Whaling & Failing: One Hundred Excuses And One Awful Video

Prepare for disappointment. Coming from a web site with a huge collection of truly terrible videos, saying that this is perhaps the worst ever video from Readings From The Northside says a lot. You’ve been warned.

It goes without saying that there would be nothing more epic than some aerial footage of one of our Humpbacks loafing and feeding around the shore. But sightings are extremely hard to come by, and always shockingly unexpected. Finding a Humpback is tough enough on its own, and tracking them and capturing breaches with a still camera is dreadfully challenging.

But chasing Marine Mammals while dice-i-ly flying cameras over the open Ocean? Sheer insanity. Despite several opportunities, and an instinct that screams “grab the HoverPlover(TM)!”, I always take the road-more-travelled and opt for the land-camera.

But thanks to the epic number of nearshore Humpbacks off of LBI this season, we can risk a few photo shoots and attempt to fly with the Whales. You’ve probably noticed a dearth of Whale photos. That’s because I’ve been dutifully failing to fly successfully with the Humpbacks all week. As it turns out, all of the Dolphin Flight Fantasy skills gained over the last few seasons have not been as applicable to Humpback Hovering as we might have assumed. And a really long list of glitches has lead to repeated failures: deadly winds, brutal sunlight, failing to get off the ground, crashing in my enthusiasm, failing to locate the Whale through the camera, aborting because of Helicopters, and filming patches of dead water while the Whales breach just outside the frame.

But this most fortunate  morning we had the tiniest of victories: a piece of footage that actually has a Whale in it at all. Early this morning, while the winds picked up and rain drops were on the brink, a Humpback came cruising by me & my coffee. He was heading North in a super-jiffy and appeared to be traveling only, not feeding. Scrambling to get into the air on time and to his closest position, I lost him quickly as he turned out to sea full speed, so simply hovered, went high and wide and hoped for the best.

He is about as tiny and far off the screen as you could imagine. You’re gonna’ have to go HD (HD button in top left corner of video player) and full screen to even see the tiny giant blow, but you’ll see some clues in the upper left hand corner that tell you when and where to look.

Sad as this little film is, it’s a Humpback, and that’s something. Which is (debatably in this instance) better than nothing. Raise your glasses to second chances and let’s hope for better days ahead.

If you suffered through that nonsense, you deserve to take a Bright Sized Flight Flashback, which is a little more like what we are looking for in this exercise: