Sunday, May 28th 2017. Whale Watch on the American Pincess with Gotham Whale - 4 Whales.

May 30, 2017  •  4 Comments

Sunday, May 28th. Wave Heights - 1-2ft, Water Temp - 57, Wind - East South East, Speed – 9-16mph, Air Temp 64. Cloud Cover - Moderate to heavy. Whales seen – FOUR Humpback Whales.


Great crowd on the American Princess with Gotham Whale, all are excited and ready for an epic Whale Watch. Paul L Sieswerda (founder of GW) is the naturalist on board. Let me tell you, he gets the crowd going, it was like he was the warmup act for what will turn out to be an unprecedented Whale Watch.

I am at my usual spot on the AP, Port side, upper deck in the front of the boat. It’s a spotter's position and has a bird's eye view of the ocean and bow of the boat, including all the passengers on the bow. It’s a great spot, when I see something I can scream down and they can hear me and I can hear them.

This day the passengers on the AP witnessed something that was very special. What’s to happen was never witnessed here in NYC waters by Gotham Whale and the Captains Frank and Tom on the American Princess. This may happen every day, all day for all we know, but again this is our first time seeing this unfold, live in person!
We met up with what I thought was two Humpback Whales swimming side by side. Watching the whales I saw what I thought was three blows seconds apart? It was weird. As time goes by I did notice that the blows were starting to synchronize. I saw one blow and a second later, two blows almost at the same time but very close together almost on top of each other??? What, is there three whales right there or is the other whale doing something weird with its blow? It turns out, there are three humpback whales swimming side by side. I was just blown away by this!

They were not doing anything spectacular BUT, three whales swimming side by side in itself is spectacular! I sat back and watched the three whales be whales for a while.

I'm a lookout so I always need to be looking for whales, just because we are on three whales doesn't mean there are not more! I see off in the distance, a mile or so away a ghost of a blow. I focus on the area and another faint white puff. I always wait for three blows before I alert the Captain’s and BOOM…A BREACH! I SCREAM "WE GOT A FOURTH WHALE AND IT JUST BREACHED!" All on the boat looked off in the distance and there was the fourth Humpback and it was a tail slapping machine!!! We left the three whales to met up with the fourth slap-happy whale.

From my spot, I say down to the front of the boat. “That humpback whale is communicating with the other three Humpbacks. The Tail-slapping is said to be a short distance communication between humpbacks and that whale is saying to the other three humpbacks I-AM-HERE!” AND that tail-slapping whale will meet up with the other three Humpbacks!”

What does the fourth Tail Slapping whale takes us right back to met up with the other three Humpbacks we just left.

WE NOW HAVE “F-O-U-R” HUMPBACKS SWIMMING SIDE-BY-SIDE FEET FROM EACH OTHER!! I don't know if any of the passengers are even getting what is happening here, to them its a whale watch. They are probably thinking to themselves why is that guy, up there with the camera, freaking out about? I'M FREAKING OUT BECAUSE THIS IS F#@KING HAPPENING!!

We stay for a little while with the four whales, a few pectoral slaps, a tail throw and we gotta go!

What an incredible experience for all who witnessed! AND YES this all happened on a NYC Whale Watching boat called the American Princess, in NYC waters and it happened right in front of the NYC Skyline, 16 miles, as the crow flies, from The Empire State Building which was in sight from start to finish!


The photos are no representation of the greatness we witnessed today. You can have the most boring whale watch ever and, photographically speaking, one lungefeeding photo can make it look like it was epic. THIS WAS THE OPPOSITE! The experience was epic, the photos…not so much!



Artie Raslich Photography
HI Michele (& Joe),
WOW Thank you, your kind words are appreciated.
I was fighting an internal war with myself on even doing a HW Blog. I think, I write differently than most and am always worried about punctuation, grammar and the like. With a side thought of will it even make sense but I pressed through.
I know a few PR people that can have a conversation with you and while in conversation bang out a press release and send it, that's nuts! I cant do that, I am not that guy, it takes me time to write, so I am glad its time not wasted.
NOW THE TRIP - I really cant say much more than I already said other than you picked a good day to go whale watching!


Michele & Joe(non-registered)
Hi Artie, My husband & I were on the May 28 trip and we've been on about 8 trips so far. We read your May 21st blog and were so looking forward to your photos and blog for the May 28 AP trip. As a retired literacy teacher I want to complement your writing. You painted a beautiful word picture capturing the excitement of the day beautifully and your photos are spectacular! We are looking forward to our next trip. Michele & Joe
Artie Raslich Photography
Thanks Trish!
Trish Minogue Collins(non-registered)
I LOVE those tail slapping photos! It sounds like an epic experience!
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