Lost whales: Homeward bound at last

After two weeks of cajoling, music playing, pipe banging, water spraying and every other tactic would-be rescuers could come up with to try to get two wayward whales to head out of the Sacramento Delta and back out to sea, San Francisco's lost humpbacks have finally started swimming home.

Delta and Dawn, a mother humpback and her calf who made a wrong turn and got stuck near Rio Vista, Calif., delighted crowds on the shores — and on television news broadcasts — on Sunday when they finally started swimming, cavorting, jumping, spraying and acting a bit more like healthy, happy whales again.

They are well on their way to sea but not yet out of danger, however.

Scientists have said that the humpbacks, who had completed about 20 miles of their journey but had yet to swim another 50 miles as of Sunday morning, could face harm from large ships as they get closer to sea. A coast guard flotilla is trying to maintain a “safe zone” for them.

Get the full story on Examiner.com and all of the latest updates on our special “Delta Whales” web page.

Seemore photos on Examiner's “San Francisco in Pictures” blog.

newsUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Scooter companies have expanded their distribution in neighborhoods such as the Richmond and Sunset districts. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board signs off on changes to scooter permit program

Companies will gete longer permits, but higher stakes

A health care worker receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Go Nakamura/Getty Images/TNS)
City sets ambitious goal to vaccinate residents by June

Limited supply slows distribution of doses as health officials seek to expand access

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden arrive at Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden issues call for ‘unity’ amidst extreme partisan rancor

‘I will be a president for all Americans,’ he says in inauguration speech

MARIETTA, GA - NOVEMBER 15: Democratic U.S. Senate candidates Jon Ossoff (R) and Raphael Warnock (L) of Georgia taps elbows during a rally for supporters on November 15, 2020 in Marietta, Georgia. Both become senators Wednesday.  (Jenny Jarvie/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Vice President Harris swears in senators Padilla, Warnock, Ossoff

New Democratic senators tip balance of power in upper legislative house

Most Read