We. Got. Whale!

That's no Dolphin.
That’s no Dolphin.

Boy am I glad I headed to the beach this morning to take the Readings, even though I was still groggy from a late night on the beach watching the Perseids. Leaving the house I said to the family “If you were ever going to see a whale off LBI, this is the morning”, which is actually much less predictive as it sounds since I say that every morning with a light wind and calm sea.

The action was jumpin’ right off the bat with a large pod of Dolphin mating about 30 feet from shore, Bluefish leaping out of the water under huge blitzes, and Osprey comin’ in hot everywhere. I had a hard time deciding where to point my lens.

That's no bird.
That’s no seaweed.

While shooting the Dolphin I noticed a large cloud of mist far out at sea. That was no Dolphin. I watched for a while and saw nothing but stillness so I moved on. But I then saw something I’ll never forget: the most enormous thing I have ever seen in the sea rose out of the deep and slammed back down making the splash of 1000 Osprey. It was the gorgeous face of Whale.

Check out the Bluefish leaping out of the water for scale
Check out the Bluefish leaping out of the water for the scale of that fin. 

My adrenaline fired just at the sight and I could barely steady the camera. I think I actually screamed. I followed this beauty a few beaches until I lost her. Tracking a Whale of this size is nothing like tracking a Dolphin. I would estimate she was traveling one beach in about 45 seconds. You would think this massive beast would leave at least a wake or disturbance. But nothin’. When she was up, it was unmistakable. But the not a soul on the busy morning beach had any idea she was right there.

Tough to miss when she rises, but when she's down you would never know she was there.
Tough to miss when she rises, but when she’s down you would never know she was there.
This is the Dorsal Fin, which makes me think we have a Finback Whale and not a Humpback.
This is the Dorsal Fin, which makes me think we have a Finback Whale and not a Humpback.
Awful shot, but I think we have Dorsal + Tail exposed here, again, showing the scale.
Awful shot, but I think we have Dorsal + Tail exposed here, again, showing the scale.

Any resident fish experts, feel free to weigh on with an ID on this creature in the comments. It was absolutely enormous, and dwarfed every ship out there. The underside of her face was a light/white color and her chin was huge and fold-y.

Truly a Reading I’ll never forget. Cheers!