:>Hey, has anyone been sailing with humpback whales?
:Three years ago I was sailing my special spot near Pt. Reyes, California.
:As I was resting on the deserted beach i noticed a lone whale steaming
:slowly up the shoreline. I went back out, and sailed within 20 feet of
:the black behemoth, and got good field ID marks. It was a humpback, and
:he swam right up to the sandbar where my waves break and just hung out
:there. I decided it was time to head back down the beach.
:Humpies are unusual there, but we often see migrating gray whales in April.
When "Humphry the whale" first came into San Francisco Bay he detoured to
the South Sailing Basin at the Berkeley Marina. The tide was so low he was
exposed at eye level and as he swam his tail churned the water dark brown.
It was early on a Saturday morning and the wind was light, but I rigged as
fast as I could. I sailed to within 100 feet of Humphry and dared get no
closer. About that time the Coast Guard arrived hoping to coax Humphry to
deeper water before his lungs collapsed from his body weight. The Coast
Guard ordered me out of the area, so I backed off. Over the next two hours
I shadowed Humphry and the cruiser, as they headed erratically along the
old Berkeley pier ruins out into open water.
A sailing day I'll never forget.
P.S. Humphry did not head out thru the Golden Gate that afternoon, but
toward Rio Vista on the Sacremento River. He vacationed there for mucho
days, generating a media circus.