By Mike Busch
Video above shot mostly by Scott McInnes, last clip was mine.
Scott McInnes and I had a great morning watching up to 5 Humpback Whales feasting on bunker right off Long Beach yesterday.
We decided to call it a day around 10 and get back to the office. We launched the boat near the Bay Park Fishing Station and cautiously made our way back through Reynolds and East Rockawy Channels, knowing a Humpback had been in Reynolds channel for the last week or so but hoping reports were true that it safely returned to the Ocean.
As we made our way to the ramp, we noticed the Bay Constable idling with the lights on and then soon spotted a spout off his bow. Not only was the Humpback not safely back to sea, he was way up East Rockaway Channel, a few miles from safety!
After speaking to the Bay Constable and a few members of the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society on board his boat, we offered to stand by and help alert boaters and try to offer any assistance in leading it back to sea.
Luckily Artie Raslich of Gotham Whale soon joined us just as the whale turned in the right direction and headed back up the East Rockaway Channel.
What followed was several hours of close calls as the whale made wrong turns, ran into muddy shoals and avoided boaters oblivious to the huge whale as we struggled to get their attention. One boat got in the way, ignored our screams and almost drove the whale into shallow water below: