NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Once plentiful in the area, before turning mostly absent for more than half a century whales are once again being spotted in the Long Island Sound.

In July, at least two humpbacks have been seen repeatedly along the coast between New Rochelle and Norwalk.

As CBS2’s Lou Young reported, whales have been working the waters of Long Island Sound on the Westchester-Connecticut shoreline for the second summer in a row.

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk has been keeping track of the sightings.

“Part of what we’re trying to do this year is get the word out as fast as we can so we can avoid collisions,” Joseph Schnierlein explained.

They also want people to keep eyes on the creatures to make sure they come to no harm in our populated waters.

The aquariums research vessel is planning its first ever whale watch cruise of the Sound on Thursday.

The captain is a former Coast Guardsmen.

“I’ve seen them off the Pacific Northwest, off fo Columbia, down towards the equator, and up in Alaska,” Captain Travis Mingo said.

He didn’t expect to run into them in New York. Neither did 16-year-old Hanna Doyle who took a picture of a whale breeching while she was out with her family.

“It was big,” she recalled.

Boaters are instructed to never approach the whales head on, to keep at least 100 feet away, and watch for churning schools of bunker fish that they like to feed on.

Last year boaters counted 7 whales in the sound. One was killed by a collision with a boat. In 1986, a beluga whale was killed by gunfire off of Bridgeport.