Finback Whale in NYC...NOW that's nuts!

July 30, 2017  •  4 Comments

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



Ellen Passalaqua(non-registered)
As usual, great photos!! Pretty exciting!! I wonder if he'll be back.
Laura Lewakowski(non-registered)
Thank you for sharing! What a day for you!
Unbelievable! There is so much there when you look for it. And you so know what to look for! What a great find!
Karen Dinan(non-registered)
Awesome! You are the whale whisperer!
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