VIDEO: Humpback whales spotted off Rockaway shore

Video courtesy of Bob Leonard

These whales are in town for a feast.

As Bob Leonard, who is from Breezy Point, stood on the Belle Harbor shore with his two sons, Bobby and Michael, on Sunday they saw a group of humpback whales starting their yearly feeding trip a season early.

After catching a glimpse of them from the shore, Leonard and his sons, recreational fishermen, decided to jump on their boat and head towards the whales. The humpbacks were also joined by hungry dolphins.

“It was exhilarating, humbling and beautiful,” said Leonard who uploaded a video of his encounter with the whales on YouTube.

Leonard said the whales usually appear during the winter to feed on baitfish or bunker and have been 200 to 250 yards away from the shore for about a month.

“They’re very active,” he said.

Two days later he took a trip to see the whales again and plans on making another trip to see the group.

The yearly visit by the large mammals is one of the many reasons people enjoy living so close to the water, said Leonard.