And a Dolphin.
With conditions firming up for Whale sightings on Long Beach Island this October 2013, I kept a sharp eye on the sea this morning. Just as we’d hoped last night, sure enough, a Happy Humpback not only came to visit with an entourage of Dolphin, but showed up no more than 100 feet from the beach. My hands shook as I tried to capture her in photos. Sadly, my delight soon turned to displeasure as a boat began aggressively harassing her and chased her out to sea. Then tragedy: my delight turned displeasure turned to absolute horror when I went to peek at my photos on the walk home and saw:
NO CARD IN CAMERA
I had left my memory card at home and did not get a single shot.
This was too much to take after the closing of our beloved Holgate as part of the government shutdown. But recently, a wise old timer and trusted wildlife spotter had told me about a spot on LBI ‘s Southside that was analogous to my North End super spot. With nothing to lose, I packed up the car and headed down to the Southside in hopes of getting a second chance.
Well, I’ll be… wouldn’t you know it not 20 minutes later she came straight in from out at sea, right to me.
Then, as she swam away, I saw one of the more foolish things I’ve seen in Whale Harassment. A dude on a Stand Up Paddleboard decided to take SUP Dolphin Harassment to the next level by chasing the poor Humpback. This moron was in for the surprise of a lifetime.
This fellow is lucky to have an unbroken neck. Just this summer an Australian surfer was knocked unconscious by a Humpback’s tail. Messing with Whales is not only illegal; it’s unhealthy. Our friend here chased the Whale through 2 lunge feeds, but this second one was a bit too much. I wish you could have seen this guy paddling for shore in a panic. We’ll forego turning him in for his handsome $10,000 fine under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
It’s a sad state of affairs that this poor animal was harassed 4 times (3 boats, 1 Paddleboarder), and that’s only what I saw. Someone should start enforcing the Marine Mammal Protection Act. That’s a cool $40,000 in fines to help these magnificent creatures.