Whale watchers got an unexpected treat when a whale suddenly showed up in the Hudson River off the Holland Tunnel on Sunday, making this the third time in less than a week that the sea mammals have made an appearance in New Jersey’s waterways.
The Coast Guard warned commercial vessels to be on the lookout for the whale around noon. But one watcher said the whale stopped breaching waters near Pier 88 by 4:45 p.m., New York Daily News reports.
Michael Moss, 36, who began watching for the whale after his wife, Katherine Rikkola, spotted its tail, said,
It was breaching every two or three minutes for about an hour this afternoon. It was surreal.
They caught sight of the animal from their home in Weehawken, New Jersey. “We have binoculars, so we looked over by Pier 88, Pier 90, and it was right outside the pier there.”
There was no visual confirmation if this was the same humpback whale that had been sighted near the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday, or by the George Washington Bridge on Friday.
Paul Sieswerd of Gotham Whale said, “That’s where it comes into the science part of it. Without good documentation we can’t say for sure, but certainly it would be the logical assumption to make. But where it went all day yesterday we don’t know.”
It appears the whale may be an annual visitor, too. Rachel Dubroff said she spotted a whale last year in the Hudson from her window, and took videos this year. She says it might have been a humpback whale. “I’ve seen them in Hawaii and the Caribbean and Australia. You don’t usually expect to see outside your window in the Hudson river,” Dubroff said.
Gotham Whale has documented over 100 whale sightings in the New York City area this year alone. The whales tend to favor the New Jersey shoreline and Rockaway Beach.