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Farallon Islands Whale Watch Sightings: July 2017

By Chris Biertuempfel

In July, our Farallon Islands whale watchers spotted 177 individual humpback whales, 14 blue whales and 8 gray whales over the course of 9 trips. This comes out to be around 20 humpback whales seen on average per trip!

A humpback whale fluke in front of the Golden Gate Bridge and SF skyline. © Chris Biertuempfel

Other exciting sightings included Pacific white-sided dolphins, Mola mola (ocean sunfish), northern fur seals, Blue-footed Booby (very rare for our area), Northern Gannet (also rare), Black-footed Albatrosses, Tufted Puffins and a various other bird species during the tail end of their breeding season out at the Farallones.

Our best day of sightings in July occurred on our last trip of the month, July 30th, when we saw over 40 humpback whales and 12 blue whales in one day. That trend has continued as we saw 34 humpbacks just last Saturday, August 19th.

Come join us on one of our weekend trips to the wonderful and wild Farallon Islands, now through November 26th!

A humpback whale lob tailing in front of the Point Bonita lighthouse. © Chris Biertuempfel


Chris Biertuempfel manages Oceanic Society’s California-based programs, continuing the non-profit’s tradition of ocean faring expeditions that began in 1972. Also, he leads whale-centric expeditions in California and Mexico as a naturalist. His work as a photographer from such trips has been featured in several media outlets, including the San Francisco Chronicle and ABC News.


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