whale watching, northern California

From: Pieter Arend Folkens (animalbytes@earthlink.net)
Date: Tue Nov 12 2002 - 12:54:08 EST

  • Next message: Pieter Arend Folkens: "Indian Ocean Whales"

    >When is the best time to see whale activity along the Mendocino coast?

    It depends on the type of whales. I guess you are interested in gray
    whales as they are the most 'coastwise' of the whales.

    Gray whales are transient in the area near shore beginning in
    December with a peak in the last week of December and first week of
    January for the southern migration. Gray whales are common near
    Mendocino moving south as late as February when the first northern
    migrators appear. The northern migration continues into April with
    some seen as late as June. In the northern migration of grays, solo
    whales and mating groups are seen in March. Cow/calf pairs can be
    seen close to shore in April and May.

    Humpbacks and Blues feed just south of Mendocino in the summer
    months. Blues in particular roam from southern California into
    Washington and are common in northern California from Monterey Bay to
    Crescent City in July, August, and September. However, these big
    buck-a-roos tend to be further off shore where the continental
    shelf/slope facilitates upwelling.

    Cheers,

    Pieter Folkens

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