Artie Raslich Photography: Blog en-us (C) Artie Raslich Photography [email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 22 Oct 2023 11:55:00 GMT Sun, 22 Oct 2023 11:55:00 GMT Artie Raslich Photography: Blog 120 117 2 humpbacks off Atlantic Beach - Striped bass lunge feed Went out on the American Princess for a whale watch with Gotham Whale. Conditions were not the best but was way better than what the marine weather forecast was calling for. Actual conditions - West wind at 15kn to 25kn. Seas 2ft-4ft 60ish degrees and no rain.

The AP ran east out of Breezy; it was quiet at first. Someone screamed “3pm, two whales together”. We got a whale watch! These two whales went from not being seen to non-stop lunge and sub surface feeding. There was bait in the area, and everything was hitting the bait balls at the same time including Striped Bass, Blues and Sharks.

I captured a few amazing photos on this AP Whale watch.

One is a sequence of photos of one of these whale’s lunge feeding. The photos were taken far away from the lunge feeding. So, when cropped in, the photos are not tack sharp or of quality but document the event. A humpback whale lunge feeding on a Menhaden bait ball and throwing a Striped Bass Cow out of the water!

The other is a lunge feeding humpback with the JetBlue “NY JETS” painted aircraft called JetGreen coming in for a landing at JFK. "JetGreen" was put in service in 2010 and is the first sports themed aircraft to join JetBlue's growing fleet. GO NY JETS! Hahaha...

The rest of the photos from the trip.

We had a great day out on the American Princess whale watch. Capt. Frank along with the crew; Thomas, Jack, Mitch, and Chris along with Celia as naturalist made sure everyone was happy and saw whales. As always, a job well done by the crew. Get out on the AP and see this stuff for yourself! Sightings today – Two humpback Whales.


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 21 Oct 2023 11:48:00 GMT
RIP NYC0323 We have lost another one of our catalogued whales. The whale that washed up on Beach 9th, Far Rockaway NY was #NYC0323 in the New York City Humpback Whale Catalog.

NYC0323 was a young female humpback whale that Gotham Whale first catalogued in July 2023. She was documented 11 times since then, and every single one of our whale watching contributors had seen her at some point this year. The last time that NYC0323 was seen alive was when she was feeding inside Sandy Hook Channel, a mere 48 hours prior to being found floating off Rockaway. The loss of any humpback whale is devastating, but the loss of a whale that we have seen alive and feeding so many times is heartbreaking. Please help us to advocate for stronger protections for humpback whales against ship strikes in New York and New Jersey.

In these photos the AMSEAS team, directed by NOAA fisheries are doing a necropsy on this Juvenile Femail Humpback Whale that washed up on Beach 9th in Far Rockaway. This is a horrible job to perform; it is very hot on the beach, smelly, messy, physically challenging and it is a thankless job! So thank you AMSEAS!!
AMSEA's just released the preliminary Necropsy findings: Preliminary necropsy findings for the subadult 33-foot long female revealed extensive bruising to the right side of the body consistent with suspect vessel strike. There was distinctive scarring noted around the animal’s peduncle consistent with a previous entanglement, although this was not thought to be related to this stranding event. The animal was found to be in robust body condition with evidence of recent feeding.

It is hard to watch all these Humpback Whales washing up dead on NY/NJ beaches. There are reasons why this is happening, I don’t know the exact causes. People are on the fence with the subject. Politicians are taking sides. Big Oil’s views it one-way, clean energy is taking another stance. What I do know it is 100% our fault these whales are dying. As always, it is us to blame. I’m sure, in the end, the whales’ deaths have to do with someone making money and the whales are paying with their lives.



[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 26 Aug 2023 13:30:00 GMT
Phil Lesh and Friends GSBMF. Phil Lesh rocked the Great South Bay Music Festival. 


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 22 Jul 2023 12:06:00 GMT
Montauk CRESLI Whale Watch - 14+ whales, 300 Dolphins a few Grey Seals. Gotham Whale had a great trip out of Montauk on the Viking Fleet with CRESLI with Artie Kopelman. CRESLI (Coastal Research and Education Society of Long Island)
Will be a guest on the AP soon, stay tuned.

Conditions were very good. 80 degrees, partly cloudy with 2-4ft waves with 10knt winds. Halfway through the trip the winds dropped down, so did the seas and the clouds clear up. Great conditions, especially for Montauk.

The sightings started off before we left the dock in Lake Montauk. There were a few Grey Seals floating around right behind the Viking. Very cool to see the grey seals especially in the month of July. The Viking pushed off at 2pm and went past the Montauk light house and went looking for whales, any kind of whale. Out in Montauk they can see Finbacks and Humpbacks along with Inshore and offshore dolphins. We came upon a small pod of inshore bottlenose dolphins with a few whales in the mix off the Point. The Dolphins and the humpbacks were subsurface feeding together. The bait was down around the 25ft mark, and the depth was in the 80ft range. The crazy part with the dolphins was as we watched the dolphins feed, they grew in numbers. It went from like 40 dolphins to like 250-300 dolphins in all directions. We stayed for a bit and saw some other blows off in the distance and went to investigate. We met up with a mother and Calf. The size difference of their bodies was drastic, that baby whale was so small compared to its mom. You can see the mom was teaching the calf how to feed and to eventually survive on its own. They were doing synchronized swimming and diving, it was cute. We moved on but not too far away and came upon a very big congregation of large humpbacks. First it was 6 whales, that grew to 9 and we lost count at like 14 humpback whales. They were all around the boat, spouts everywhere you looked.

Very big whales out in Montauk! They are adult whales with some known whales documented by CRESLI to be 38 years old to 42+ years old. Compared to the Western NY Bight whales which are mostly juvenile and young adult with very few adult whales. But as time goes by, the western Bight will probably see more adults (as the juveniles get older).

Our time was up, we left the whales and went back to the dock. Had a great day out on the Viking with CRESLI and Artie K. Marine Mammal count - 14 plus Humpbacks, 250-300 Dolphins and a few Grey Seals. If you get a chance to do a day trip to Montauk to go out on the Viking with CRESLI, they go out on Wednesdays and Sundays.


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Wed, 19 Jul 2023 14:15:00 GMT
3 humpbacks and 40 Dolphin on the AP. Never trust Meteorologists! The weather reports were for heavy rain and T-storms this Sunday, a total washout!! The actual weather this day was, warm with sunshine, a slight fog and smoke, no rain or thunder and lightning. Again - Never trust Meteorologists!

Great day out on the American Princess this past Sunday, July 02. Sea conditions; ESE winds 10 to 15 kts. Seas 2 to 4 ft SE swell at 7 seconds. Water is warm 67-72 degrees. Captain Tom and the crew did a great job locating 3 humpbacks and 40ish dolphins.

We headed out of Breezy Point and quickly we were on a small pod of very playful dolphins. They were splashing, jumping, and chasing each other all over the area. Some actions looked like play, some not, but it was a show none the less.

We headed south and met up with an active feeding humpback whale. We saw many good lunge feedings, a tail throw, a few flukes, and lots of close passes. Two other whales were in the area, but we stayed with the active one.

The photos tell the story…check them out.



[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 02 Jul 2023 20:00:00 GMT
100 dolphin off Rockaway, Atlantic 3 humpbacks in Ambrose on the AP

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 28 May 2023 19:18:00 GMT
Three active Humpbacks and 100 Dolphins “WOW…This trip was EPIC”. Not my words, but from the passengers on this Whale and Dolphin watch on the American Princess with Gotham Whale. As a matter of fact, Captain Frank and the crew of the AP said the same exact words and they see this stuff every day! And I will say this trip was EPIC on so many levels.

Conditions were good. The waves were 1ft-3ft.  The winds were light and variable with no chop but some texture on the water. Temps in the mid 70’s. A little chill in the air with the water temp around 57-61 degrees.

We headed out of Breezy and as soon as we turned the corner from Lower New York Bay and Breezy jetty into the Atlantic Ocean...IT WAS ON! Dolphins were the show. They were in the shallow waters but past the break. They were all around with a few calves in the mix. We traveled with them for a bit hugging the shore when we saw a blow like 3000 yards away.

We headed towards the blow and it segwayed into three-whales. The Bunker bait fish was everywhere. In dark patches, on the surface and snapping away. We caught up with the humpbacks, the whales were separated by about 500 feet, each doing their own thing. In the beginning it was mostly sub surface feeding, why waste energy when you don’t have to. Then BAM…they let loose. Hitting the bunker schools from below with some awesome lunge feedings. They whales got closer and closer to each other and then were basically feeding together. Some lunge feeding others sub surface feeding. But, at times the whales were bubble net feeding. It is something we don’t really see too often. I am guessing because it’s not too deep here. When the bait fish are on the surface, snapping away they are so dense, bubble net feeding is not needed. But what do I know?

At times the whales were literally on top of each other very close to the boat and then branched off with one going deep, and two staying closer to the shore. One of the whales started giving us a show, while the other kept on feeding. The big show started off with a few very impressive breaches, into twisting back breaches followed by chin slaps and pectoral fin slaps. Twisting and turning its body, this whale did not get exhausted. It just kept going into non-stop tail slaps, first it was right side up and then upside down. Throwing in some very powerful tail throws. It was an impressive show! We would have stayed and watched this whale for hours, but we had to head back to the dock. As we drove away it kept on splashing about. WOW what an epic day whale watching with three very active Humpbacks and 100 dolphins seen.

If you want to see Whales and Dolphins in this area, I recommend the American Princess Cruises with Gotham Whale. If you are in Montauk on a Sunday or a Wednesday check out the Viking Fleet with CRESLI.



[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Fri, 26 May 2023 16:00:00 GMT
9 Humpbacks 150 Dolphins Mothers Day in Ambrose on the AP

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 14 May 2023 19:18:00 GMT
7 Humpback Whales off Sandy Hook

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 07 May 2023 19:18:00 GMT
5 Humpbacks off Sandy Hook on the AP

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 06 May 2023 19:18:00 GMT
Captain Marty Haines service aboard the American Princess The American Princess pushed off the dock at 630am on a warm, bright and sunny morning. The destination – Liberty Island, The Statue of Liberty for Captain Marty Haines service. The winds were calm, Upper and Lower New York Bay were glass. Only waves in the Bay were from shipping traffic. The day and conditions were perfect, perfect for a memorial and sendoff for Capt. Marty Haines.

We arrived at the base of Lady Liberty. A few boats were in position ready for the sendoff and others were in transit. Vessels in attendance: American Princess Cruises, NYPD Harbor Patrol, FDNY Boat, NY Media Boats, Bayonne Golf Club Boat, Statue City Cruises Miss Freedom and Miss New Jersey, NY Water Taxi Marian Heiskell and another, NY Ferry Signs To Liberty and another, Tow Boat U.S. Jacob Miller, The Staten Island Ferry and a few private boats.

The AP had setup a PA system and Capt. Tom Paladino presented a memorial, here are his words.

“Good morning!

I would like to thank you all for coming today to honor a legendary captain, a great man and my dear friend Captain Marty Haines. I had the pleasure of knowing Captain Marty for over 50 years. Our fathers were both stationed in the Pacific during World War II When the war ended, they both returned home, bought boats and started a fishing business. Marty’s dad in Perth Amboy, NJ and mine in Gerritsen Beach Brooklyn. Marty and I both grew up on the boat and got our captain’s license in the 60’s. We spoke on the CB radio everyday and formed a friendship that lasted until his passing on August 7, 2022. Through hard work and dedication Marty grew to be one of finest fisherman on the coast. He was respected and admired by everyone in the industry. Marty worked year-round to keep his boats impeccable. To put it simply, Boats were Marty’s life. Around the year 2000, he sold his boat and started the next chapter in his career working as a captain for New York Water Taxi. Marty’s incredible work ethic earned him number 1 captain at NYWT in no time at all. If any of the boats needed to be painted Marty was their man. He would assemble a team and get the job done. Perfectly and on time. 

One memory that stands out, is a great story that I would like to share with you today, Marty was known around Water taxi for putting in long hours of hard work. One day, a great guy named Sequan Bush who we lost to covid much too early. signed up to work with Marty to pain the Seymour Durst. Sequan told me that he went to bed early the night before so that he could keep up with Marty. They arrived at the shipyard on a cold morning at around 6:00 am and began painting. He and Sequan worked all day until the sun went down. Just as it got dark and it was difficult to see, Marty put down his paintbrush and walked towards his car. Sequan was cold and tired but so proud of himself that he actually kept up with the legend Captain Marty a man more than twice his age. But then he watched as Marty got in his car, started the engine, drove toward the boat and put the headlights on so he could see. Marty got out of the car, turned to Sequan and said, “Mix another batch of Paint”. Saquan later told me in a way that only he could, “Captain Tom, I cried like a baby”.

Marty also worked on this boat the American Princess, painting it from bow to stern, doing the job with precision and pride, every year. Marty was a complete gentleman in every sense of the word, he was mild mannered never used profanity or uttered a bad word about anyone. He was just an all-around great guy. Marty was always there for everyone and will be greatly missed by all Mariners from Bar Harbor, Maine to Key West Florida. Farewell my good friend, May calm seas, fair winds and a following sea be with you for all eternity. Rest in Peace Captain Marty”

After Capt. Tom’s memorial speech, the wreaths for Capt. Marty were thrown in along with one of Capt. Marty’s Paint Brushes. Then the quiet bay went loud, very loud! All the boats stood on their air horns…very nice farewell goodbye.

Fare thee well Captain Marty Haines you are missed.

Video with Capt Tom's Speech here. 



[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 25 Aug 2022 10:00:00 GMT
A Whale off the Hook A nice day out on the American Princess Cruises 3.5-hour Whale and Dolphin watch out of Sheepshead Bay. Summer conditions: Hazy-Hot-Humid. SW winds 10 to 20 kt with gusts up to 25 kt late. Seas 2 to 4 ft. Chance of showers but it didn’t rain.

We spotted the Humpback whale very quickly today, it wasn’t hard. The whale breached and we saw its bright white 30-40 foot splash a mile or two away. When we met up with the whale, the whale was actively feeding hitting the Menhaden Bait Balls scattered on the ocean’s surface. It did some really good lunge feedings - mouth open with Menhaden flying all about...Love that stuff! In-between the lunge feedings the whale did a solo tail throw and two big Breaches.

The 2022 American Princess’ (AP) Whale Watching & Dolphin Adventure season has been amazing so far, time to get out and see what we see. Click on the link to book. 


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 06 Aug 2022 13:49:00 GMT
6 whales in Ambrose on the AP Great trip out on the AP this Sunday July 31st, we meetup with 6 whales in Ambrose. Action packed day! All the whales were lunge feeding, one did an awesome breach (no photos)…a fun time had by all. 

You have to get out on the American Princess for a whale watch! The Humpback Whale action is amazing right now! The AP docks at Pier 3 – Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Directly across the street from Applebee’s on Emmons Ave. Address is 2498 Emmons Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11235. Get out and see what we see.





[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 31 Jul 2022 18:34:00 GMT
5 whales, a few threshers slaps, sunset cruise on the AP Went out on the American Princess Cruises Sunset Cruise on Thursday July 28th. We saw 5 whales, a few threshers slaps and some really good Humpback Action. If you haven't been on the American Princess for a Whale watch...NOW's THE TIME! Click on the link AMERICAN PRINCESS and go to this website, book a trip and bring a camera, go see what I see. You wont be disappointed. 


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 28 Jul 2022 18:15:00 GMT
4 whales, a few large cownose rays and 200+ dolphins A very good day on the American Princess Cruises today! 4 whales, a few large cownose rays and 200+ dolphins seen.

The sea conditions were very good with light winds around 5 kts, seas around 2 ft, no chop. Bright sunshine, cloud cover 0%, 83 degrees with low humidity, just a perfect day for a whale watch.

We headed out of lower NY Bay past Breezy Point Inlet and came upon a pod of Dolphins. They were feeding on small Bunker bait balls. We usually don’t get to see the Dolphins ripping through the bait balls. I mean – we could actually see the dolphins corralling the Menhaden deep in the water, then running at and through the Bait balls feeding. That was cool.

The dolphins once again brought us to the humpbacks today. The whales and dolphins were in the same area and the whales were feeding also. We came upon the first whale, then there were two, then four. We motored past a lazy whale to meetup with the active whale and it gave us a show. This whale was not shy! He or she liked to get close and had no preference to the front or the back, this whale was everywhere and unpredictable. As always, the AP adheres to Whale watching protocols, the whales and the passengers are always safe. The whale was lunge feeding as we approached but stopped and went into a Pectoral slap session with a few twists and turns. It was nice to see the whale up close and some of those pectoral slaps were very loud.

The whale did many big blows or spouts, it looks like rain on the water’s surface. It also creates a very fine mist and this mist drifts down wind or the boat can drive through the blow. “Sometimes” when a whale takes a breath of air (blow or spout) its exhaled breath can be unbelievably stinky! The smell – think of a covered bucket with Bunker fish in it that sat in the sun, decomposing for a week. Now open that bucket and give it a whiff…THAT’S THE SMELL of whale’s breath. I have been out on my boat and found whales on their breath alone…truth! Good news for us today, the whales blow, or whales’ breath didn’t smell at all. A small kid next to me says “why did I just get rained on?” I said” That’s the whales’ breath, its it blow”. I thought to myself "Man, if that whales breath was bad and I told the kid what it was that was misting on him, he would have freaked Haha"

Whales are in NYC waters get out on the AP and see what I see! 

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 03 Jul 2022 20:00:00 GMT
1 whale #NYC0086 and 250+ Dolphins on the AP I was out on the American Princess Cruises Whale and Dolphin Cruises as a spotter, and photographer for Gotham Whale and the AP. Conditions - light winds at 5kts-10kts, seas 3ft-5ft ground swell, 80 degrees, hazy, bright sunshine with some cloud cover. A beautiful day to be out on the water.

We charged out of Breezy Point and traversed the ocean until we came upon a small pod of Dolphins which lead us to a very big pod of dolphins, 250+ estimated. The Dolphins were feeding and playing, nothing spectacular but still nice to see. A small group of Dolphins were getting rowdy, calves and moms in the mix causing a commotion splashing and playing. The reason why, they were interacting with a whale we knew was in the area but could not find. The whale we meetup with is known as #NYC0086 in the New York City Humpback Whale Catalog curated by Gotham Whale. I am almost positive our first interaction with #NYC0086 was on July 29th, 2018.

#NYC0086 was somewhat elusive staying down between blows for 10+ minutes every surface. 86 is a big whale, its footprints on the surface were impressive, somewhat giving away its location and travel line. They Bunker were snapping on the surface all around, but the schools were not thick and deep. Looking at the finder, there was no bunker schools on the bottom. Knowing that, I don’t think NYC0086 was subsurface feeding for the 10 minutes+ dives. I think the whale just ate and was digesting or napping or just taking a break.

All on board got a great day out on the AP with 1 whale #NYC0086 and 250+ Dolphins seen.

You have to get out on the American Princess to see this action for yourself. It is amazing! They have been doing whale watches since the start of the whale’s returning to NYC. The AP pushes off in Brooklyn now, Sheepshead Bay. Get on the AP and see what’s out there.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 25 Jun 2022 18:00:00 GMT
3 whales - Jerry Great day! 3 humpbacks – one was Jerry! A few Cownose Rays, a possible large Bluefin breach and some marine birds. Nice day out on the American Princess Cruises whale and dolphin adventure. Get out the AP and see what is going on, its amazing


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Fri, 30 Jul 2021 12:56:00 GMT
4 whales, two tandem.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 28 Nov 2020 05:43:00 GMT
Two Humpbacks and 3 Grey Seals On 11-27-2020 I was out on the American Princess Cruises Whale and Dolphin watch as a spotter, and photographing for Gotham Whale and the AP, when we encountered NYC0089 off Breezy Point. The whale was with another Humpback and a few Grey Seals (love their faces).  The whale was feeding and by the looks of it, having a good time doing it. NYC0089 has a unique way of lunge feeding. It likes to come in on an angle, not straight on as most whales do. Some will say the reason for the angled lunge feeding is because the whale was in shallow waters. We did see this whale a few times, and this is mostly how the whale lunge feeds no matter the depth. I have seen a few other whales lunge feed like this; NYC0015 is one of them. But mostly the whales I see lunge feeding come straight up at the bunker ball from below the water- head on, not sideways.

When we were on NYC0089 we were very close to the Breezy Point Jetty, so it would be a short trip for NYC0089 to get to Lower NY Bay or Harbor, then to Upper NY Bay or Harbor and onwards and upwards to the Hudson River or the North River.

There is so much bait inside the back bays and harbors right now. We assume that's true for the Hudson River as well but do not 100% know that is a fact. From the many reports I have read the whale is feeding and looking healthy. It is relatively safe for the whale to be there; the water is very deep. Boat traffic is the biggest problem for this whale. Ship strikes are one of the major causes for fatalities and injuries for Marine Mammals including the Humpback Whale, so this could be a problem. Marine traffic and seasoned captains know there is a whale in the area, everyone on the water is in the know. There are many eyes on the lookout for this whale, so it should be OK.

We saw NYC0089 before, on June 02, 2018 on the American Princess Cruises Whale Watch. It was healthy and with other whales and dolphins that day. Here is the recap – Artie Raslich Photography | 2018-06-02 5 Humpbacks and 50+ Dolphins off Rockaway . I think I have seen this whale a few other times but cannot confirm. Sometimes you get photos of whales, and because of distance or angles in photos you cannot ID them… hey, it happens.

Well, I hope NYC0089 has fun in the big city seeing the sights. And then gets the hell out of there before Mayor De Blasio slaps him with restrictions or makes him quarantine!

Good luck NYC0089, see you soon!



[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Fri, 27 Nov 2020 15:12:00 GMT
3 whales and 200+ playful Dolphin off Breezy and Ambrose Photos taken aboard the American Princess Cruises Whale and Dolphin Cruises. Book your adventure here.

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Wed, 04 Nov 2020 12:56:00 GMT
5 Humpbacks, 25+ Dolphins off LB and Lido  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 31 Oct 2020 17:30:00 GMT
A Humpback off of ER Inlet and many dolphins

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 25 Oct 2020 17:43:00 GMT
ANOTHER entangled whale off Rockaway. ANOTHER entangled whale off Rockaway.

We (Gotham Whale and the American Princess) came across our second entangled whale in a week! The American Princess Cruises all day Seafari was coming to an end when we saw this Humpback Whale roughly a mile off Fort Tilden, Rockaway Beach, NY. There were two other whales in the area and many dolphins all around swimming with these whales.

We came across the entangled humpback, and it immediately did a breach. The whale was swimming and breathing normally. It did not look, sound or act stressed, even though a breach could be a sign of anything good or bad, including stress. The whale then fluked a few times and revealed the entanglement: fishing gear wrapped around its fluke. At that point (3:22pm), the AP stopped and immediately all agencies needing to be contacted were contacted by Captain Frank via phone and radio. All information needed was shared and Capt. Frank did an incredible job as he and Capt. Tom always do!

Once again, in a small way, the AP with GW is helping humpbacks in the Western NY Bight!  I will say this, and it’s my opinion, but I think you will agree: “If it were not for Gotham Whale and American Princess Cruises being out on the water practicing Citizen Science on a constant basis many whales that pass through NYC waters entangled or injured would probably go undetected.” When you hear or read NYC and Humpback Whale, it usually is followed by Gotham Whale and American Princess Cruises in the same sentence!

Gotham Whale was created in 2009 and holds the only NYC Humpback Whale Catalog. The NYCHWC has broken the 200 whales documented mark this year. The details of each of the whales in this catalog help scientists (and citizen scientists) in the whale world tremendously.

About Gotham Whale – it is 100% a volunteer-based citizen scientist 503c1 non-profit entity and is funded by donations. If you want to help the whales in NYC – Donate to GW here HELP GOTHAM WHALE HELP NYC WHALES. You can buy Gotham Whale gear and that helps us as well.

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 22 Oct 2020 19:22:00 GMT
A North Atlantic Right Whale entangled! I was out on the American Princess on Sunday Oct 11th on a whale and dolphin watch. The day brought us off NNJ, with NYC always in sight. Captain Frank and Captain Tom were at the helm. We came upon a Humpback Whale off in the distance and were in transit to meet up with the whale. While in route, Capt. Frank saw a very faint blow closer to the AP, so we investigated the closer whale. From a distance the “Humpback” looked so beat up, it was worrisome. White and brown spots all over the whale, the peduncle and tail area were raw but healing. We get closer and notice no dorsal...Hmmm. Then we saw the blow from a good angle and it's heart shaped…Wow, can it be? The whale comes to the boat and it is a… NORTH ATLANTIC RIGHT WHALE! WOW! We have only seen one NARW once before and it was entangled; this is our second on the AP! If you are a whale lover, this is exciting. Seeing a whale like this in NYC/NNJ waters is very rare!  There is an estimate of 200-400 NARW’s alive in this world, and we were on one now.

As soon as the NARW identification was made, we backed away immediately and left the NARW. NOAA regulations say you need to stay 500 meters away and we did. On exiting, THE CALLS WENT OUT on seeing a NARW! ALL protocols were followed when seeing a NARW. The government agencies were informed: NOAA, USCG, and others. Captains Frank and Tom called Vessel Traffic about the NARW being in the area. All ships in the area were hailed and informed to slow down, including another whale watching boat.

The conditions were a little rocky, especially when in the trough. Looking at photos for details in these conditions is limited. I get home, upload the photos, and start the processing. I notice a rope embedded in the rostrum of the NARW. It looks like the rope is wrapped twice around the top of the mouth and is not wrapped around the whole mouth (my opinion, I am not a NARW expert). I think this whale can filter feed, but I did not get photos of the whole head of the NARW. Photos show the rope being covered by the lower jaw and, this to me, would point to it being able to open its lower jaw to eat. But again, I am NOT an expert. The rope looks to have been there for a while because it's embedded in the top of the head and callosities have totally covered it up except on the sides.

As soon as I saw the rope, I processed the photos and sent them out to all agencies that needed them for IDing, including CCS and MMSC.

I waited a few days before posting the information and when NOAA sent out their bulletin, I waited another day to post my info and photos!

Here is what I know and was told: This NARW has not been matched and is not known to be involved in any ongoing entanglement case. Based on its emaciation and extreme injuries-- look at the giant healing impact bruise or cut on its left side-- this whale is in very bad shape. Look at the entanglement scars, the rope, and injuries-- it likely does not have much longer. It is not likely to be feeding, so it will probably wander and may show up just about anywhere.

We wish this NA Right Whale well; we might see it in the area next week? If we do, we will stay 1500 feet away and call all who need to know that it's still in the area.

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 11 Oct 2020 17:45:00 GMT
5 Humpbacks off Rockaway  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Fri, 02 Oct 2020 12:28:00 GMT
SEAFARI - 11 Humpbacks, 100+ Dolphins. Jerry was in the mix! A successful second Seafari yesterday on American Princess Cruises. 11 Humpback Whales, 100+ very playful Dolphin. Tandem swimming pairs of humpbacks and dolphin swimming together. One of the Humpbacks was NYC’s most famous whale – Jerry! A great day was had by all.

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 01 Oct 2020 13:18:00 GMT
5 whales and dolphins off of Rockaway and Jersey  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 27 Sep 2020 14:15:00 GMT
SEAFARI The Seafari was incredible! It was from 7am to 5pm on Sept 17th and Captain Frank went where he knew whales would be. The ocean conditions were perfect! Almost no chop at all, a very small 2ft ground swell at 9 seconds. Overcast skies with some scattered light showers that never bothered the passengers. The official count was 8 humpbacks, 4 Minkes, Sharks, turtles, some bluefish action, great views and great company. The boat was filled with serious whale and bird watchers. For the birders it did not work out too well, no fault of the captain. We went to the mud hole and it is usually packed with all different types of bird life and there was nothing. No whales, dolphins, or fish life on the surface. A shark here and there but tons of jellies and a few Turtles which was cool. I had a camera malfunction on the 1DXII, and all 760 photos shot were not sharp- they all went into the trash bin. The amazing Oatmeal, Cherry, White Chocolate Chip Cookies kept my mind off the malfunctioning camera, thanks Beth.

A big thank you to the Captains and Crew of American Princess Cruises; a great Seafari adventure was had by all! Try to make it out on the next Seafari on Oct 1st.


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 17 Sep 2020 15:56:00 GMT
Dolphins in ER Inlet  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Mon, 07 Sep 2020 15:56:00 GMT
4 Whales off NJ  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 06 Sep 2020 15:42:00 GMT
Sunset Cruise  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 05 Sep 2020 15:42:00 GMT
Giant Bluefin Tuna breaching, 5 whales, dolphin, cownose rays...WHAT A DAY! Went out on the American Princess with Gotham Whale for a double header whale and dolphin watch and it was spectacular. I need to say, I am out on the water whale watching a lot. It is an amazing sight to see whales and dolphins here in NYC, just amazing. But I am jaded. A great day for me is seeing the madness of an acrobatic humpback whale, like tail throws, breaches, pectoral fin slapping, lunge feeding with bunker flying everywhere…that’s the ticket! Just seeing whales is awesome, but I like the action. Sometimes while whale watching you see marine mammals, birds, and fish you never would expect.

Conditions were great on this day! Light winds, 1-2ft waves with a glassy sheen on the surface (no chop), bright sunshine, clear water, no humidity. These conditions are perfect for seeing “into” the water close to the boat. When it's choppy, it’s hard to clearly see (and photograph) what is in the water.

The whale watch started off fast with a small pod of dolphins; they were playing. When they saw the AP they beelined it over to us and started riding the wake. This is always a great sight, one of my favorite sights with dolphins. They played in the wake as we moved on looking for humpbacks. When in transit, on a day like this I am always looking down into the water. So many Cownose Rays (maybe Bullnose Rays…I DON’T KNOW!) were in the area! I saw a few cownose rays breaching- that was nice and unexpected.

Looking out on the horizon we saw a few blows and then we were on a pair of humpbacks; the whale watch was on. We stayed with the whales for a while, but they were in transit mode. They did a tandem lunge feeding but mostly they were moving. We saw a few more blows and went to see the other whale that just came into view. We met up with the whale, which was also in transit; not feeding, just taking breaths and fluking. BTW - The breath of the whales we met up with was disgusting…DISGUSTING! With the light winds on the water, their blow or “breath” carries on the wind. If you're down wind, the cloud of whale breath hits you right in your face and it’s an experience. What does whale breath smell like? ROTTEN FISH! Think 5-day old bunker sitting in a bucket outside in the sun and times that by 10.

While this was all going on, I still had my eyes out for sharks and other things, and you never know what you will see. I am following the humpback, camera ready. I look to the shore (Jersey shore, we were off Jersey) and see something do a violent breach. It was amazing! At first, I thought it was a great white breaching- it was a very big fish. There was only one breach and it happened so fast, I was camera ready and took my shots, but I did not know if I got the shot. I was so busy going nuts, yelling, and screaming over what I just saw, it was crazy! So excited I got to see something like that with others.

I look at the series of photos, not a Great White. I see a crescent shaped tail and think Yellowfin Tuna. I look at the next photo, it looks like a Bluefin Tuna. I go to the next one and I see the whole fish. It is a Giant Blue Fin Tuna doing a FULL BREACH. 100% all of the tuna was out of the water! WOW, I just saw that, and it was a mile or two off the beach! The second-best photo I have ever taken!

This day was incredible! I can not wait to go out on the American Princess all-day whale watch coming up on Sept 17th and Oct 1st. These trips are where I thought I would see something like this happen, who knew it would be a mile or so off the coast. WHAT A DAY!


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 05 Sep 2020 13:58:00 GMT
One Humpback, Two Finbacks and 300 Dolphin  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Fri, 21 Aug 2020 18:27:00 GMT
One Humpback Whale off Riis Park.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Fri, 21 Aug 2020 02:05:02 GMT
3 Whales Sunset Cruise  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 20 Aug 2020 21:00:00 GMT
Sunset cruise, one humpback.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:36:00 GMT
one whale in Ambrose.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 09 Aug 2020 04:36:00 GMT
Dolphin Becomes Trapped in East Rockaway’s Mill River. My home town! Dolphin Becomes Trapped in East Rockaway’s Mill River. I was staying away from posting any photos or information about the situation, but the news is out.

Dolphins and whales have been seen in East Rockaway channel before. The whale named "Reynolds" for Reynolds Channel by Gotham Whale, was in the western back bays of Nassau County for about ten days a few years ago. Good news on the whale, it got out. Dolphins have been in the back bays many times before; it's not uncommon. The dolphin was first reported in the area on July 21st and is still in that area on Aug 01st.

This dolphin is in a very different situation than Reynolds the whale was. Right now (Aug 01, 3pm) the dolphin is in Mill River, not East Rockaway Channel. Mill River is brackish water, meaning the dolphin is swimming in water having more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater. Dolphins that are not considered freshwater dolphins may visit or travel through freshwater environments, but they ultimately return back to their saltwater habitat. In this case, to get out to the ocean this dolphin needs to go out one of the two nearest inlets, which are East Rockaway Inlet and Jones Inlet. All the fish (food) dolphins normally eat are in that river and in abundance, so it will not go hungry. The dolphin is not being held down or entangled; it is freely breathing. The water is deep, so it should not get stranded. It looks to be in good health, but I am not a dolphin expert. With all the good mentioned there are a few bad things that make the odds of getting out to the ocean go down: bridges and stress.

Stress – Not good! Not being able to get back to the ocean, that is stressful on its own. Seeing groups of people in kayaks surrounding the dolphin just feet away is not good and is compounding the stress factor for this dolphin. The Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act do not allow unauthorized people to get within 150 feet or 50 yards to view or interact with a wild dolphin. Feeding a dolphin, which was happening when the dolphin was in the East Rockaway boat basin, is illegal. Violations can be prosecuted either civilly or criminally and are punishable by fines of up to $100,000 and/or up to 1 year in jail. YEAH, read that again, these guys are serious about this.

Bridges – There are two bridges the Dolphin must navigate to get to the ER Channel. The LIRR train trestle, then the Atlantic Ave Bridge. The first, the LIRR Trestle, is a very shallow passage for the dolphin. There are rocks placed under the trestle to limit the amount of brackish water that gets out at low tide. The Atlantic Ave Bridge can be navigated by the dolphin at almost any tide.

My opinion, and take it with a grain of salt:
Here’s what needs to happen for this dolphin to reach the ocean. People need to leave it alone. The dolphin needs to get out of the river at a mid to high tide, the more water the better. This week we will have a full moon and heavy rain. The water (rain and tide) at outgoing tide will be rushing the river water out of Mill River to the East Rockaway Channel very fast. This is the time for the dolphin to get out of that river. If this dolphin can not make it out on its own this week coming up, a rescue of some type will have to happen. If a rescue won't/can't be performed and the dolphin can't get out, that dolphin will be there for a very long time. If all else fails, the unfortunate reality is, and it is tough to hear, this dolphin could be euthanized. 

FYI - If you see a dolphin or turtle in distress call NY Marine Rescue Center (NYMRC). The NYMRC has been on site, every day, since day one. They are there to educate people about what is going on and to help keep the public and the dolphin safe. At this point (8/03 3pm) the NYMRC is not performing a rescue or are planning a rescue, but this can change at any moment. NYMRC knows people are passionate about wild animals and dolphins and whales are on top of that list. Please respect what these NYMRC workers are doing, because they know what they are doing! What NYMRC workers do not need is people going off on them demanding "whatever" to be done so the dolphin can get out. Now these people going off are passionate, dolphin loving people with the best intentions for the dolphin. But the NYMRC knows best- let them do their job!

Again, all this is my opinion, agree or disagree but now ya know what I think, and let us hope the dolphin gets out!

Read up on the rescue attempts for Reynolds the whale here:

Reynolds the Humpback Whale situation.

Reynolds Channel Whale Event/Incident Action Plan

"Operation Reynolds" Trying to help save Reynolds the Humpback In Reynolds Channel


UPDATED PHOTOS----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HHere is the outcome for the Dolphin! Very Sad!!!


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 01 Aug 2020 19:50:10 GMT
Sunset cruise off the BA buoy.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 01 Aug 2020 04:36:00 GMT
Whales off Rockaway

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 26 Jul 2020 04:36:00 GMT
4 whales and Spinner Sharks What a beautiful day from start to finish out whale watching with friends. Perfect conditions, 1-2 ft waves, an easy wind, bright sunshine, and a giant ocean to go find new and old sights.

It started out slow, all eyes on the water. We came upon a school of Spinner Sharks going nuts on a school of bunker. I do not see these sharks very often so when we saw them, I got excited. Grabbed the camera and got a few crappy shots but they show that they are 100% Spinner Sharks. In a good spot for some photos and a boat comes in and runs over the feeding frenzy bait ball and disperses the sharks, so we left. We came up on the first whale and he/she was very hard to spot. The whale was sleeping on the surface, no blows. Only the blow hole and snout were just above the water. We stayed for 15 minutes and left so the whale could get its beauty rest. Quickly we were on the second whale and this whale was awake and doing its thing. The whale watching boat Atlantic Pearl was out with us on this whale and the whale did what they call a “Mugging.” Not a true mugging but it was close. The whale stayed by the boat, very close. It wrapped around the front from left to right watching us the whole way, then dove. Got some great shots and a fluke. We got wind of two whales lunge feeding in the area, so we went over to see the action. We saw the whales, but the show was over, and we had a 35-mile trip home. We hugged the shore on the way home to catch sight of Sharks, Dolphins, Cownose Rays, but nothing.

A school of Spinner sharks and 4 Humpbacks were seen! Great time had by all.

Needing to be said, there is a protocol in watching whales. It's common sense to keep yourself and the whale safe when out whale watching but some lose their minds to get close to a marine mammal. That is not how it works! Click here to read up on how to act and react on a private whale watch.



[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 25 Jul 2020 14:44:00 GMT
5 whales (maybe Six) Cow Nose Rays and a few Sharks.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 19 Jul 2020 17:20:00 GMT
Two whales off Breezy  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 16 Jul 2020 16:00:00 GMT
One sleepy whale in Ambrose.  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sun, 12 Jul 2020 04:00:00 GMT
Pier 3 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Wed, 01 Jul 2020 04:00:00 GMT
Half-Step @ JP Morgan Farm  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 21 May 2020 19:00:00 GMT
HALF-STEP Barnum Ballroom 2020-01-25 Shot these photos of HALF-STEP Grateful Dead Tribute Band at the new concert hall Barnum Ballroom in Island Park. Love this new venue for local Long Island bands, very nice space!

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 25 Jan 2020 18:17:00 GMT
Half-Step at STUDIO THEATRE on NYE Went to see “Half-Step” at the Studio Theatre in Lindenhurst to ring in 2020. Many were shut out of the theater due to the 160-person occupancy. Next NYE they might need a bigger venue! If they do choose to move to another venue, I am hoping it’s at the new concert hall venue in Island Park called "Barnum Ballroom". Which Half-Step will be playing at on Saturday Jan 25th.

Great show, these guys and gal get better and better with every show! The sound was perfect! Great time had by all, what a great start to 2020…Happy New Year.


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Thu, 02 Jan 2020 01:53:00 GMT
RIP #NYC0159, looks like you had a hard life.  

When a Humpback Whale dies and washes up on a beach anywhere up and down the East Coast, there might be a chance that Gotham Whale has a record of sighting/s of that whale. Now let’s be real, there are MANY Humpback Whales out there. What are the chances we have seen and documented the whale that has died, SLIM? But still, there is a chance! When the whale lands on a LI beach the odds go up!

A 28ft dead emaciated female Humpback Whale washed up on a Southampton beach on Nov 14th. After looking at the two posted photos via AMCS's Social Media outlets it was determined that GW has seen this Humpback on a few occasions over the 2019 whale watching season. A number was given to this female Humpback whale, and it is known as #NYC0159, in the New York City Humpback Whale Catalog. #NYC0159 was seen in 2019 on 6/16, 6/20, 6/22, 7/05 and 9/28. 

I remember seeing #NYC0159 for the first time on June 16th, 2019 off Sandy Hook. I was on the American Princess Cruises Whale and Dolphin Watch and it was a quick encounter. I saw the back of the whale; it was really beat up. It looked like this whale was in a serious entanglement and escaped or was disentangled. It had wounds on its black body, healed white, showing scars everywhere. It was spotted a few times after that on June 20th, 22nd, July 5th and Sept 28th whale watches. I was out on the AP on the July 5th whale watch when we met up with NYC0159 feeding in Raritan Bay going into Sandy Hook Bay right by the Naval Weapons Station Earl. The whale was feeding close to a docked Naval Ship and the whale lunge fed its way around the front by the bulbous bow of that Navy vessel. Naval Weapons Station Earle is a restricted area. The whale can go there but we can’t. While watching #NYC0159 we saw another whale in Raritan Bay and went to take photos of that whale.

The New York City Humpback Whale Catalog team, including Paul Sieswerda – Director of GW has provided the dates we have seen #NYC0159 whale. Celia Ackerman – Naturalist extraordinaireDanielle Brown - Lead Humpback Whale researcher for Gotham Whale, and myself, identified #NYC0159 via its dorsal fin. YES, we do need the fluke photo for IDing a whale but other markings on the whale’s body and the dorsal fin work well for IDing also. Having them all: fluke, dorsal and body markings, complete the IDing package but not having a fluke is not a deal breaker!

Therefore, Citizen Science is so important to Gotham Whale! We have a program called “Wanted!” You take a photo of a whale off NYC, Long Island and NJ (it’s not just NYC). You go to the website and fill out all the information, it's detailed and all information requested is needed. We take that detailed information and use it for our NYCHW catalog and other uses! It’s all for documenting the whales in the western NY Bight. Read up here –

The above is a small part of what we do at Gotham Whale. GW is an all-volunteer non-profit citizen scientist organization running solely on donations and no one gets a “paycheck." To be honest, we do not take in or raise much money. Most of the GW workers are using their own money to get things done. If you’re thinking of donating to a non-profit origination, please think about Gotham Whale in the future or right now by going here and becoming a:



Buying gear  


#NYC0159, looks like you had a hard life, RIP.

UPDATE Via Photos on the bottom of the page 11-20-19 10:05am.   

UPDATE - I went back and looked at July 5th photos that I didn't process and share because of them being of low quality. I do keep all crappy photos for situations like this! NYC0159 was seen and photographed doing a breach on this day. In the crappy photo, I can make out the markings on the tip of the right Pectoral fin. The same exact markings are on the right pectoral fin of the dead whale that was photographed and shared on social media by AMCS. This is very good information, it shows the whale was active via a breach and was feeding. We could not confirm with 100% acuracy if this was NYC0159 in the breach but with the cross examination of photos it is a match. We were with NYC0159 from 136pm to 217pm on July 5th.   


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:37:13 GMT
2019-11-11 1 fluking whale and thick bunker pods with Sharks off AB  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Tue, 12 Nov 2019 01:52:11 GMT
2019-11-09 1 fluking whale off LB  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 09 Nov 2019 15:35:00 GMT
2019-11-03 A Family of Dolphins off AB  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Mon, 04 Nov 2019 00:46:18 GMT
2019-11-02 A few frisky Dolphins  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 02 Nov 2019 11:41:00 GMT
2019-10-26 A humpback off NYC  

[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 26 Oct 2019 22:08:51 GMT
2019-10-25 A humpback and a Minke  


[email protected] (Artie Raslich Photography) Sat, 26 Oct 2019 11:10:32 GMT
2019-10-19 The Day of the Dolphins! Two Humpbacks and 100's of Dolphins. Ocean conditions were like being on a bay, a small bay…near perfect. Air was chilly but that’s what jackets are for. I went out on the AP as a spotter and photographer for Gotham Whale. Before I go further, get out on the American Princess Cruises; it's worth every penny they charge, and it’s a reasonable price as well!

Today’s whale and dolphin adventure on the American Princess was just as advertised…AN ADVENTURE! It started off with a bang! First a few dolphins and bunker everywhere, stripers, blues and some sharks. The sharks looked like Threshers and were hitting the bunker schools up on the surface. Quick white flashes in the bunker schools show the ocean was alive with action. We quickly saw a spout and met up with a humpback that must have just finished feeding. It was passing by and going “around” the bunker schools that were perfectly set up for those amazing lunge feedings we usually see around NYC. On a side note with this whale - I have never seen a humpback whale crap so much! It plastered the ocean brown, ha-ha yeah…that happened. The whale gave us a couple of pectoral slaps, blasted out of the water once with a big chin slap and a few rainblows and we went on to the second lazy whale. The second whale was in the same mode as the first, taking a break and just enjoying the sights and hanging off NYC and western Nassau County.

We were at the end of the trip and heading in, I was packing up my gear. We are almost at the Breezy Jetty and we come upon the most active, acrobatic and fascinating pod of dolphins I have seen in my life! The acrobatics were insane, you name it, they did it, almost on command. Yell out "do a flip"...BOOM, you got an 8-10-foot dolphin jumping and flipping out of the water 10+ feet! They were bow riding, wake riding, chin slaps, flipper slapping, back breaches, front breaches! They were feet from the boat checking us out! Have you ever looked into a wild and free dolphin's (or whales) eyes, while they are looking directly back at yours? It’s an experience of a different kind. For me, it’s like being at a Grateful Dead concert, on the rail in front of Jerry. Jerry just went nuts, ripping it up on the “wolf.” You scream “JERRY” and Jerry “eyes you” over his glasses and smiles while his right hand is extended over his head holding a pick. That's the kind of day I had yesterday! Talking about Jerry's Doug Irwin custom "Wolf" guitar...the Wolf made its live debut in 1973 aboard the SS Bay Belle in New York Harbor at a Garcia/Saunders show…but I digress. NYC ROCKS!

The passengers on the AP got a show today, they was going nuts! I actually heard a grown man shriek louder than his 6yo daughter. There were high fives all around, tears of joy were flowing and were badges of honor on the cheeks of many…true story!