Sunday, May 30, 2010

Whale Watching Report For The Whales Tail May 30


Happy whale watchers, thanks for everything

Today was another good day of whale watching and the ocean conditions were beautiful with light winds and seas. Three whales were sighted off Goverment Point feeding, the mysid shrimp have been thick there the last couple of days. Once again the sea lions were on the red #2 bell bouy enjoying themselves. It was another great day on the ocean.

Something new this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available.

Daily Trip Times
8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm

Depoe Bay Events
May 31, 11:00am
64th Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremonies
Attend the nationally acclaimed Memorial Day event. Pay tribute to those lost at sea while watching the flower decked fishing fleet sail to sea. Cost is Free.

The coffee is fresh and free, so stop by and say hello.and see what's going on.

Gift Certificates are available year round.

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

Friday, May 28, 2010

Whale Watching Report For The Whales Tail May 28

It looks like great weather this weekend on the coast. High pressure is expected to build over the coastal waters tonight bringing light winds and sea conditions. Join us on the Whales Tail for an exciting adventure, trips start at 8am.

Click on the link below for our whale watching video, I hope to have more videos soon.

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

Something new this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available.

Daily Trip Times

8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm















Depoe Bay Events
May 31, 11:00am
64th Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremonies
Attend the nationally acclaimed Memorial Day event. Pay tribute to those lost at sea while watching the flower decked fishing fleet sail to sea. Cost: Free.

The coffee is fresh and free, so stop by and say hello.and see what's going on.

Gift Certificates are available year round.

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, May 27, 2010

Whale Watching Trips On The Whales Tail

Dockside Charters in Depoe Bay provides ocean charters for whale watching, Dockside Charters is the premier whale watching charter on the Oregon Coast. Join us on the Whales Tail, it is a 26' Zodiac style inflatable boat that carries up to 6 people. It was designed to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences. The Whales Tail offers a unique vantage point that puts you "up close and personal" for observing Oregon's resident gray whales as they feed along the shores of Depoe Bay. Don't be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them. We try and provide you with an excellent sightseeing experience along with some great memories.

The latest weather forecast looks great for Thursday through Monday with Northwest winds 5-15 knots and swells 4-6 feet.









Whale Bits

1. Sperm Whales have the largest brain on the planet it can weigh up to 20 pounds.
2. The fin whale is one of the fastest whales they can swim over 20 miles per hour for short periods.
3. The blue whale is the largest whale they can grow up to 100 feet.
4. Killer whales are the largest dolphins.
5. A humpback whale can eat up to a 2,000 pounds of food every day.
6. Whales can't breathe through their mouths, the mouth is connected directly to the stomach. They breathe through their blow holes, which go to the lungs.
7. A sperm whale can hold its breath for at least an hour.
8. The voice of the blue whale is so powerful it can travel for hundred miles underwater.
9. The blubber on a whale which lives in very cold water can reach up to 20 inches thick. It is used to insulate the whale and also as an emergency food store.
10. Whales do not spout water, they are letting out air from their lungs. The warm air forms a cloud, like ours does in the winter. As it comes out it will also push any water which is covering the blow hole high into the air.
11. A new born baby blue whale can weigh 4,000 pounds and be 25 feet long. Some whales do not have teeth. They have baleen instead. The largest baleen is that of the bowhead whale, whose baleen can be up to 10 feet long.










Nautical Bits
Pollywogs -  Sailors who have not crossed the International Date Line or the Equator.
Golden Dragon - Sailors who have crossed the International Date Line.
Shellback - Sailors who have crossed the Equator.
Golden Shellback - Sailors who have crossed the Equator at the 180th Meridian.

Click on the link below for our whale watching video, I hope to have more videos soon.

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

Something new this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available.

Daily Trip Times (Summer Schedule)
8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm












Depoe Bay Events
May 31, 11:00am
64th Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremonies
Attend the nationally acclaimed Memorial Day event. Pay tribute to those lost at sea while watching the flower decked fishing fleet sail to sea. Cost: Free.

The coffee is fresh and free, so stop by and say hello.and see what's going on.

Gift Certificates are available year round.

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, May 24, 2010

Whale Watching Report For The Whales Tail May 24


As we headed out of the harbor this morning there was a slight breeze out of the Southeast 10-15 knots with a 5' swell. Once we reached the #2 bell buoy we headed North towards Goverment Point where we saw 5 whales busy feeding on mysid shrimp. The mysids are 10-15 feet thick in some places, which is great for the whales who feed on these tasty creatures. The wind increased over the next two trips 20-25 knots and the swell did pick up to 8 feet.

Over the course of the next two trips the whales moved closer to the boat giving us good sightings, and we did observe a calf breech once. We also had the pleasure of seeing a elephant seal, which happens on occasions. All in all it was a good day whale watching, one thing I noticed was we may have four of are resident whales back, which is a good sign. I hope to observe these whales again just to be sure they are the same whales that come back year after year.

The weather for the next two days does not look good as they are forecasting winds South winds 20-25 knots with 2'-4' wind waves and a 10' swells. After this frontal system passes the weather looks great Thursday through Monday.

Click on the link below for our whale watching video, I hope to have more videos soon.

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

Something new this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available.

Daily Trip Times (Summer Schedule)

8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm

Depoe Bay Events
May 31, 11:00
64th Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremonies
Attend the nationally acclaimed Memorial Day event. Pay tribute to those lost at sea while watching the flower decked fishing fleet sail to sea. Cost: Free.

The coffee is fresh and free, so stop by and say hello.and see what's going on.

Gift Certificates are available year round.

Thank you for visiting our web site, 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, May 23, 2010

Whale Watching Report For The Whales Tail May 23


Thank you Carol K. of Tallahassee, Fl. and Vanessa K. of the U.S.Coast Guard Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Wa. hope you both have a safe trip and I hope to see you again.



It was good to have Julie of Middleton, Id. and Tonne of Emmett, Id. aboard the Whales Tail, hope to see you in the future, you girls did great.

Aboard the Whales Tail we headed straight West as no whales had been sighted North or South of Depoe Bay. The skies started to clear and we had excellent visibility although the sea conditions were a little choppy along with a 7' swell. By late afternoon the wind and seas subsided somewhat and it turned out to be a nice afternoon. No whales were sighted today, but we did find the harbor seals and sea lions on the buoys and watched a crab boat working. I have high hopes tomorrow will bring us whales and calm seas.

Whale Bits
Gray Whales, and they Eat
Gray whales are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat food from a wide range of sources. Along the coast of Depoe Bay, Oregon, it appears they feed on mysid shrimp found at the edge of kelp beds. Billions of mysids are found in the waters off Depoe Bay. In the Bering and Chukchi Seas in Alaska, they feed on bottom sediments packed with amphipods. There have been studies that have shown that prey items included anphipods, crab larvae, krill, ghost shrimp, pelagic red crabs, skeleton shrimp, mysids, small fish, polychaete worms and other organisms.

How They Eat:
Gray whales are baleen whales and they are in the Mysticeti category which means moustache whale. In place of teeth on the upper jaw, the Mysticetes have a series of overlapping plates made of keratin its the same substance as your fingernails. The inner margin of each plate, next to the tongue, is fringed with bristles that trap organisms but still allows water to pass through.

Feeding:
Hanging from the top jaw of a gray whale are blonde colored baleen plates about one foot long. The inside edges of these plates have bristles which trap food organisms like mysid shrimp or crab larvae. Like all baleen whales, gray whales draw in food-laden sea water and push it through the baleen plates, filtering out food with the bristles.

Heres how it works:
The gray whale depresses its 2000 pound tongue. This forms a suction and a piston that brings in water and small food items. Once the food-laden water is inside the mouth, the tongue is lifted up and the mysids become trapped on the inside edges of the baleen plates and the water leaves through the openings of the baleen plates. The tongue licks these bristles clean and then the prey move through the grapefruit-sized throat. Two to five throat grooves also expand when the whales feed to increase the surface area. Baleen plates hang from the roof of the mouth and these one foot long baleen plates filter food like mysids from the water.

Where They Eat:
Resident gray whales are most commonly seen feeding in and around kelp beds in water depths of 10 feet. Huge swarms of mysids live in these kelp beds during spring, summer and early fall. These huge swarms range from 3 to 20 feet thick and have billions of mysids. One gray whale is estimated to eat a ton of these mysids per day. One sign of grays feeding on these mysids is when a partial fluke is exposed at the surface.











Nautical Bits
Galley - The kitchen area of a boat.
Forward - Toward the bow of the boat.
Aft - Toward the stern of the boat.
Port - The left side of the boat looking forward.
Starboard - The right side of the boat looking forward.
Amidships - In or toward the center of the boat
Head - A marine toilet.

Click on the link below for our whale watching video, hope to have more videos soon.

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

Something new this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available.

Daily Trip Times (Summer Schedule)

8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm

Depoe Bay Events
May 31, 11:00
64th Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremonies
Attend the nationally acclaimed Memorial Day event. Pay tribute to those lost at sea while watching the flower decked fishing fleet sail to sea. Cost: Free.

The coffee is fresh and free, so stop by and say hello.and see what's going on.

Gift Certificates are available year round.

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

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Whale Watching Report On The Whales Tail May 22

We are hoping to go whale watching tommorrow as they are forecasting Westerly winds 10 knots and a West swell of 8 feet with a slight chance of showers.

Black-Footed Albatross (See Widget)
Mana here, I was tagged at Midway Island in July 2007! I’m black, with some white around my beak and eyes. Two other albatrosses (Laysan and Short-Tailed) and I hang out in the North Pacific, most of the other 18 species live south of the equator.

For three years, I'll eat fish, fish eggs, squid, smaller crustaceans. If I survive, I'll return to Midway to find a mate, we'll stay together for life. Ah, romance! To get to know each other, we'll dance. To make our nest, we'll scrape a hole in the sand. We'll take turns incubating the egg, he'll stay on the nest more than I will.

Whale Bits
How's Your Whale Knowledge? True or False

1. Gray whales travel in pods …………………………...............True / False

2. Water sprays out of a whale’s blowhole……………................True / False

3. We only see gray whales during Winter or Spring.......................True / False

4. We have resident gray whales in Oregon waters.........................True / False

5. The whale’s full name is “California Gray Whale”……...............True / False

6. Gray whales eat fish…………………………………...............True / False

7. Orcas are whales……………………………………................True / False

8. Killer whales eat whales………………………………..............True / False

9. We don’t see Humpback whales along the Oregon coast………..True / False


1. False. Pod means family and gray whales are solitary animals. There are some times that you see them close together. During migration, 19,000 whales are passing by and sheer numbers will put them close together. During summer feeding, when the food is plentiful, they will feed in the same areas. And when feeling romantic, there may be multiple whales vying for a female’s attention.


2. False. Whale's lungs are connected to their nose (blowhole) but not their mouth. They cannot blow water out of their blow hole. Some whales start to exhale before they reach the surface, blowing through the water and causing a visible water spray. Gray whale's lungs are the size of two chest freezers, and they empty them in a fraction of a second, causing visible condensation (like our breath in the winter).


3. False. We actually see whales every month of the year along the Oregon coast. We have 19,000 gray whales during winter and spring migrations, plus a group of 200-400 whales that feed along the Oregon and Washington coasts during the summer and fall.


4. False. There is an urban legend of resident whales in Oregon waters, but all the whales along our coast migrate. The migration is to find warm calm waters for giving birth. Babies are born without the insulating blubber layer, and if born in our cold waters they will die from hypothermia.


5. False. The gray whale’s real name is “Eastern Pacific gray whale”. We don’t usually use the “Eastern”, and refer to them as Pacific gray whales. There is one other small group (130 whales) along the Russian coast.


6. False, usually. A gray whale’s throat is only the size of a grapefruit, obviously limiting what it can swallow. Their usual food is amphipods and are found in the mud on the sea floor, or mysid shrimp that are found in the water column in rocky areas. Both are no bigger than mosquitoes and they eat a ton a day. But they are opportunistic feeders and have been known to eat crab larve and small fish.


7. False. Orca’s common name of “killer whale” is really “killer of whales”. We got lazy and quit saying the “of’ and turned them into whales. Orcas were given their name because they kill whales. Orcas are technically the largest dolphins.


8. True. The transient orca’s (killer whale’s) favorite food is baby whales as the adults are too big for them. If they cannot get a baby whale, they will hunt sealions and seals. There is a different type of orca in the Puget Sound called residents and they are fish eaters.


9. False. There are about 1,100 humpback whales that migrate past Oregon with the grays at about the same time. There are also humpbacks that feed along the coast but their food is found 8 miles or more off shore. Occasionally currents will push their food close to shore and we will get to see them feeding. They are often seen by fishing boats, but not usually from shore location.












Sextant used for Celestail Navigation

Nautical Bits
Polaris - The North Star - Is always in the northern nighttime sky, Polaris, the North Star, marks the North Celestial Pole. For those of us in the northern hemisphere it is a navigator's benchmark, the elevation above the horizon is closely equal to the observer's latitude. Actually, Polaris is slightly off the pole. The pole itself, about which Polaris goes, marks true north, the fundamental direction for us in the northern hemisphere. Thousands of years from now, Polaris will be well off the pole, other stars someday taking its place. Polaris also marks the end of the handle of the Little Dipper, the prominent figure of Ursa Minor, the Smaller Bear.

Crux - The Southern Cross
If you live in the Southern hemisphere, or if you are vacationing in someplace like Hawaii, you can see a small but beautiful constellation with the shape of a cross. Its name is Crux and it is located very close to the constellation of Centaurus. The brightest star in Crux is called Acrux. Acrux is really two stars going around orbitting each other, but they are so far away that we see them as one star. Explorers of the Southern hemisphere used Crux to guide them when sailing. By looking at Crux, they could figure out in which direction to sail without getting lost.

Click on the link below for our whale watching video.

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

Something new this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available.

Daily Trip Times (Summer Schedule)
8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm

Depoe Bay Events
May 31, 11:00
64th Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremonies
Attend the nationally acclaimed Memorial Day event. Pay tribute to those lost at sea while watching the flower decked fishing fleet sail to sea. Cost: Free.

The coffee is fresh and free, so stop by and say hello.and see what's going on.

Gift Certificates are available year round.

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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Oregon Coast Whale Watching Report For May 5



Ocean conditions were great today and so was the whale watching, about 12-15 whales were sighted about 1 mile offshore feeding. Ocean conditions should be good for the remainder of the week with light winds and seas. Come on down and join us on the Whales Tail for an exciting whale watching adventure off Depoe Bay.

Harbor Seals

Harbor seals are the most commonly seen seals along Oregon’s coast. Their population is increasing because of federal law protection along the U.S. coast.


Size: Average five feet in length; adult males weigh around 200 pounds and females 170 pounds.


Description: Most are bluish-gray with black spots and irregular white rings and loops.


Habitat: Temperate, ice-free coastal waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans; found from Alaska south to Baja, California in eastern Pacific.

Behavior: Spend equal amounts of time on land and sea, are graceful swimmers, but movement on land is clumsy. Seldom venture far from water; often seen resting on bay and estuary sandbars at low tide. Move in wriggling manner on land, pulling their bodies along with their short fore limbs. Haul-out areas on protected tidal rocks and reefs along outer coast are hubs of daily activity and annual cycles, providing for resting, reproductive activities, births, caring for the young, and the annual molt. Can dive to 600 feet and remain underwater for 12-15 minutes. Make little noise. Considered non-migratory.


Diet: Herring, smelt, flatfishes, lampreys, sculpins, squid and octopus.


Lifespan: Up to 20 years.


California Sea Lions
The California sea lion has thick fur plus a dense layer of under-hairs that stay dry when the animal is underwater and a thick layer of blubber to help maintain its body temperature.


Size: Males weigh an average of 800 pounds and are seven to eight feet long. Females weigh much less, around 200 pounds and measure an average of five feet in length.


Discription: Mature males have dark red or chocolate brown fur that may appear black when wet. Females retain a light brown fur coloring. Males develop sagital crests, bony bumps on the top of their skulls that turn lighter as they age. A long snout gives the California sea lion an almost dog-like face.


Habitat: Bays, estuaries and waters near shore, from southern Mexico to southwestern Canada. Most of population migrates to southern California and Baja peninsula during breeding season. Females are joined by males during the breeding season, May-August.


Behavior: Males migrate to winter feeding areas off Oregon, Washington and Canada, sometimes taking over docks, piers and marinas. Seldom travel more than 10 miles offshore. Usually haul out on beaches or rocky shorelines in closely packed groups. Walk on land with rear flippers tucked under them. Sometimes seen floating together on the ocean surface, with flippers in air, in an action called “rafting”. Very vocal, make barking sounds.


Diet: Squid, Octopus, schooling fish, rockfish, salmon.


Lifespan: 17-18 years, predators are orcas and great white sharks.

Highway Closure
They are planning a full closure of U.S. 20 beginning at 6:00 p.m. Friday, May 14 until 6:00 a.m. Monday, May 17. There will be no through-travel between the valley and the coast along U.S. 20 during this time. For more information on this closure visit: http://www.us20pme.com/news.html

Click on the link below for our awesome whale watching video.

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

Depoe Bay Events
May 31, 11:00
64th Fleet of Flowers Memorial Day Ceremonies
Attend the nationally acclaimed Memorial Day event. Pay tribute to those lost at sea while watching the flower decked fishing fleet sail to sea. Cost: Free

Thanks 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
 
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