Thursday, April 15, 2010
This is the time of year that the California Gray Whales are heading for their feeding grounds in Alaska. They head up the coast with their new offspring in tow from the warm waters of Mexico. This annual northerly migration is an excellent time to head out and see them from the bluffs or even on the water. From the land, head out to the San Mateo or Santa Cruz coastline and look for bluffs that protrude out into the ocean. A good pair of binocs is a great way to go. From the water there are several companies in Half Moon Bay and San Francisco that will take you out on the water with a naturalist on board to explain more about whale behavior. There is even a kayak group in Davenport called Venture Quest that will take you out on a memorable paddle with the whales. There are no guarantees you will see any whales, but the whale population continues to grow and chances are great this time of year. We have even had a few whales inside the bay recently. They hear alot of sounds from the bay as they swim by and come in to check it out. A few years ago we were anchored for lunch and we had one just off our port bow hanging out and taking a rest. Our most famous ocean visitor was Humphrey the Humpback whale back in 1985. He swam into the bay and stayed several months. He even swam up towards Sacramento, 69 miles away from the ocean and into fresh water. He was eventually ushered back out the Gate at 5pm on a Friday and there was a huge traffic jam and party on the Golden Gate Bridge. He came back for a short visit again in 1990. But thats a tale for another time.