 2017 12:55:33 GMT
Sunday July 02 2017. Dolphins, Atantic Sturgeon and Giant Fluke. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/sunday-july-02-2017-dolphins-atantic-sturgeon-and-giant-fluke After a week and a half of heavy storms, windy conditions and large choppy Sea’s…we sail, Ocean bound! Praise be to Nero's Neptune the American Princess sails ocean bound at 1pm and the sea’s are just perfect! Light winds, a small swell and very clear Caribian green waters.

Just a perfect day, we charge out of brezzy and head east! Running along the ocean looking for whales and dolphins the beaches are packed with crowds of sun bathers, swimmers, paddle boards and surfers. The first thing we come upon is the 44 foot Hunter sailboat with the Coors Light sail. As an old beer guy who used to sell Coors Light I love the sight and a good marketing move on Coors’s part!

 

Quickly we come up on a nice Pod of Dolphins and they were in play mode. I have seen video of dolphins playing in breaking waves on the beach and saw it live for the first time on this day. It happened once and quickly, I was not camera ready but I saw it with my own eyes so I got that going for me. The dolphins went to meet a few of the Paddle boarders and interacted with them a little bit. The Dolphins were all over the surf zone and the water was so clear you can see them a good 10 feet down in the water.

 

 

As I was watching the dolphins a VERY large grey fish came swimming from the breaking surf where the Dolphins were to the boat. I pointed out the fish and screamed "Shark" jokingly but I did think it was a thresher. Most passengers on the port side of the boat did see the large fish. As it swam closer to us, unafraid, I thought, that’s not a shark??? That’s an Atlantic Sturgeon!!! I went to a few people who would know and they confirm that it is an Atlantic Sturgeon.

WOW an Atlantic Sturgeon an endangered species here in NY. Atlantic sturgeon is among the oldest fish species living on earth dating back at least 70 million years and one just swam up to and under the AP! Read up here > Atlantic Sturgen

***UNDER FURTHER REVIEW THE FISH THOUGHT TO BE AN "ATLANTIC STURGEON WAS A "BLUE SHARK"

 

 

We left that action and went south to see if we could find some whales. Not camera ready (again) on the Port side of the boat saw a freaking giant “Doormat Fluke” It had to be 3 ft +. The Fluke come up to the surface an sucked in a large bunker like it was nothing, didn’t even bite it! Wow what a day…Dolphins, Atlantic Sturgeon and a giant fluke!

We went out by the entrance of Ambrose and the bunker were out there but not in numbers like before the storms. The rain has killed the whale watching and fishing in the past week and this is a good sign…The Bunker are coming back and that means the whales will follow.

We met up with another pod of Dolphins out there south of Ambrose, hung for a bit observing them and it was time to go.

 

A great day out on the ocean with the American Princess and Gotham Whale!!!

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/sunday-july-02-2017-dolphins-atantic-sturgeon-and-giant-fluke Tue, 04 Jul 2017 14:37:09 GMT
Saturday July 01. Dolphins in Raritan Bay. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/saturday-july-01-dolphins-in-raritan-bay We went out of Breezy and headed south. The ocean was wind swept and shelter from the swells were in Raritan bay off of Sandy. That’s where whales were seen last and the dolphin pod from the day before were there. The Temp was chilly like 60 degrees on the boat with the wind over the water. As soon as we got close to Sandy Hook the wind was off the land and it was in the low 80’s at that spot!

The weather forecast didn't look good on paper and from the boat (at times). Those crazy storms that passed by the area, were seen from the AP but it did not reach or effect the AP. The clouds and fog that were threatening was an impressive sight to see in itself.

The Sun, in the end, popped out as we met up with the same amazing Pod of Dolphins that we saw on Friday.
I like this Dolphin pod they are lots of fun to see. They came very close to the boat and this pod has many calves so we get to see all those little babies up close and personal. I don’t care who you are, little baby dolphins are cute!

They did a few jumps, tail slaps and were playing around. Dolphins love waves, there were a few boat wakes passing through and the pod had their fun with them. We stayed with them until it was time to go and said goodby to that small but spunky pod.

 

 

The storms did look cool and the clouds and fog were the star of the show until the Dolphins arrived. here are a few shots that stood out on the day.

 

I love this shot! You can see the fog laying on the roadway of the Verrazano Bridge deck with One World Trade in the background. 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/saturday-july-01-dolphins-in-raritan-bay Sun, 02 Jul 2017 15:16:32 GMT
Friday June 30th. Dolphins, Big ones and small ones. http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/friday-june-30th-dolphins-big-ones-and-small-ones Friday, June 30th. Its been a Dolphin kind of week out here in the NY Bight and It was cuteness overload on the American Princess with Gotham Whale.
We had a great day with a small pod of very friendly Dolphins! At times they were very close to the boat (their choice) and in the pod were many baby dolphins, or calves.

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/7/friday-june-30th-dolphins-big-ones-and-small-ones Sun, 02 Jul 2017 00:56:34 GMT
The Great Container Ship Race! http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/6/the-great-container-ship-race Wednesday June 28th we witnessed the great container ship race between the YM Unicorn and the Zim San Francisco in Ambrose Channel on the approach to NY Harbor. It was a close one but in the end the favorite "Zim San Francisco" pulled it out.

 

 

 

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araslich@gmail.com (Artie Raslich Photography) http://www.artieraslich.com/blog/2017/6/the-great-container-ship-race Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:22:50 GMT