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Washington Coast Whale Watching

March 4th, 2013

The best times to experience whale watching along the Washington Coast are during the months of March, April and May while the whales migrate to the warm waters of Mexico. The gray whale makes the longest journey traveling 10-14 thousand miles round trip from feeding grounds to breeding lagoons. Gray whales migrate close to the coastline making it great for viewing from the shore or better yet from a whale watching excursion boat! Here are a few spots known to be good for whale watching on the Washington Coast:

  • Westport Observation Tower (View a complete whale skeleton display at the Westport Maritime Museum)
  • North Jetty at the southern end of Ocean Shores
  • Cape Flattery on the Olympic Peninsula
  • The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park
Photo Credit: John 'K' on Flickr

Photo Credit: John ‘K’ on Flickr

 

Gray whales are the only species of whales that feed off the ocean floor, they dive down to feast on tons of small shrimp-like crustaceans, called aphipods which can be found in astounding numbers. They usually feed 3-5 minutes but can stay down for for up to 15 minutes. While floating or swimming they have been seen feeding on small schools of fish and kelp. Instead of teeth, they have baleen bristles which form a filter for straining food from the sea’s sandy floor. Here are a few gray whale facts:

A Few Gray Whale Facts

  • Average length 50 feet, average weight up to 40 tons
  • Life span 50 – 70 years
  • Scars on their body are left by parasites
  • Whales travel at about 6 miles per hour
  • Calf gray whales drink 50-100 gallons of their mothers milk per day containing 53% milk fat

 

Thanks & have fun AT THE BEACH!

 

 

 

 

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