(Photo credit by local photographer-artist Phil Wendt)

Whale Watching on The Mendocino Coast

1. When is the best time to go whale watching?

The best time to watch whales migrate along the coast of Northern California all depends on where in Northern California you are staying.

While for northernmost California the prime time for whale watching is from early December through the end of February, they will continue making their way down the coast through May.

For visitors staying in Sea Ranch, the ideal time to watch out for whales is around April. Around this time, visitors will see the majestic gray whales continue their migration from the Arctic Ocean.

These whales will travel an impressive 10,000 miles to end their journey off the coast of Mexico. These whales then begin to make their return trip up north in the spring, taking roughly the same amount of time.

Summer visitors should not be disappointed, as both blue whales and humpback whales travel down the coast during this time.

2. Where is the best place to watch whales?

In Northern California, you’ll want to be sure you are watching out for these majestic creatures from a point fairly near to the coast. You’ll want to make sure the land you’re staying on has easy access to any points of land that jut out into the ocean.

Sea Ranch is one of the best spots in which to spot these beauties, as whale sightings have been reported anywhere from 1 to 4 miles off the coast. At times, they can even be spotted a mere 40 to 400 yards from the shore!

3. How many whales will I see?

Visitors have been known to see as many as 30 whales in a single day! These whales typically travel in waves, with solo whales traveling first, followed closely by mothers and calves.

During this second wave of migration, it is not too rare to spot mothering whales make a pit stop in order to breach.

4. How big do gray whales get?

The gray whale is a truly impressive creature, with adult males reaching up to 45 feet in length. Perhaps even more impressively, the female of the species is known to wind up even longer!

Both genders of whale end up weighing nearly the same, growing to a range of a whopping 30 to 40 tons.

5. What is unique about the gray whale?

These whales get their name from the texture of their skin, often a subdued gray with a few notable white patches present.

Interestingly, gray whale calves are known for being considerably darker than their adult counterparts, sometimes even so dark as to appear black.

These whales are also well-known for their unique bow. Distinctly V-shaped, you’ll usually see these whales bow several times when they are above sea-level. Gray whales then typically intersperse this bowing with frequent periods of diving for around 3 to 5 minutes.

Gray whales are bottom feeders; these gentle giants prefer feeding on crustaceans and other ocean-floor sediments.

View the Impressive Gray Whale Today!

In order to view this impressive creature for yourself, you’ll want to be sure you have the prime viewing spot. Ocean View Properties is a vacation rental home agency that can help you choose a property that is ideal for whale watching during your stay. Reach out to Ocean View Properties today in order to see this magnificent event for yourself!