Once we got the whale back to Reynolds Channel things got harder with boat traffic. By now we were joined by a New York State Environmental Police boat but they didn’t offer any help with the traffic and screamed at us when the whale suddenly surfaced unexpectedly near our boat. Now that the whale was in deeper water he was staying down much longer and could pop up anywhere.
Meanwhile steady high-speed boat traffic continued to pose a risk to both the whale and the boats.
Scott and I kept to the north and shallow side of the channel to keep him off and Artie Raslich went ahead to flag down boats. This worked well and the whale was soon at the foot of the Atlantic Beach Bridge and only yards to safety. Unfortunately, the whale would not go under the bridge. We had another scare as the whale went up Bannister Bay just Northeast of the bridge and struggled over a shoal on the way back.
At this point Scott and I had to leave and left Artie Raslich and the Environmental Police that monitored the whale until dark. At this point we have no reports on the whale yet today so hopefully he made it out last night. Please use caution in the area until we know the whale is out of the area!