Los Angeles Times

Return of a native New Yorker: Whales

NEW YORK _ On a gray summer afternoon a double-decker ferry cruised around New York's Rockaway Peninsula as rain drove down in sheets. Undaunted, the passengers, including 8-year-olds from Brooklyn celebrating a birthday, looked out the windows, hoping to glimpse their quarry.

A voice came over a weak microphone. "You're going to help all of us find whales," Catherine Granton said.

Yes, whales. In New York.

Granton told the passengers to look for whitecaps, where whales might be breaking the water's surface.

Granton is an educator for the nonprofit Gotham Whale, which, together with American Princess Cruises, has been tracking humpbacks off the coast of New York City since 2011, after fishermen began reporting sightings. To date, the organization has cataloged 60 individual humpback whales in the area.

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