We nicknamed the whale Propellor because there is a line of welts down its back and a gouge in its side, obviously from close contact with a small boat’s propellor. It’s all healed, and it certainly doesn’t deter this strong adult Humpback Whale from approaching large whale-watching boats and swimming around them repeatedly. It apparently just likes boats — that’s probably how it got that wound in the first place.
When Propellor showed up in Monterey Bay in July, there were several days where many whale watch tours were treated to exceptionally close encounters of the large kind. Here is a video I shot while narrating one of Propellor’s visits to the Sea Wolf II. I’m upstairs, looking down at the guests cramming the rail to get close to this amazing, sentient visitor. One person at the rail has a particularly large Canon lens. He’s Daniel Bianchetta, a local photographer who comes out often with Monterey Bay Whale Watch, the company I guide for. You can see some of his stunning photographs, including a Humpback Whale’s eye, at www.bigsurphoto.com under Liquid Nature.