NYC0071 the entangled Humpback returns to NYC?
I was out on the American Princess Friday June 22nd. East wind blowing hard, kicking up the ocean. Slight rain good visibility.
We charged out past the Breezy Point Jetty and immediately the ocean assaulted us. Headed east to Long Beach but the waves were causing people to get sick, so we turned towards Sandy Hook and Raritan Bay to get some relief from an angry ocean.
We get into Raritan bay and the conditions were flat with a small chop. There were small Bunker Pods on the surface and big splashes like dolphins jumping but no sight of Dolphins? I thought these splashes were either sharks or Atlantic Sturgeon but 20 feet from the boat, coming up through a bunker pod a very large Stripped Bass breached 3 feet clear of the water! WOW stripped bass breaching, not once but like 10 times during the trip…that’s a first for me.
Still in Raritan Bay looking for a whale and meet up with a lunge feeding Humpback Whale. This whale is very stealthy! I have no idea where it was or when it will come up. Its blows were very light and when it dove down it traveled a good distance when it came back up for a breath. Its lunge feeding actions were different than most Humpbacks. The whale was doing very shallow lunges and would then rotate on its back and dive.
As I am watching this whale I am thinking “I met a whale last year that would Lunge Feed the same exact way, very unique” NOW - If this whale and that whale from last year are the same whale we have some really good news on our hands! WHY…BECAUSE if its the same whale as last year this whale is NYC0071. I KNOW! NYC0071 was the Humpback Whale that has a rope wrapped around and inside its mouth with a red and black buoy attached to the rope. CCS came down not once BUT TWICE and tried to disentangle the whale read up about it here.
I get a few more shots of the whale and believe me when I say this, it was not a good day for me photography wise…ahhh it happens! The photos were not that good, so I didn’t look at them on the boat and I process the photos later on that night. I start to get down deep (Pixel Peeping) on the photos and again they are not clear. I do see a few things that stand out, the Dorsals looks familiar. Then I see a rope, a red buoy, a black buoy. I dive down deeper on the Dorsal and though some scar markings have changed some are the same, this could be NYC0071.
Now that I look at it more, I think we have a match, I am 95% sure this whale we met up with today IS NYC0071!!!
IF, THIS IS TRUE...WHAT GREAT NEWS, NYC0071 IS STILL ALIVE!!!!
Yes, it’s still entangled, but it survived over the winter and spring entangled and its back in the Big Apple.
I now have many phone calls and emails to make but its all good…NYC0071 is alive.
Here is the Dorsal from NYC0071 last year.
Dorsal from yesterday, I think its a match!