Monday, April 19, 2010

Whale Watching in Depoe Bay April 19


We did get one trip in today before the wind came up and made the ocean choppy. Here is the lastest forecast from NOAA, Northwest wind 20-25 knots, wind waves 5 feet, West swell 11 feet. We are hoping the weather will improve later this week.

Join us on exciting zodiac style whale watching adventure at Dockside Charters aboard the Whales Tail.

Depoe Bay Events

April 27 Fundraiser BBQ for Fleet of Flowers

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Dockside Charters
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Phone: 541-765-2545
Toll Free: 1-800-733-8915

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Whale Watching Report For April 18


Great whale watching today, ocean conditions were perfect with light winds and seas.

http://oceannavigation.blogspot.com/2010/04/awesome-whale-watching-video-on-whales.html

Join us on exciting zodiac style whale watching adventure at Dockside Charters aboard the Whales Tail.

Depoe Bay Events for April
April 17-18 Wooden Boat Show, Crab Feed, and Ducky Derby

April 27 Fundraiser BBQ for Fleet of Flowers

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Dockside Charters
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Phone: 541-765-2545
Toll Free: 1-800-733-8915

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Whale Watching in Oregon April 15


The weather was great and so was the whale watching, we had light winds and seas, and the whales have moved closer to shore to feed. The weather should be good through Friday, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Whale Bits

Midspring to midfall is the gray whales feeding season. Most of the whales spend this time off Alaska, although every summer some whales are observed feeding here off Depoe Bay, we call these our resident whales. The summer population off the Oregon coast is about 200 to 400, with many of the same whales returning to Depoe Bay year after year, such as Scarback who has been around since 1987.

There are two basic types of whales, toothed and baleen. The gray whale is a baleen whale. Instead of teeth, they have a row of 130–180 baleen plates that grows along each side of the upper gum line. The baleen is made of material like a human fingernail. Appearing quite stiff and solid at its outer edge, each piece of baleen is fringed inside the mouth and tapers from 3 inches wide at the gum line to nearly a point at its bottom.

Gray whales feed primarily on amphipods, shrimp like animals. They go to the seafloor and suck up an area of the bottom. Sometimes this makes conspicuous holes on the bottom. The amphipods are trapped on the baleen filter inside the mouth, while mud, sand, and water pass between the baleen plates. This is the way the whale washes the amphipods clear of sand and mud. It then uses its tongue to suck the amphipods off the inside of the baleen fringe. Since gray whales filter animals from mud and water, their baleen is stiffer and has coarser fringes than that of other baleen whales.

Join us on exciting zodiac style whale watching adventure at Dockside Charters aboard the Whales Tail.

Depoe Bay Events for April
April 17-18 Wooden Boat Show, Crab Feed, and Ducky Derby

April 27 Fundraiser BBQ for Fleet of Flowers

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Dockside Charters
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Phone: 541-765-2545
Toll Free: 1-800-733-8915

Monday, April 12, 2010

Whale Watching in Oregon

It was a great day Whale Watching and the ocean conditions were beautiful with light winds and seas, come on down to Dockside Charters and go whale watching aboard the Whales Tail.

Whale Bits
How can you recognize a gray whale?

Gray whales have streamlined bodies with narrow, tapered heads. The upper jaw slightly overlaps the lower jaw. The gray whale has no dorsal (top) fin. But about 2/3 of the way back on the body is a prominent dorsal hump. It is followed 6-12 knuckles along the dorsal ridge that extend to the fluke (tail). Its fluke is about 10 feet across, pointed at the tips, and deeply notched in the center. There are 2-5 grooves on the ventral throat.

How big are gray whales eyes?
An adult’s eyes on top of their mouth and are about the size of baseball. They are located about 8 feet from the tip of the gray whale’s jaws. They also have eyelids, I have also heard you can tell the age of a gray whale by the protein in their eyes (during a autopsy to determine the cause of death).

How long can a gray whale stay under water without coming up for air?
An adult gray whale can stay submerged up to 15-20 minutes.

Do gray whales have teeth?
No. The gray whale is in the sub-order Mysticeti. The Mysticeti whales have a baleen instead of teeth.

Are gray whales friendly?
Visitors to the calving and breeding lagoons sometimes encounter the “friendlies,” gray whales that come up to the small boats and let people to touch them. Gray whales aren’t very friendly during courtship and mating.

How long does a gray whale live?
Grays can expect to live about 40 to 60 years. Some can live 70 years.

At what age do gray whales mate and breed?
Gray whales reach sexual maturity somewhere between 5 and 11 years of age. A gray whale that lives to be 40 years old could have as many as 18 calves.

How long is a gray whale’s pregnancy?
Gestation is 11-12 months. Migration and reproduction are connected, since it’s best for the mothers to reach warm waters before giving birth, gestation is carefully timed. Gray whales have a special adaptation called delayed implantation. The embryo does not start developing in the mother’s body until a few months after she becomes pregnant. After mating in the lagoons (or during migration), the newly pregnant female returns to the arctic feeding waters on spring’s journey north. She feasts for herself and her unborn baby, and migrates south in fall or winter to the nursery lagoons to give birth. By the time she reaches the warm lagoons, the baby has been developing for 11-12 months and is ready for birth. A female usually has one calf every two years.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oregon Whale Watching



The Whales Tail had a great day whale watching, we saw several whales close to shore feeding. We also had some good sightings of a mother and her new born calf, the first for this year.
Whale Bits

What do newborn calves look like?
Newborns are dark gray to black, some may have distinctive white markings, a calf weighs between 1,100-1,500 pounds. Babies weigh between 1500-2000 pounds when they are about 15 feet long.

What do baby gray whales eat?
Whales are mammals, so calves nurse on their mothers milk. They nurse between 6 to 8 months. They will drink about 50 gallons of mother’s milk each day. Whale milk is very rich, about 53% fat. (Human milk is about 2% fat.)

Where are the baby grays born?
Mating and calving occur mainly in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. The shallow, warm, sheltered lagoons are great nurseries. But, calving and mating are sometimes seen during the migration, too.

What makes the lagoons good nurseries?
The lagoons are safe from hungry orcas whales/killer of whales. The warm water helps the calves stay warm until they gain blubber. Also, the salty water makes the babies more buoyant so it’s easier for them to nurse.

Why do mothers and calves stay in the lagoons for 2-3 months?
It allows the calves to build up a thick layer of blubber. They need blubber for energy to swim during the northward migration. Blubber keeps them warm in the colder waters.

Are whales good mothers?
Yes, Mothers are very protective of their calves. They earned the name “Devilfish” from early whalers in the lagoons because of their violence towards whalers who killed their babies.

What happens when a baby whale is born underwater?
The mother supports her calf at the surface for its first few breaths of air. She brings the baby up to the surface with her own back and flukes.

When are gray whale calves born?
Calves are usually born in late December to early February in the lagoons of Baja California, Mexico. More than half of the births occur in Laguna Ojo de Liebre.

How big are baby gray whales when they’re born?
Calves can gain 60 to 70 pounds every day on their mother’s milk. They can reach 18 to 19 feet in length in their first 3 months of life.

Can baby whales swim right away?
Within about three hours of birth, a calf can keep itself afloat and swim on a steady course. A calf may rest on its mothers back or fins until it becomes a stronger swimmer.

What do gray whales eat?
Gray whales feed on small crustaceans such as amphipods, and tube worms found in bottom sediments. They feed mainly during the summer months of long daylight hours in the Arctic waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas. They can eat a ton a day of shrimp like amphipods. Gray whales are like cattle on a open range, they travel where ever they can find food. I have seen the resident grays whales we have off Depoe Bay feed for weeks in one area, then move 1-2 miles and feed for a month.

How do gray whales eat?
Since gray whales have no teeth, they capture and strain their baleen, which hangs from the roof of the mouth. Grays are the only bottom feeding whales. When they feed, a whale dives to the bottom, rolls on its right side and gulps mouthfuls of mud from the bottom. As the whale closes its mouth, water and sediments squirt out through the baleen plates. This leaves the amphipods stuck to the baleen inside their mouths. Whales then use their tongues to loosen the amphipods from the baleen, and swallow.

Nautical Bits
Flotsam - Debris or cargo that remains afloat after a shipwreck.
Jetsam - Debris ejected from a ship that sinks or washes ashore.
Splice the mainbrace - It use to be an order given aboard naval vessels to issue the crew with a drink.
Binnacle list - A ship's sick list. The list of men unable to report for duty was given to the officer or mate of the watch by the ship's surgeon.
Berth - A bed or sleeping accommodation on a boat or ship.

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Awesome Whale Watching Video on the Whales Tail



The Whales Tail is a 26' Zodiac style inflatable boat that carries up to 6 people, it was designed to give passengers a safe sightseeing and whale watching experience.

We hope you will join us on an exciting whale watching excursion. Don't be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them.

After a trip on the Whales Tail you'll be telling tales of all the whales and wonders you've seen on your adventure off Depoe Bay.

Thank you for visiting our website and we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Dockside Charters
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Phone: 541-765-2545
Toll Free: 1-800-733-8915
 
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