The Great Humpback Whale Migration, as visible from the beaches of Long Beach Island, was a little late in coming this year but has been spectacular nevertheless. September was somewhat of a depressing dud, and then suddenly last week the surf exploded with Humbacky Goodness. The Humpbacks always pass by us in the Fall as they make their way from their Summer Playgrounds up near Massachusetts to their Baby-Making Love Dens around Puerto Rico. Whether we see them clearly or not has mostly to do with how good the eating is around the Island. It is no secret that the fishing has been epically miserable this fall with many forces conspiring, including bath-water-warm seas and miserable Northeast winds, to make the maiming and killing of fish particularly miserable for everyone, including Marine Mammals.
Then suddenly some light West Winds brought huge balls of Bunker (Menhaden) near the Beach and Humpback Hijinks have ensued. Just in time for the LBI Surf Fishing Classic, a parade of Humpback Whales, playfully escorted by huge pods of Dolphin, have been attempting to entertain the fisherman lining the Beaches, trying to cheer them up as they catch zero fish. Sadly, it appears many Beach-goers are still missing them. The Humpbacks are even resorting to tricks, including blowing Hearts & Animal shapes, to get our attention.
At the big Hiding In Plain Sight Show this Summer, it became apparent that most people wanted to know about the Whales. It also became apparent that folks did not understand that all of the LBI Humpback Whale pictures on the Readings are shot from the Beach. “How far out where you, and how big was the boat?” was a common question.
So this week I backed myself up the dune a little bit to git a little more beach going perspective, as seen in the opening photo and also the recent Pirate Whale Post.
Sadly, the lack of good winds forecast for this week don’t look as promising for keeping the Whale Food balled up right near the shore, but the probabilities of spotting Humpbacks remain extremely high so keep your eyes on the Sea whenever you are bumbling around the Beach.
And if you want to see LBI’s Humpback Whales everyday, or to give a gift that really blows this Holiday, Missing The Obvious and Looking For Sea Glass will both be available for special order at the Ann Coen Gallery this Fall. They are both large canvases, as befits our massive friends. Missing The Obvious is available as a 60×20 canvas and Looking For Sea Glass will be available in 30×40 canvas.
Happy Humpbacking. Autumn Rules! And hope may continue to spring for all you Anglers. The Stripers might just be late too, just like the Humpbacks turned out to be. Apparently the Sea is not dead… it is just running a little behind schedule.