Sunday, May 21st 2017 Whale Watch on the AP with Gotham Whale. Meet NYC0056
Its Sunday May 21st 2017. I am on the American Princess with Gotham Whale. Conditions are good, seas are running 1ft-2ft, Air temp 65 degrees, Water Temp 55 degrees, winds are 10-20 variable.
Boats filled, its noon and we charge out of Breezy looking for whales, dolphins or anything that we can find. We get to the area where we start to see Humpbacks and start looking for whales. Bunker fish are everywhere you look, in big numbers and are on the surface snapping away. The Bunker fish, aka Atlantic Menhaden, are the forage fish the whales feed on while here in the waters off of LI, NYC and NNJ. Its the main reason the whales are here in the western NY Bight. These are perfect conditions to see whales lungefeeding and all we need now...are the whales!
Early in the whale watch adventure Captain Frank spots a Blow, then another. He alerts the cabin, passengers get to their spots and I get my cameras ready. All eyes on the water looking for this whale. Time goes by and no whale, did this whale gave us the slip? Maybe...but the good news is we have plenty of time left in the trip. We are hopeful we will see this whale on the way back, so we press on.
Time goes by, all eyes on the water and no whales in sight and its 230pm. We have to start heading back in the direction we came from and scour the seas to see if we can meet up with the whale we lost sight of earlier.
BOOM…A Big blow dead ahead, Thar she blows!
Its 2:53pm and we meet up with the whale that we saw earlier and the whale is Lunge feeding. Everyone gets into a whale watching spot and the show begins. The first lungefeeding was great, bunker and white water flying everywhere ending with a giant splash. This was followed by a few more Lunge feedings, a Fluke shot and then a little lull. In that lull I have time to look at the fluke shot I got. The Fluke (and other distinguishable markings) identify the individual whale. No two flukes are the same and for this reason we can tell each individual whale. I look at the patterns of the fluke to see if I know the whale and I do not. This is great news...we have a new Humpback Whale in NYC waters! The next open number we have in the NYC Humpback Whale Catalog is NYC0056 and that's the number I give this whale.
NYC0056 surfaced by the AP about 50 feet away, took a deep breath and dove under setting up for another giant lunge feeding. This time the lungefeeding has the NYC Skyline as the backdrop, its perfect and was the last lunge feeding we saw of NYC0056. Its time to go in, the whale watch is over! As usual the American Princess produced another fine whale watching adventure...until we meet again NYC0056.
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