A humpback whale was spotted Monday morning in Boston Harbor between Deer Island and Long Island.
Joe Fabiano and Paula Brogna made a video of the whale, which they shared with NBC10 Boston.
The first video shows the whale breaking through and splashing down in the harbor not far from some boats. The second showed a similar scene, but closer.
Fabiano and Brogna left early Monday morning for a day of fishing, but the catch of the day was capturing the wild moment on camera.
“We started casting our lines and before you knew it we heard a big splash,” said Fabiano.
It happened in the waters near Winthrop, where the pair saw the whale break through three times, about twenty yards from their boat.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God,'” Brogna said.
The sighting comes about a week after a humpback whale was caught on camera breaking through the water and landing on a boat off the coast of Plymouth. The 19-foot vessel sustained minor bow damage and the whale was not seriously injured.
That’s just one of many whale encounters off the coast of Massachusetts in recent weeks.
“It’s unusual,” said Jooke Robbins, senior scientist and director of the Center for Coastal Studies’ Humpback Whale Studies Program. “When we see a whale coming this close to shore, especially close to Boston, it’s usually a juvenile. It’s a whale that’s still learning the ropes and looking around for food. to feed.”
Laura Howes of Boston Harbor City Cruises also saw what is believed to be the same whale when she went on a whale safari Monday morning.
“When they are feeding, while aware of boats, they are very distracted and prey on very fast fish,” Howes said.
Plymouth Harbormaster Chad Hunter told NBC10 Boston that the close encounter occurred off the coast of White Horse Beach around 10 a.m.
On Friday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and local experts held a news conference to remind people how to stay safe around whales. Officials said three young humpback whales have been feeding on the baitfish off Manomet Point and Whitehorse Beach in the past seven to 10 days. The big baitfish have attracted dozens of anglers, along with the boats full of onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of a whale.
Bob Glenn of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries said the whales can be “very unpredictable” when they feed on menhaden, posing a danger to both whales and humans.
“We understand that these are majestic animals and the public would like to see them,” he added. “That’s fine, but they have to do it from a safe distance.”
Regina Asmutis-Silvia, director of Whale and Dolphin Conservation, encouraged boaters to stay at least 100 feet (30 meters) away from the whales, keep speeds low and turn off their engines if whales are nearby. And she said the safest way to watch them is from land, with binoculars and cameras.
“The interactions we’ve seen recently endanger the safety of everyone involved,” Asmutis-Silvia said. “We are very pleased that no one was injured, but there could be significant damage. If you think hitting a car with a deer is a bad idea, think of a fiberglass boat with a whale.”