"Thar she blows!"
The majestic California Gray Whale can be seen off the Washington coast every year in March, April and May. Thousands of people watch them on their northern migration which begins in Baja California and ends in their artic feeding grounds in the Chukchi and Bering Seas.

There are currently about 23,000 whales that make this migration. As they travel, they will feed and play. Their diet is primarily made up of small shrimplike creatures called amphipods, as well as small schools of fish, krill, and even kelp.

These whales are also very curious and often swim up next to boats on the ocean to watch people or scrape off a few barnacles. Frequently, they will play next to the boats by rolling on their sides. Since they are in no hurry, they sometimes just relax and drift along. At times they will stick their heads completely out of the water to get a better look, but the most excitement of all comes when one of these 35 ton giants jumps completely out of the water.

Interesting whale facts:

  • Gray whales were almost driven to extinction in the 1850's. They were protected in 1946 by the International Whaling Comission. In 1993 they were removed from the endangered species list, but they are still protected.
  • Today there are about 23,000 gray whales - about the same population that existed prior to hunting.
  • Whales stay down 3-5 minutes to eat. They can stay down up to 15 minutes.
  • Man, orcas, and large sharks are gray whales only predators.
  • Gray whales get up to 47 feet in length and weigh as much as 70,000 pounds
  • There is a complete whale skeleton on display at the Westport Maritime Museum.

Coming up to take a look

Holding still for a picture

Lets Go Whalewatching!

The charter offices in Westport, Washington offer whale watching trips every spring. All the charter boats in Westport are Coast Guard certified, and have licensed crews. These trips are very economical and enjoyable for all ages. Contact individual charter offices for pricing information. The trips generally last about 2.5 hours and you have about a 95% chance of seeing whales. In fact, many of the offices guarantee that you will see whales. The boats usually go into the ocean, but sometimes the whales can be found right in the bay.

Don't Forget:
- Wear a jacket. The spring ocean air is very cool.
- Bring a camera. You will really regret it if you don't.
- Bring a video camera. Be sure to share your fun trip with others. (Just be really careful to not drop it over the side!)
- Bring a snack and something to drink. It is a short trip, but we advise you to bring a snack.
- If you get motion sickness, or just want to be safe, be sure to take your pill at least an hour before departure.
Visit Westport, Washington today at WestportWa.com. We'll help you plan your trip!
A listing of all the Westport Charter Boat Association booking services can also be found at their web site.