Reynolds the Humpback Whale situation.

November 17, 2017

Reynolds the Humpback Whale situation.  

The first effort by the DEC was valiant and I appreciate that an effort was at least exercised. It failed because it was one boat, lacking backup support due to it being a “Monitoring Operation”. There needs to be monitoring time, it’s been more than 10 days, everyone knows where we are at. It’s now “time to take action”

 

Condition

I searched every photo from the past months whale watches taken on the SHIP OF FOOLS and The American Princess, I have not one photo of this humpback in the ocean…NOT ONE??? I need to look again, I have to have one.

The whale is a Humpback Whale. A Juvenile, approximately 32ft-37ft long, they hide their size and weight well. 

I saw pictures of the whale feeding on Facebook, can’t 100% confirm if it is “Reynolds the Whale” lunge feeding inside Reynolds channel, but this is promising. There’s food around for him to eat if he wants.

The whale’s back is scratched up due to getting caught under the docks in Mill River on Wednesday. I have seen other whales in the ocean in so much worse conditions and have seen them year after year since their accidents. I am not down playing its condition I do think it’s still in good shape.

Its breathing is at a 4-5-minute blow pattern. I have only heard it trumpet slightly by the AB Bridge and in Mill River. It may have calmed down, but it could still be in a panic mode or not?

 

My take and observations on helping Reynolds

The weather and this big blow is keeping some boats from going in and out of the AB Bridge area, that’s real good!

An official agency needs to “Stand on” the whale for the safety of both the whales and boaters.

That whale is afraid to go “UNDER” the AB Bridge. I can see it in its actions. Opening the center of the “Draw Bridge” span might just let the whale move out on its own? I honestly think that with the center span of the draw bridge open the whale will see or sense that it’s not being “covered” and make a charge to safety.

Agencies need to corral the whale (like the DEC, Scott and I did) or wait for the perfect timing and All official boats need push the whale out in unison.

There needs to an official boat on both the West and the East side of the AB Bridge stopping boat traffic or regulating speed and direction.

Coordinating this with times of outgoing tide would be best.

Maybe songs of Atlantic Humpback Whales being played on the west side of the bridge could help lure the whale towards the sound. YES, It sounds 100% ridiculous, but it can’t hurt?

 

Obstacles

The LIRR bridge in LB is so much smaller and there is really one small opening to get through, I saw the whale right by it on Wednesday, it didn’t even investigate the option of going under or through. If it made it to the east side of the LIRR Bridge, there is a lot of shallow water and less of a channel to navigate and TWO other bridges to get under.

Reynolds joining channels. There are flats off Reynolds channel. The entrances to Browser bay and Hewlett Bay via Broad Channel and Woodsburgh Channel Park are very shallow in spots. Bannister is deep and its already been inside along with Hog Island, East Rockaway Channels and Mill River, HI and ER Channels Deep, Mill River not so much.  

 

This is not a Moriches Whale situation. If the whale does get stranded the tide cycles here can bring in water deep enough (4-5+feet) for the Humpback to maneuver back out of that area unlike the Moriches situation. BUT if nothing is done I really think this whale will end up like the Moriches Whale.

Look at chart to see the areas and its depths.  

Charts of the area here http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/12352_02.shtml