Saturday, December 10, 2011

Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast - #25 of 101 Things To Do on the Oregon Coast

Photo: Oregon State University Marine Mammal Program
 Oregon Coast Whale Watching - #25 of 101 Things To Do on the Oregon Coast

Whale watching takes place almost year-round on the Oregon Coast. The whales migrate past Oregon on their way to and from the waters off Alaska and Mexico. We watch whales in the winter from mid-December through January. Spring watching begins in March with the peak near the end of the month and finishes in June with mothers and babies traveling north.  

During Whale Watching Week, volunteers will be at selected locations to give you information about the whales, their migration and help with spotting. This program is Whale Watching Spoken Here.

An estimated 18,000 gray whales will start their long journey along the Oregon Coast to their breeding grounds in lagoons in Baja, Mexico. Located within just a few minutes of Sandlake Country Inn are 3 excellent "Whale Spoken Here" spots; Cape Mears, Cape Lookout & Cape Kiwanda.

View Whale Watching Spoken Here in a larger map

Winter Whale Watching Week - late December
Trained volunteers will be present at the 26 sites listed on the map to show visitors the gray whales.

This is not the only time you can see whales. About 18,000 gray whales will pass by in about 4 weeks, from mid-December to mid-January. The same locations are still great viewing spots.

The main body of whales is about 5 mile off shore, but some can be seen as close as 1-2 miles off shore.

During the southern migration whales seldom stop to eat, but travel steadily to the Baja lagoons of Mexico.

Spring Whales - Northbound

Spring Whale Watching Week - Mid-Late March

Trained volunteers will be present at 26 sites  to show visitors the gray whales.

This is not the only time you can see the whales. About 18,000 whales will pass by our coast during March, April, May and June on their way to Alaska's Bering Sea.

Juveniles pass first followed by adults. Last are the mothers and babies.

Many of them come close to shore feeding on Oregon's great food supply. In April and May you may be able to see mothers and calves resting in protected coves close to shore. We see this quite often from the Whale Center. The same locations on the map are still great viewing spots.

Summer Whales
There are about 200-400 gray whales that do not go as far north as Alaska to feed in the summer. We generally have feeding whales on the central coast from July through October. These whales are very close to shore while feeding and can often be seen from many of the same locations on the map.

Diane Emineth,
Sandlake Country Inn
Oregon Coast Activity #25, From our blog series "101 Things To Do On The Oregon Coast".
Day trips from Sandlake Country Inn

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