It was all hands on deck aboard the Crusty Seaman this last Saturday as tourists were treated to a little taste of Hollywood.
Capt. Scott Tracy said he was wrapping up one of his whale watching tours, when one of his coworkers spotted something swimming on the starboard side of the boat. Upon taking a closer look, Tracy realized he was looking at Academy Award-winner Gabourey Sidibe.
“Seeing a shark on a whale watch is not unusual, as there are plenty of seals in the area. Seeing an Oscar-winner? That’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Tracy told me later.
Passengers flocked to the railing to get a closer look at the budding starlet.
Tracy suspects that the elusive actress may have been attracted by the smell of mackerel and fish entrails kept aboard the boat to attract dolphins.
Sidibe was slowly swimming at the surface of the water, then she approached the side of the boat and began swimming along the side of it. The actress then turned to the right and swam away from the boat. The sighting lasted for about 45 seconds.
Tracy and several of the whale watching passengers snapped shots of Sidibe. Her publicist later confirmed that Sidibe had indeed been migrating through the Montauk area on her annual trek to Alaska, where she’ll raise her young, feed, and possible develop a pilot for Showtime.
After leaving the side of the boat and diving beneath the calm waters, passengers thought they had seen the last of the glamorous celeb, but in true Tinseltown fashion, Sidibe made a glorious curtain call, breaching less than 100 feet off the starboard side of the boat.
A local woman, taking her daughter whale watching for the first time put it all in perspective. “You come out here hoping for maybe a grey or humpback, but never really expect something like this. It brings tears to your eyes. And her dress? Fantastic.”