I saw Humphrey when I was just a kid…… 1985 I was able to get within 10
feet of him as he passed under a small slough bridge. I was only about 10
years old but I remember how he came up to the surface and just rolled his
body in such a way that he could look up at me…… for about 30 seconds he
did not move just floated in place looking at me with great interest….. I
often wonder where the whale went, is he still alive, does he have children
now…. If you know of his story, or if he is still being tracked let me know
where to see such info!
According to the Marine Mammal Center, "Humphrey," was rescued twice. The
first rescue was in 1985, when he swam into San Francisco Bay and then up
the Sacramento River. Five years later, Humphrey returned and became stuck
on a mudflat in San Francisco Bay near 3 COM Park. He was pulled off the
mudflat with a large cargo net and the help of a Coast Guard boat. Both
times he was successfully guided back to the Pacific Ocean using a "sound
net" in which people in a flotilla of boats made unpleasant noises behind
the whale by banging on steel pipes, a Japanese fishing technique known as
"oikami." At the same time, the attractive sounds of humpback whales
preparing to feed were broadcast from a boat headed towards the open ocean.
Since leaving the San Francisco Bay in 1990 Humphrey has been seen only
once, at the Farallon Islands in 1991.
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