Subject: Whale Watching in the Pacific

Lindsay J Porter (h9390327@hkucc.hku.hk)
Tue, 2 Dec 1997 14:01:45 +0800

>Hi.  I just found this site and I'm wondering if you can lead me to the
>hottest spots for seeing whales along the west coast of the United States.  I
>will be traveling to Big Sur Calfornia after Jan. 1, 1998, and I would love
>to know of a great spot to go to and the best time to go there between the
>first of the year and March first.  I will travel to Mexico if need be. 
>     I know hardly anything about whales at this point except from what my
>friend told me once about his accidentally going by somewhere in Baja and his
>taking a tour of a bay filled with whales. And, now I''ve got to go out to
>the coast anyway, so I'd love to take trip to see whales, too.  


Dear Jeff,
There is a global whale watching website which gives a brief summary of
where and when best to see whales in any specific area. 

http://www.physics.helsinki.fi/whale/

The Californian coast, particularly off Baja, has a number of whale and
dolphin species that you may see, including Blue whales, humpback whales,
spinner, spotted, common and bottlenose dolphins.  The are is perhaps most
famous for Gray whale watching, as many of this species winter in lagoons
and bays along this coastal area.  The best months to see Gray whales are
November to March and areas of note are 
Scammons Lagoon (Laguna Ojo de Liebre)
Black Warrier Lagoon (Laguna Guerrero Negro)
San Ignacio Lagoon (Laguna San Ignacio)
Magdalena Bay, from Boca de les Animas to Bahia Almejas 

I have never been to California myself, but did see Gray whales off
northwest Vancouver Island in June this year.  Huge whales!  The thing that
surprised me most was there size and their ability to swim in water that is
only the depth of their girth and their friendliness towards our boat.
Adults are approx. 14m long and weigh 35tonnes.  You may see mothers and
calves in the later part of February and March.  As the whale watching
industry is so large I would think it relatively easy to join any charter
company when you are actually there.  The website gives information on
various companies SO you can get an idea of the best place to go start out from.

A fairly comprehensive website on Baja whale watching is 
http://www.bajaex.com/whale.htm
Sites for Monterey Bay (which is closer to Big Sur than Baja I think??) 
http://www.bajasalt.com/GRAY/watch8.html
http://www.cyberwest.com/v7adwst4.html
http://www.einsteins-emporium.com/life/sealife/lsmrw.htm
http://lei.net/1297


Good Luck - and hope you have fun
best wishes
Lindsay  
email h9390327@hkucc.hku.hk
Dolphin Research Group
The Swire Institute of Marine Science
The University of Hong Kong
Cape d'Aguilar
Hong Kong
website: http://www.webdivers.co.uk/dolphin/index.html