Matthew Kochek had simple plans to enjoy the stellar weather on Saturday.
With his father and wife, they departed the coast on their 25-foot Bertram boat for a day of fishing on the calm seas.
But a quiet day turned into something much more dramatic.
“We were about a mile off of Mantoloking fishing over a large school of bunker. It was about three or four in the afternoon, and the whale was in and out of the school — feeding I guess,” Kochek told JSHN.
Then the whale breached.
With his iPhone in hand, Kochek captured the moment.
“I’ve seen whales before but one breaching around here is new to me,” he said.
Kochek said he “got lucky” and regrets not bringing a better camera.
But experiencing the moment and sharing it with the masses — the image posted on JSHN has over 4,000 likes and 1,600 shares as of late Monday morning — by simply using a smartphone is clearly good enough.
A recent NOAA report found that more whales are being struck by ships along the East Coast. The large mammals may be coming closer to shore because of an increase in food supply as they migrate north, according to the agency. Boaters are advised to reduce their speed and keep distance.