Portella caught the humpback’s launch, slow roll with its long, white pectoral fins spread wide, and its awesome splashdown
On an offshore trip with Sea Turtle Dive Charters out of Montauk, a humpback whale launched itself out of the water, then returned, white pectoral fins spread wide, for an awesome splashdown. Dalton Portella

For several years now deer have also been blamed for removing the underbrush or subshrub groundcover across the South Fork
In our columnist’s opinion, one of the most serious charges against deer — that they are destroying the South Fork’s low woodland vegetation — is off the table. Dell Cullum

The Mentawais are a vast tropical paradise with Indian Ocean temperatures in the mid-80s
Nick Joeckel found himself in the “green room,” one of many he and 10 friends from Montauk experienced during a surf safari to Indonesia in June. Matt Clark

The proposed no-kill tournament and festival will replace the traditional chum-’em, catch-’em, and haul-’em-onto-the-scale scenario
Fishing alone on his 19-foot Sea Hunt, Rosebud, John Ebel of East Hampton landed this 254-pound mako on July 7, 26 miles south of Montauk Point. It was weighed in at the Star Island Yacht Club in Montauk. Nancy Ebel

Over many millenniums new species beget newer species

“when the wind is from the west the fishin’s best. When it’s from the east fishin’ least,”
Preparing for a trip Tuesday morning, Rob Aaronson, captain of the charter boat Oh Brother, talked fish and gave a tour of his tattoo that depicts his boat, his daughter, the Montauk Lighthouse, and of course, the sea. Russell Drumm

The struggling turtle had been spotted by a boater aboard the Madeline, from Quonset, R.I.

I have yet to count a single turtle roadkill in 2013
Eastern box turtles seem to be a rarer sight on the South Fork in recent years. Here, one was photographed laying eggs. Victoria Bustamante

Wayne knew where the clams were and why. He knew where the bass were and why
Ernie Baltz, visiting from Canada, went fishing with Ken Rafferty, a light-tackle and fly-fishing guide, on June 26 and caught this 20-pound striper near Little Gull Island on his first cast. Ken Rafferty

There are more than 2,000 sedge species worldwide, all in the genus Carex
The South Fork may have more species of sedge than any other part of Long Island or the state, including the Carex intumescens, or greater bladder sedge. Victoria Bustamante