#NYC0060, 80-100 Dolphins and Gotham Whale researchers out on the water.
A great day on the American Princess with Gotham Whale!
Capt. Tom was at the helm of the American Princess. For Gotham Whale it was Merryl Kafka, Director of Education and onboard Naturalist on the microphone. Yours truly as spotter, photographer and Curator of the Humpback Whale Catalogue along with volunteer Celia Ackerman.
Perfect sea conditions out on the Western NY Bight, even with the 3ft-5ft, long duration, waning ocean swell from Hurricane Maria.
We charged out of Breezy Jetty and quickly met up with 80-100 Dolphins, they were everywhere you looked. At times the dolphins were feet from the boat, the closest I have seen all year. The Dolphins were spread out in every direction from 10 feet to 300+ feet away. As with days in the past there was a mix of dolphins ranging from baby dolphins (calves) to sub adults to mature dolphins. They were playful and “may-have-been-feeding” but can’t confirm.
As we were watching the dolphins a big blow gave away that there was a humpback in the mix.
Before I go any further, you need to know that not all humpback encounters are filled with unbelievable happenings like breaches, lunge feedings, tail throws, pectoral slaps, chin slaps, tail slaps and amazing stuff like that! Sometimes the whale just ate, it might be sleeping, it might be in a bad mood or having a bad day, I don’t know I’m not a humpback but they can’t always be on. This is what makes every humpback encounter different, it could be epic or a nonevent. BUT the bottom line, NYC has humpbacks and they are within sight of the NYC skyline. Seeing a humpback in NYC its always special But, I…digress.
This Humpback we just met up with was so erratic in its travels…it’s here one minute, there the next. When you think it’s to the right, it’s on the left. If you think it’s in the front, it’s in the back and so on. It also stayed down a long time on dives, 10 minutes at a time but 15 minutes for one dive and that’s crazy long. Most humpbacks here in NYC are down for 2-5 minutes. Because of this humpbacks behavior, it was clear (to me) without even seeing its fluke it was #NYC0060 AKA K-CUP. Why? Because K-CUP is the sketchiest humpback whale I have encountered in all the encounters I have had with humpbacks. Eventually, this humpback did show us it fluke, on its left side of its fluke was a “Capital K” confirming that this humpback is indeed #NYC0060 AKA K-CUP!
We lost sight of K-CUP, which happens. NYC0060went on its way and so did we.
Now the good news doesn’t stop there, while on the American Princess we ran into other members of Gotham Whale today that were on a private boat performing important acoustic research on Atlantic Menhaden in NYC.
For two weeks Gotham Whale is carrying out this study compiling data collected by members of Gotham Whale. I won’t get to deep into the details but it’s very interesting and you can read about it when the research paper is published. On this day, the boat (in pictures below) was filled with members of Gotham Whale’s advisory board. Advisors Edmund Gerstein, Professor of Marine Biology -Acoustic Scientist, Florida Atlantic University. John Huntington Professor, Entertainment Technology at NY City College of Technology. Along with David Rosenthal – Fisheries Biologist, NOAA.
Oh, it doesn’t stop there! Today Paul Sieswerda, Founder and President of Gotham Whale missed both the American Princess and the research vessel to represented Gotham Whale in a meeting on sharing our data with a few “like” but bigger and well backed agencies. Valuable Information we have been collecting here in the Western NY Bight since 2009 with Seals and consistently with Humpback Whales, Dolphins and Seals since 2011. Paul will bring everyone up to speed on that, when the time I right.
Again, today was a great day, for the many reasons stated.
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