Awesome drone footage of a massive bunker bait ball being worked on by stripers, bluefish, and humpback whales!
Check out Timothy Del Grosso for more drone footage out of Long Beach.
If you like to fish or enjoy the water, take a look at this. I don’t know how they do it but Amberjack consistently has some of the highest quality fish porn on the web. I share their stuff pretty regularly.
Change hats and this video becomes a graphic demonstration of the value of a drone to scientific observation.
I once had the pleasure of fishing in Alaska and the guide talked about how incredibly fertile the waters were and the abundance of life – birds, seals, whales, orca, salmon – that would congregate around a big ball of candlefish. I suspect this is what he was talking about and imagine that this is what it must have looked like.
In case you’re wondering (I was) that is Billy Joel singing The Downeaster `Alexa’. Turns out there is quite a story behind it – this from Wikipedia:
“The Downeaster Alexa” is performed in the key of A minor, with Billy Joel’s vocal ranging F4 to B♭5. It plays in common time at a tempo of 88 beats per minute. The violin solo is played by virtuoso Itzhak Perlman.
The song is sung in the persona of an impoverished fisherman off Long Island and the surrounding waters who, like many of his fellow men, is finding it increasingly hard to make ends meet and keep ownership of his boat, a type known as the downeaster. The fisherman sings about the depletion of the fish stocks (“I know there’s fish out there, but where God only knows”) and the environmental regulations (“Since they told me I can’t sell no stripers“) which make it hard for men like him to survive, especially with the conversion of his home island into an expensive summer colony for the affluent (“There ain’t no Island left for Islanders like me”). The lyrics reference Block Island Sound, Montauk, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Gardiners Bay, amongst other locations.
While the song is about a fictional person, it decries the plight of the Long Island Baymen (known locally as Bubbies). The Baymen represent a dying breed of people who, like farmers, work the environment to provide for their families, honorable men and women forced out of their livelihoods as much by the creep of urban society and government regulation as the decline of fish stocks. Joel was always sympathetic to the hard working men who worked the sea, even getting arrested during a protest supporting the Baymen. At one point Joel had underwritten a plan by his young boat captain to use his boat (Alexa Ray, a 46′ custom downeaster) as a commercial fishing and charter fishing operation. As the two developed the plan, it became increasingly clear that the challenges facing a small commercial operation were greater than he had imagined. The idea was scrapped. It was not long after that this song came together.
Alexa is the name of Billy Joel’s daughter, Alexa Ray Joel. The Alexa Ray was a Jarvis Newman 46′ fiberglass hull custom finished by Lee S. Wilbur and Co of Manset, ME. The hull was based on the Maine lobster boats known as a “downeaster“. Joel has had several other boats since the Alexa Ray, all based on similar hulls. The “Alexa” on which the song was based was a Shelter Island 36, custom built by Coecles Harbor Marine in New York using a BHM 36 hull.  His most recent, also built in Maine, is a “Patriot 36” called Argos.
And here are the lyrics:
Well I’m on the Downeaster “Alexa”
And I’m cruising through Block Island Sound
I have charted a course to the Vineyard
But tonight I am Nantucket bound
We took on diesel back in Montauk yesterday
And left this morning from the bell in Gardiner’s Bay
Like all the locals here I’ve had to sell my home
Too proud to leave I worked my fingers to the bone
So I could own my Downeaster “Alexa”
And I go where the ocean is deep
There are giants out there in the canyons
And a good captain can’t fall asleep
I’ve got bills to pay and children who need clothes
I know there’s fish out there but where God only knows
They say these waters aren’t what they used to be
But I’ve got people back on land who count on me
So if you see my Downeaster “Alexa”
And if you work with the rod and the reel
Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis
And I still have my hands on the wheel
Now I drive my Downeaster “Alexa”
More and more miles from shore every year
Since they tell me I can’t sell no stripers
And there’s no luck in swordfishing here.
I was a bayman like my father was before
Can’t make a living as a bayman anymore
There ain’t much future for a man who works the sea
But there ain’t no island left for islanders like me
Written by Billy Joel • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group