The following is an excerpt from KAELYN FORDEJANET WEINSTEIN | August 29, 2017 | abcnews.go.com |
Growing up on his father’s boat off the Rockaways in Queens, New York, Tom Paladino was always on the lookout for whales.
“My father started a fishing business in 1945 when he came back from the service, so I never really had a job. I was just on the boat my whole life,” Paladino said as he steered his own boat, the American Princess, back to shore.
The giant animals rarely ventured into the city’s busy, dirty waterways, Paladino told ABC News, and “in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, we used to see one whale a year.”
But on a recent August Saturday, Paladino and Paul Sieswerda, the founder of the nonprofit Gotham Whale, spotted five humpbacks and more than 100 dolphins during a four-hour tour, just three miles off the Rockaways.
“People don’t really connect New York City with whales at all,” Sieswerda told ABC News. “I’ve been involved with wildlife all my life, and I am just so amazed it's coming back by the ton -- literally by the ton -- with whales.”
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