Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99
Travel OC Blog

Humpback whales spotted off coast of Ocean City

The ocean is full of life and if you’re lucky you get to see it when you visit the shore. Some parasailers in Ocean City got very lucky last Sunday when they spotted a humpback whale playing in the water below them.

“The boats were in the right place at the right time,” said Tyler Barnes, owner of Paradise Watersports.

The parasailing boats were within a mile of the shore when the whale appeared, breaching several times around the boats.

“The whale wasn’t scared or anything, it was just playfully doing its thing” Barnes said.

While taking customers parasailing, Barnes said boats frequently find sea turtles and dolphins, but in the nine years he has run the Ocean City company he has only seen about one or two live whales each year.

He wasn’t there to spot the whale July 28, but his captains Kyle Miller and Ryan Gallagher were, and they snapped some amazing photos of the whale when it came within 50 feet of the boat.

Jennifer Dittmar, stranding coordinator for the National Aquarium, said whales rarely approach boats. She said they simply have no reason to.

“Large whales are off our coast almost all year round, but to have a photo documentation is rare,” she said.

Rare, but not unheard of. In 2010 a humpback whale came in close to the shoreline, giving the whole beach a show.

Humpback whales have been on the list of endangered species since 1970.

To help protect aquatic animals The National Aquarium suggests you slow down while boating, dispose of trash properly and never throw fishing line or nets away in the water because animals can become entangled.

If you spot an animal stranded on the shore, keep your distance (you are legally required to) and contact either the Maryland Department of Natural Resources at 800-628-9944 or the National Aquarium’s stranded animal hotline at 410-373-0083.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Carnival Pride takes it first trip out of Baltimore after hiatus
    Carnival Pride takes it first trip out of Baltimore after hiatus

    The massive Carnival Pride cruise liner docked at the port of Baltimore just before sunrise Sunday for the first time in five months, ending a hiatus created when new air standards sent the ship looking for new digs.

  • Spring break through the years
    Spring break through the years

    Can you believe it's March already? That means Spring Break. Check out Spring Break images from Daytona Beach to South Florida to Cancun and beyond.

  • How to get the big picture while photographing D.C.
    How to get the big picture while photographing D.C.

    "I want to make you the boss of your camera," says E. David Luria to the five budding photographers gathered around him in Lafayette Park across from the White House.

  • From James Bond to a smuggler's hangout, Bahamian chain has it all
    From James Bond to a smuggler's hangout, Bahamian chain has it all

    The Exumas, composed of 360 beautiful islands stretching 130 miles along the northeastern edge of the Grand Bahamas Bank, provide a rich and unique sand and sea vacation experience. And with only a handful of resorts and charter companies, it's mostly unspoiled islands and empty beaches.

  • A highline walk over Australia
    A highline walk over Australia

    On March 6th-8th the highlining community from around the world ascended on Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains two hours west of Sydney for a weekend of challenging lines and routes.

  • Top Travelers' Choice world destinations
    Top Travelers' Choice world destinations

    Of the 469 travel destinations TripAdvisor travelers honored with its 2015 Travelers' Choice awards, these are the top locales in the world. Winners were chosen with quantity and quality of reviews in mind as well as ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions. Book accordingly!