Each year, around 26,000 gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) make the 10,000 mile journey from the Arctic Sea south to Baja and back. In fact, the gray whale's trip is the longest migration undertaken by any mammal.
The journey brings the whales right by the shores of Southern California. San Diego is one of the prime spots to check out these huge mammals on their sojourn south
Few things you need to know about Whale Watching:
- Whale watching is a family affair
Its is educational for youngster and helps them to understand the importance of environmental preservation - there are many cruises that offer fun & educational tours to experience the wildlife first hand.
- Dress in layers
You will be on a (short) ocean voyage - and you would want to be on the deck to view the whales so dress in layers and you can remove the outer layers when it gets warmer.
- Make it a memorable event - capture it on tape
For most this is a once-in-a-lifetime event and you could catch the wild whales breaching - breaching is when a gray whale leaps powerfully out of the water exposing two-third of its body or more and then falls back with a resound splash.
- More than whales
Travel companions of these great gray whales include dolphins & purpoises. of gray whales are dolphins and porpoises. These mammals are actually members of the cetacean family. Whale watchers have seen many varieties of dolphins on the cruises, such as Risso's dolphins, common dolphin and the Pacific white-sided dolphin.
- Guaranteed Whale watching
Many cruises offer guaranteed sightings - if not, they usually offer a free trip again - it is possible that you might not sight any whales for the duration of your trip - so always, ask for the guaranteed sighting tours and save money.
Whale Watching is San Diego's unique offshore adventure. There are many places you can go whale watching - here are a few:
http://www.sdhe.com/san-diego-whale-watching.html (Whale Sightings Guaranteed or Whale Watchers Ride Again Free!)
Where can I learn about the California Gray Whales?
Cabrillo National Monument, situated on the panoramic Point Loma peninsula, offers a glassed-in observatory from which to spot the whales, examine whale exhibits and listen to a taped narration describing characteristics of these popular mammals.
During January & February, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps celebrates the season with "WhaleFest" offering an excellent opportunity to learn about these leviathans. The San Diego Natural History Museum has a permanent exhibit on whales.