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Whale Watching

California Grey Whales

To take advantage of the California gray whale’s 12,000-mile migratory route from a Gold Beach standpoint, southbound migrating whales move past the Oregon Coast Dec. through early Feb.and tend to travel  2 miles offshore. Northbound pods pass from March through May and cruise closer in, just beyond the surfline. The rest of the year you might catch sight of one of the “locals” — whales that have taken up permanent residence off the Oregon coast. Early morning and late evening, when the water is calm, are best times.

You can just keep glancing out to sea every time you’re on a bluff hiking, biking, walking or driving. Chances are excellent that you’ll eventually spot a plume of water spouting from a blowhole. Carry binoculars and you may get to see the magnificent mammals breaching the surface of the water. Several boats congregating in close proximity often means they’ve spotted a pod, so keep your eyes open.

For land-based sightings,during Whale Watching Week look for vantage points all along the Oregon coast with big “Whale Watching Spoken Here” signs. Trained volunteers (click here to see video) help you hone in on the giants, and answer questions like, “What’s spy hopping?” Best local vantage point is Cape Sebastian, five miles south of Gold Beach.

Also for more whale watching tips visit www.whalespoken.org

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