Naming That Whale: The Finback

Trying to relive the magic of this week’s Whale Sighting Off of LBI, I took the time to go through the photos more thoroughly this morning. Using my handy new “Whale Watch Identification Guide”, I’m now sure it was a Finback whale.

Dorsal Fin: This clear shot of the Dorsal Fin limits it to a Minke or a Finback.  Humpbacks have stubby dorsal fins, and Right whales have no dorsal fin.
Dorsal Fin: This clear shot of the Dorsal Fin limits it to a Minke or a Finback. Humpbacks have stubby dorsal fins, and Right whales have no dorsal fin.
Pectoral Fin: The pectoral fin says Finback or Minke. Humpbacks have grotesque, lumpy pectoral fins and Right whales are not pointed. But Finback it is: Minke whales have large, obvious white patches on their pectoral fins.
Pectoral Fin: The pectoral fin also says Finback or Minke. Humpbacks have grotesque, lumpy pectoral fins and Right whales are not pointed. But Finback it is: Minke whales have large, obvious white patches on their pectoral fins.
Money Shot? The Chevron Patch. Finback whales have a distinctive chevron blue patches behind the head and on the sides.
Money Shot:?The Chevron Patch. Finback whales have a distinctive chevron blue patches behind the head and on the sides.
Bonus Shot: Distance. Lots of folks ask "How far out was it?". That's tough to say. My answer is "Not too far, but pretty far". Here is the earliest shot I got. This is from shore through a 400ml lens of the whale blowing. The sailboat in the background might help give a sense of where it was.
Bonus Shot: Distance. Lots of folks ask “How far out was it?”. That’s tough to say. My answer is “Not too far, but pretty far”. Here is the earliest shot I got. This is from shore through a 400ml lens of the whale blowing. The sailboat in the background might help give a sense of where it was.