They’re back! Spring whale watch week arrives (2011)
…along with some 18,000 northbound Gray whales
Count on it. The weather will be iffy, but the whales are out there and heading north at this time of year. The dependable March movement of Gray whales along the Oregon coast just happens to coincide with Spring Break, March 19-29. Barring high winds and sheets of rain, a bevy of “Whale Watching Spoken Here” volunteers will help you see the migrating mammals at 26 designated sites—24 Oregon sites, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Washington and the 9th Street Beach in Crescent City, Calif. Go to www.whalespoken.org to see a map of locations.
You can join volunteers trained in whale spotting at each site from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. daily. They can answer questions about whales and their migratory ways and give tips on how to see them.
One thing you’ll likely learn at a “Whale Watching Spoken Here” site is that a hungry whale is a viewable whale. These travelers are hungry critters as they make their way from their breeding area off Mexico’s Baja coast to their summer feeding waters in the Arctic. Their hunger tends to drive them close to shore in search of snacks.
Oregon State Parks’ Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day of spring whale watching week. This is a great spot to see whales and learn more about them. The Oregon State University/Sea Grant Hatfield Marine Science Center in nearby Newport offers more exhibits and presentations 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily during the week.