MOAR!!!11!! It’s A Whale-A-Thon!

And the hits just keep comin' here on WRTFN. Once again we were murderballed this morning by not, but two Humpback Whales goofing around precisely where you like to swim.
And the hits just keep comin’ here on WRTFN. Once again we were murderballed this morning by not one, but two Humpback Whales coming in real-close-like and goofing around precisely where you like to swim.
Strong South winds messed up the huge Bunker Balls, so there was not a lot of feeding. Just cruising around and checking things out. And just like yesterday, the Whales hit Surf City and turned back.
Strong South winds messed up the huge Bunker Balls, so there was not a lot of feeding going on… Just some sweet cruising around and checking things out. And just like yesterday, at least one whale hit Surf City and turned back. Have a close look at the dorsal fin. We’ll call this one “Curly”.
Whale #2 appears to be a bit gashed up there, which is one way we can identify this Humpback Whale. Humpback Whales are normally identified by people with real knowledge by their flukes. Every Whale Tail is distinct like a fingerprint.
Whale #2 appears to be a bit gashed up there, which is one way we can identify this Humpback Whale for our own goofy purposes. Humpback Whales are normally identified by real people with real knowledge, like scientists, by their flukes. Every Whale Tail is distinct like a fingerprint. Scientists love fingerprints. Have a look at the dorsal fin. We’ll call this Humpback “Stumpy”.
No science required. We can clearly see we got a double bonus here. There does appear to be a significant size difference here. Perhaps we are looking at a mother and calf? But the Whales did seem to be operating quite independently and also did not appear to leave the area together.
No science required. We can clearly see we got a double bonus here. There does appear to be a significant size difference between these two adorable monsters. Perhaps we are looking at a mother and calf? But the Whales seemed to be operating quite independently and also did not appear to leave the area together. Just hanging out. That’s Curley in front, and Stumpy in the rear.
Close means close. Here is a shot taken lying on the sandbar at low tide this morning.
Close means close. Here is a shot of Curley taken lying on the sandbar at low tide this morning.
Alien Skin
And by way of demonstration, here is a shot of yesterday’s Humpback who followed the same path, to the same location, at the same time. Yesterday’s Humpback was a larger adult, about Curly’s size. It does appear this is not Curly, so we are looking at three different Whales.

To mix up this party even more, there did appear to be a mystery third Whale involved today. This Whale showed a blow, but no rolling or cruising. Could it be the net-entangled Humpback that the Coast Guard is looking for? Could this wounded Whale be calling these others in with a distress call?

Humpback Whales have been getting a ton of press this Summer. Much of the hype is old news dating back to the Spring Migration North, when lots of Humpbacks were sighted in New Jersey. The recent resurgence of the stories has been blamed on Whale Watch cruises doing some great PR to pack their boats (and apparently, it’s working!) The official, scientific, expert line quoted in most of these stories is “Sounds like a way to sell tickets for Whale Watching Cruises” and “They are probably seeing Dolphins” and “It is probably the same Whale”.

Perhaps they are correct. Maybe we should move along. Maybe there is nothing to see here. Or maybe, some experts in Marine Mammals should come get their Beach Bum on and witness New Jersey’s Epic Year-Of-The-Humpback! These days you don’t need much more than a beach chair to see that something unusual & very special is going down on LBI!