Bradmond: Thanks for pointing this out. I missed it. My wife's comment was, "I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often." The fact that the gray whales have become used to boats amplifies the problem. Whales often will go "people watching" with a drifting boat. We have had our own close calls, primarily when the engine was turned off and we were drifting, and one very unexpected encounter with a gray whale in Swinomish Channel. People familiar with the channel can understand why it freaked us out. As long time observers, we have seen many oblivious boaters roar right into a pod of whales. The most egregious was a pair of 47 footers cruising right through a superpod of nearly 100 frolicking orca despite first passing through a fleet of whale watching boats trying to alert them. The most entertaining was the collision between a kiteboarder and a surfaced gray whale. The man was focused on his kite, leaning back into a stiff wind. I'm sure both were more surprised than damaged. Let's be careful out there.
p.s. I am sympathetic with the whales. I have been hit by a boat and experienced a severed arm from the propeller. (It was re-attached.)
Happy to be alive.