Humpback Whales Seen Darting Between Boats on N. Oregon Coast

Published 08/25/2015 at 6:04 PM PDT = Updated 08/25/2015 at 6:54 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Astoria, Oregon) – Boaters, residents and visitors to the north Oregon coast town of Astoria have gotten quite the thrill this last week with rather buzz-inducing sightings of Humpback whales. These are not only somewhat rare to see on the coast, but even rarer: they were spotted cavorting quite a ways up the Columbia River. (Photos courtesy Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium).

The sightings started around Tuesday, August 18, with Astoria resident Angie Wildt on a racing yacht reporting that she saw a black and white whale darting in and out of the water, rolling over a few times and then diving back under. She believed she'd seen Orcas.

“Basically I was on a boat that was racing and we were too busy to see where it went,” Wildt said. “On the way back, I scanned for spouting.”

More sightings happened over the next few days, and they were confirmed to be Humpbacks rather than Orcas. But it was Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium who really got the money shots on August 22 and 23.

“All week they have been very active,” Boothe said. “Surfacing between boats and following the bait fish around.”

Like many concentrations of creatures this time of year, they were gobbling up the bait fish, which are often in huge numbers about now. Boothe's photos show gobs of pelicans and other birds as well, a sure sign some great big food source is present.

“There have been two humpback whales spotted feeding on small bait fish in the Columbia River near Hammond,” Boothe said. “There were reports of humpbacks in the Columbia around Hammond this time last year.”

Humpback whales are part of the baleen whale suborder and are quite common in the Pacific ocean, as they are in most oceans around the world. They are known for breaching and their complex whale songs. They can live up to 50 years in the wild.

In 2011, a racing yacht off the north Oregon coast had a particularly spectacular but dangerous encounter with a humpback whale that was essentially a freak accident.

It was May 12 and the sailing vessel L'Orca had set out on a race from Astoria to Vancouver, B.C. About a half hour later, the ship was body slammed by a humpback that was about 30 feet long.

While random and startling, no one was hurt. There was some damage to the vessel and the whale left behind some chunks of its flesh on the ship.

Scientists believe it was a juvenile whale and that it was probably inexperienced, especially in the choppy conditions of that day. More of Boothe's photos below.




 

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, sautéed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


Breathtaking high panoramic beach views from oceanfront rooms, spacious family suites & fully equipped cottages.  Known for gracious hospitality, the sparkling clean Sea Horse features a heated indoor pool, dramatic oceanfront spa, great whale watching, free deluxe continental breakfast, conference room, free casino shuttle & HBO.  Fireplaces, private decks and spas are available in select rooms.  Close to shops, golf, fishing & restaurants.  Pets are welcome in select rooms.  Senior discounts.  Kids 18 and under stay free in their parent's room.  Very attractive rates.
Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.

 

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast Complete Fourth of July for 2017
Yachats events, Newport events, Lincoln City events, Pacific City events, Manzanita events, Cannon Beach events, Seaside events, Astoria events
Oregon Coast Under Heat Advisory; Inland Excessive Heat Watch
Even the upper half of the coast is under the heat advisory, as temps could be close to 90. Watch the waves as well
Nature Walks, Talks at Oregon Coast Beach Bill Party in Cannon Beach
A special beachwalk, along with speakers and a party on Thursday, July 6. Cannon Beach events
Summer Solstice Tomorrow: What It Means for Oregon, the Coast
For the Oregon coast, there is an added element of surprise. Weather, science
Oregon Coast History: Newport's Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and Trying Times
It's a stately if not tiny tidbit of Oregon coast history, having only been in operation for three years
Yachats State Recreation Area - Yachats, Oregon Coast Virtual Tour
Up against the bay, at the mouth of the Yachats River, lies the paved parking lot and beach access of the Yachats State Recreation Area. Kids, travel tips
Oregon Coast Summer, Events, Attractions, Science and Tourism Latest Summer News
Attractions - Events - Beaches - Stuff You Didn't Know. Discover Summer on the coast, including updated news and events
Cape Kiwanda, Oregon Coast: Complete Travel, Guide, Info
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area full guide. Scenery, history, attractions, hiking, viewpoints, dune, geology. Pacific City, travel tips

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted