Whales now cruising the Pacific fast lane (2010)
Winter Whale Watch Week, Dec. 26-Jan. 1
Gray whales are already passing Oregon’s coastline on their winter migration, and many more are on the way.
Trained volunteers will be ready to help you see the whales at 26 “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites Dec. 26 through Jan. 1, 2011. Rain, fog or shine, they will be there daily from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Because the “fast lane” in a Gray whale winter migration is three to four miles offshore, bring a good set of binoculars. Having left their feeding waters in the Bering and Chukchi Seas off Alaska, these whales are focused on getting to their breeding and calving lagoons along the Baja Coast south of California.
Head to the highest viewpoints
All the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites are good, but viewpoints at Neahkahnie Mountain on the north coast, Cape Perpetua on the central coast and Cape Sebastian on the south coast offer the highest vantage points. A 2.5-mile hike to the tip of Cape Lookout, or a visit to Yaquina Head also offer great viewing sites.
OPRD’s Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during whale watch weeks. You’ll find free movies and exhibits, as well as friendly people to help you spot the whales. More information and a map with the 26 site locations are online at www.whalespoken.org.
Want to volunteer?
Training for volunteers helping in the spring 2011 whale watch week (March 19-26) is scheduled Jan. 22 at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology in Charleston, and Feb. 19 at Nehalem Bay State Park. Follow the link above for registration information.