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!
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