March 29, 2011

A whale of a tale


It’s not unusual to see whales off the coast of the Outer Banks in the winter.

But this winter, there seem to be more reports than usual, including sightings of an unusual whale in these waters.

The most dramatic is a blog and video by Mike Campitelli, who was one in a party of anglers fishing for bluefin tuna on the charter boat Phideaux out of Oregon Inlet on March 21.

According to the blog, the party had been initially planning to fish on the Godspeed with Capt. David Wilson out of Hatteras, but at the last minute Wilson called to say that the bluefins had headed north and he hooked them up with a boat closer to the action.

While chasing the big bluefins, the anglers came across a pod of Orcas, also known as “killer whales.” There is some really great video of the black-and-white orcas swimming around and chasing bait.

The boat moved on and eventually another bluefin was hooked. Next thing the anglers know, the orcas are coming at them, and, as the title of the blog suggests, the biggest of the orcas had a bluefin for breakfast.  Snatched it right off the line!

Apparently some other Gulf Stream anglers had similar encounters the same day.

You can read all about it and see the video here:

On Thursday, March 24, Gary Patchel of Frisco, who owns The Gingerbread House Bakery with his wife Sue, was taking photos of their son surfing just off Ramp 55 near the Hatteras village ferry docks.
As a bonus, Patchel got some good shots of a whale breaching just past the breakers.

Several beachwalkers in the Frisco area have reported seeing whales close to shore in the past week or so.

Maybe you can still catch a glimpse of one of these giants before they head away from our coast.

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