Ever since police marine units reported whale sightings on the Long Island Sound this week, eagle-eyed boaters have been looking for the humpback.
And Madelyn and Jim Cummings of Fairfield, Conn., were not disappointed Friday evening. They spotted the humpback feeding in the Sound off the coast of Norwalk.
"We were out for a cruise on our boat and had heard there was a whale in the Sound so we were keeping an eye out for it," said Jim Cummings, who own Cameo Kitchen Design in Fairfield.
"We got lucky and spotted it and followed from a distance for an hour. It was an amazing experience," he said.
Madelyn Cummings took a number of photos, including a selfie with the whale over her shoulder.
The Cummings kept their distance from the humpback, which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. There are federal restrictions on how close boaters can get to them.
"We do not want everyone in Fairfield and New Haven counties with a boat to go chasing after this animal. Humpback whales are very large animals … bigger than most people’s boats. We do not want boaters hurt and we do not want this whale to be hurt," Dave Sigworth, spokesman at the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, said in a statement.
"If someone on the Sound sees a whale, we strongly urge them to cut their engines or drop their sails, and just watch. And take pictures and video," Sigworth said.
He asked that whale sightings be reported to john Lenzycki at firstname.lastname@example.org and Dave Hudson at email@example.com at the aquarium.
"Photo or video of the underside of the whale’s tail would be especially helpful. The pattern on the underside of every humpback’s tail is unique, and seeing it may help to identify the whale," Sigworth said.
The Westport Police Marine Unit confirmed the whale spotting near Cockenoe Island off the coast of Westport on Friday morning. They received calls and checked on the large humpback whale to make sure that it was not in distress.
This is the third year in a row that a humpback whale has been spotted in Long Island Sound after a long absence, Sigworth said.
Two years ago, one of the three whales that showed up in the Sound was killed by blunt force trauma, which was probably due to a collision with a sailboat.
The Westport Police Department posted a video of its encounter with the humpback whale on its Facebook page, which you can check out here.
The Norwalk Police Department Marine Unit also caught video of the whale breaching, which you can see here.See Attachment
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