Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whale Watching in Depoe Bay on the Whales Tail June 28




Dockside Charters located in Depoe Bay, Oregon offers whale watching zodiac style aboard the “Whales Tail”. This is a very unique experience that puts you "up close and personal" for observing Oregon's resident gray whales. This is a great trip that gives you and your family an adventure that is not to be missed along with some great memories.  Here you can enjoy the incredible scenery of the Oregon Coast, transit the worlds smallest navigable channel, and enjoy watching gray whales, humpback whales, orca whales, seals, sea lions, and other marine life.

The Whales Tail takes up to 6 people or and has all the latest safety equipment.

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

Be sure to request us by name the "Whales Tail"

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, June 25, 2010

Whale Watching Report For Depoe Bay June 27























The Whales Tail is a 26' Zodiac style inflatable boat that carries up to 6 people. It was designed specifically for Dockside Charters to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences with more of a personal touch.

Join us on an exciting and exhilarating whale watching excursion. 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 will try and provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories. 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.

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

Be sure to request us by name the "Whales Tail"

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Oregon Coast Whale Watching June 24





Information on the Gray Whale
Gray Whales can reach a length about 40 to 50 feet, and weigh between 50,000 to 80,000 pounds. I have read that they can live up to 40-60 years, some 70 years. Just like people, once they reach middle age, they seem to get a little fatter. The Gray Whales have a double blow hole, most of the older grays have scars and tooth rake marks from encounters with Orca Whales / Killer of Whales.

The dimples on the young calf’s are where you can see the baby’s facial hair if you are lucky enough to get close. This dimply shortened face is characteristic of all young Gray Whales. A lot of times the calves will poke their heads out of the water to get a better look at us whale watchers. Whales are mammals, they breath air, have hair (calves have hairs around the front of their heads), are warm blooded, and give birth to live offspring that suckle milk from their mothers. The Gray Whale is in the sub-order Mysticeti family. The Mysticeti whales have a baleen instead of teeth. The male Gray Whale can reach 45 feet, while the female’s can reach 50 feet and weigh 30 or 35 tons. The largest Gray Whales have flukes, (tails) that can span ten feet.

While they are in the Northern waters, the Gray Whales feed mostly on tiny shrimp like amphipods. There are ample amphipods in the Northern waters during the summer because the longer days create more phytoplankton and zooplankton, which is the food amphipods feed on. Gray Whales are the only bottom feeding whale. The amphipods that the Gray Whale feeds on live on the muddy bottom of the North Pacific Ocean. One Gray Whale is believed to turn about 50 acres of sediment during a season of feeding. The mud that is churned is oxygenated, and exposed to the nutrient rich water and is seeded for the next year’s harvest. When gray whales feed on the bottom they like to use their right side to scour the bottom and find their food. This has been noted by several long time observers. When they feed they swallow mouthfuls of mud from the bottom, then use their baleen as a filter to drain out unwanted material. This leaves the amphipods stuck to the baleen inside their mouths. They then use their tongues to loosen the amphipods from the baleen, and swallow. During migration and while in calving areas, gray whales eat very little, but on occasion they will eat shrimp like mysids or small fish at the surface. The blubber they add during the summer feedings provides energy for the remainder of the year. Some whales can go without food for 3-5 months.

How did gray whales get their name?
The gray whale acquired its name from the gray patches and white mottling on its skin.

What does the gray whales skin feel like?
The skin has scratch marks and patches of white barnacles, and orange whale lice. A whale’s skin feels like a peeled hard-boiled egg. Most of the adult grays have scars and tooth-rake marks from encounters with Orcas. Light gray or white scars show where the whale barnacles have fallen off. Young whales have barnacle patches soon after they are born.

How big are gray whales?
Adult males can reach a length of 45 feet, adult females are slightly larger, and reach about 50 feet in length. Both sexes weigh up to 30-40 tons. The gray whales flukes, or tail can span up to 10 feet.

Do gray whales sing?
Gray whales make gurgles and warbling sounds, but nobody really understands what these sounds mean.

Do gray whales sleep?
This is what some scientists say, the whales don’t stop swimming during migration, but some think they may sleep and continue swimming on “autopilot.” They catch up on sleep in the lagoons, where they have even been observed snoring! Others say the whales take short naps of 10-20 minutes.

How can I 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.

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.

What are baleen plates?
Baleen whales have a series of 130-180 fringed, overlapping baleen plates hanging like curtains from each side of the upper jaw. Baleen is made of a fingernail-like material called keratin. The plates are off-white and about 2-10 inch long. Baleen plates filter water out and trap food in, they replace there baleen about every 5 years.

How fast do gray whales travel during migration?
Grays cover about 100 miles a day. They can travel from Unimak Pass in Alaska to Baja California in an average of 50-60 days.

Do all gray whales migrate?
No, Some gray whales are found year round on the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. The rest migrate from the arctic to the Baja California, Mexico coast.

When do gray whales make their yearly migration?
In October, the whales begin to leave their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas They swim south during the fall and winter to their mating and calving lagoons in Baja California, Mexico. The southward journey takes around 2-3 months. The whales return north during the late winter and spring (mid-February to early June).

How do the whales know when to migrate?
There are several reasons first, there are fewer hours of daylight, changes in water temperature, changes in food supply as the northern pack ice increases.

How fast do gray whales travel during migration?
They travel about 3-6 miles per hour.

When whales head south, where are they going?
Gray whales migrate to their winter breeding and calving grounds. This means the warm, shallow, lagoons of Mexico’s Baja California coast. The three main lagoons are Bahia Magdalena, Laguna Ojo de Liebre, and Laguna San Ignacio.

Do all the whales go at the same time?
Gray whales travel in groups. First to go south are the pregnant cows. The other adults and juveniles will follow about a month later. When whales head back north, the last to leave are the new mothers and calves.

Why do gray whales migrate along the coast?
The coastline may help them navigate the long distance. And being benthic (bottom) feeders, they have evolved with an orientation toward the seafloor where their food is located.

How far from the coast do they usually travel?
Along the coast of California, gray whales will migrate within 2.5 miles of the shore. Gray whales may pay more attention to water depth than distance from shore.

Do whales eat while in their winter breeding grounds?
Very little, during the months of migrating and socializing in the lagoons of Baja California, gray whales survive almost on their fat reserves built up in the summer feeding grounds. Some observers believe that gray whales eat nothing from the time they leave the Arctic.

Do gray whales lose a lot of weight while in their breeding grounds?
A 30-ton whale will expend so much energy on the migration to the Baja lagoons that it may lose 10-13 tons of its blubber. It eats little or nothing in the breeding grounds. But by early summer, most gray whales are heading back to the northern feeding grounds. Over the next five months they will gain back an estimated 15 to 30 percent of their total body weight.

How fast do gray whales travel during migration?
Grays travel about 100 miles a day. They can travel from Unimak Pass in Alaska to Baja California in an average of 50-60 days. They travel slowly when heading back north.

Do all gray whales migrate?
No, some gray whales can ne found between British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. The rest migrate from the arctic to the Baja California, Mexico.

When do gray whales make their yearly migration?
In October, the whales begin to leave their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. It takes them about 2-3 months. The whales return north during the late winter and spring (mid-February to early June).

Are gray whales an endangered species?
The gray whale was removed from the endangered species list in 1994. A small number of gray whales are still legally hunted.

Is there just one population of gray whales in the world?
The eastern north Pacific population is the largest surviving population. At one time there was a north Atlantic population, now extinct, possibly the victims of over-hunting. A Korean or western north Pacific stock now very depleted, also possibly from over-hunting.

What are a gray whales enemies?
Their natural enemies are sharks and orca whale’s / killer of whale’s. Their unnatural enemies are ocean pollution, huge fishing nets, and other human activities that harm their food chain or habitat.

Do humans harm gray whales and their habitat?
Humans no longer hunt gray whales in most places. But they may build resorts and crowd habitat with tourists, and discharge waste from cruise ships, which all increase ocean pollution. Some people believe that global warming, resulting in part from human activities, may be harming the gray whale’s food chain. The U.S. Navy has performed low-frequency sonar testing at sea. Researchers have found that gray whales exposed to high-intensity active sonar stray from their migration routes. Beached whales of other species have been found bleeding around their brains and ears, a sign of trauma caused by exposure to intense sound after encounters with this deadly technology.

Other Interesting Facts about Whales
If you are ever lucky enough to get close to touch a gray whale DON’T “Pat the whale, they will tense up” they like to too be petted.

Gray Whale calves will come back to the same feeding grounds as their mothers year after year, do to habit and frame of reference.

Whales hear sounds at a low frequency.

The Blue Whales population is about 2,000. They are about 25 feet long at birth, and can grow up to 100 feet. When a Blue Whale spouts their blows are 30-40 high.

In the last 20 years 336 thousand Blue Whales were killed in Antarctica.

Ships are responsible for 50% of Bow Whales fatalities. I have heard they can live up to 120 years, possibly 200 years.

A Gray Whale that is 40 years old could have as many as 18 calves.

One interest thing I heard the other day was a Gray Whale with their tail missing, thought to be caused by a line cutting it off, I did see a picture of it, but haven’t found it on the web.

Information on the “Whales Tail”
The Whales Tail is a 26' Zodiac style inflatable boat that carries up to 6 people. It was designed specifically for Dockside Charters to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences. The Whales Tail is owned and operated by Captains Gary and Kit Stephenson.

Join us on an exciting and exhilarating whale watching excursion. 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 will try and provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed. 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.

Click to view the latest weather forecast: Marine Weather Forecast

Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

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

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

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Depoe Bay Whale Watching Report For June 20



I would like to thank Rick, Adam, and Emilee of Stayton, Oregon for riding aboard the Whales Tail


No whales were sighted today, they have been very elusive the last few days, we are still waiting on our resident whales to arrive. I will keep you informed on any sightings, I know they will be here soon.

Gray Whale Migration
The Gray Whale is the most common large whale seen from the western shores of Oregon. The Gray Whales that migrate along the coast of Depoe Bay are the eastern North Pacific population. This group migrates south to Baja California in the fall and north to the Bering and Chuckchi Seas in the spring. During these migrations, about 80 percent can be seen within five miles of shore. Approximately 200 feed in shallow waters close to shore from northern California to British Columbia during the summer and early fall.

Gray Whales have one of the longest known migrations of any mammal, up to 6,000 miles in each direction. Their near-shore migration has led to speculation that these animals may not be good navigators. They tend to travel farther from shore during and after stormy weather with high surf. Some scientists say that they may navigate by the sound of the pounding surf, keeping it on their left side while migrating south and on their right while migrating north. When the surf is pounding, they may be able to hear the sounds much farther from shore.

Migration North
Spread out over a longer period with two separate peaks, the northward migration begins from Baja in late February and continues through May. The number of adults and juveniles passing the Depoe Bay peaks in March and April, mother/calf pairs peak in May. The whales tend to travel at a slower rate of speed northward (about three mph) and come close to Depoe Bay in July-October, especially mothers with calves. Here in Depoe Bay we are still waiting for our resident whales to arrive, hopfully it will be any day now.

Click to view the latest weather forecast: Marine Weather Forecast


Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

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

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, June 18, 2010

Oregon Coast Whale Watching Report For June 18



I would like to thank Steve and Sheri, and their two future boat operators Tanner and Lauren of Prairie du Sac, WI. for riding aboard the Whales Tail.

Whale Bits
Gray Whales, What do 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 here in Depoe Bay 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 2,000 pounds of these mysids per day. One sign of grays feeding on these mysids is when a partial fluke is exposed at the surface.

Click to view the latest weather forecast: Marine Weather Forecast

Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

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

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, June 17, 2010

Oregon Coast Whale Watching Report For June 17



Thank you so much for riding on the Whales Tail, Mike, Madison, and Jeri of Wisconsin

Dockside Charters located in Depoe Bay, Oregon offers whale watching zodiac style aboard the Whales Tail. This is a very unique experience that puts you "up close and personal" for observing Oregon's resident gray whales. This is a great trip that gives you and your family an adventure that is not to be missed. Here you can enjoy the incredible scenery of the Oregon Coast, transit the worlds smallest navigable channel, and enjoy watching gray whales, humpback whales, orca whales, seals, sea lions, and other marine life. We try to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories. The Whales Tail takes up to 6 people or less and has all the latest safety equipment, we hope to see you soon.

Click to view the latest weather forecast: Marine Weather

Whale Bits
A Closer Look At Gray Whales
The most conspicuous identifying characteristics of gray whales are their size, distinctive mottled gray coloring, dorsal hump (no dorsal fin) and the knuckles along the back behind the dorsal hump.

Size: Gray whales range in size from 35 to 45 feet long, and weigh 30 to 40 tons­about the length of a school bus and the weight of ten elephants, mush larger than a diver. Females weigh more and are longer than the males. Gray whales are intermediate in size in comparison with other well-known whales. By comparison, blue whales are 80 to 100 feet long and orcas (killer whales) are 20-25 feet long.

Coloration: Gray whales are so called because of their mottled gray coloration. The natural pigmentation can range from almost black to almost white, and can include white spots that range from the size of a marble to a basketball.This mottled appearance is enhanced by barnacles, barnacle scars, and whale lice.

Rostrum (Head Region): The rostrum extends from the tip of the snout to the blowholes, a length of about six feet. The rostrum of adult gray whales is covered with barnacles and whale lice. Gray whales that feed on the bottom, rub off barnacles and leave barnacle scars. Young gray whales have a dimpled rostrum with one hair in each dimple.

Eyes: The eyes of the gray whale are brown in color and the size of an orange. Eyes are located at the end of the mouth line, seven or eight feet from the rostrum tip.

Blow: The gray whale blow is 6-10 feet high and is heart-shaped if seen from behind on a calm day. About 100 gallons of air is expelled from the blow at speeds that range from 150 and 200 miles per hour.

Dorsal Hump: Gray whales have no dorsal fin, instead they have a dorsal hump at the end of the back.

Knuckles: 6-12 bumps called knuckles are seen behind the gray whale's dorsal hump. In some whales they are very distinct and in others they are not.

Baleen Plates: 300 blonde baleen plates about one foot long hanq from the top jaw. Bristles on the inside edges of those plates trap food organisms.

Blowholes: Gray whales have two blowholes like all baleen whales.

Throat Grooves: Two to five throat grooves on the bottom of the throat expand when the whales are feeding.

Flippers: Behind the throat grooves are pointed, paddle-shaped flippers.

Tail Fluke: An adult's tail fluke is 9 feet wide. When the tail fluke goes under the ocean's surface it leaves a characteristic print called a "fluke print".

Flukeprint: A large circle of smooth water formed by tail fluke turbulence when a whale dives.

Nautical Bits
The Celestial Poles
The north and south celestial poles are two imaginary points in the sky where the Earth's axis of rotation, indefinitely extended, intersects the imaginary rotating sphere of stars called the celestial sphere. The north and south celestial poles appear directly overhead to an observer at the Earth's North Pole and South Pole.

At night the stars appear to drift overhead from east to west, completing a full circuit around the sky in 24 (sidereal) hours. Of course, exactly the same motion occurs during the day, except that the stars are not visible due to the sun's glare. This apparent motion is due to the spinning of the Earth on its axis. As the Earth spins, the celestial poles remain fixed in the sky, and all other points seem to rotate around them.

Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

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

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Depoe Bay Whale Watching



Thank you Tony and Hannah of Columbia, Mo. and Kirsten, Sheila and Bree of Portland, Or. for going out on the Whales Tail, hope to see you again.

 
Click to view the latest weather forecast: Marine Weather

Whale Bits
How Do Gray Whales Sleep
Whales have a respiratory system that allows them to survive under the water for up to 30 minutes at a time, without any oxygen. Because whales are in an undersea environment they cannot afford to breathe indiscriminately. They must be conscious breathers and always be aware of their blowholes.

To compensate for the necessity for conscious breathing while sleeping, whales keep half of their brains awake at all times, even while taking a nap. The other half of the brain is completely shut down. Whales will do this several hours each day. Whales sleep near the surface of the water, this way, open air and oxygen are only a short ways away in case of emergency.

Whales can sleep either horizontally or vertically, and can sleep by slowly and semi-consciously swimming close to a another whale. Young whales rest, sleep and eat while on the move, when they are by their mother, who at times is sleeping as she slowly leads them along. This is because the  mother cannot stop swimming at any time when she has a young calf because they do not have enough blubber to float on their own.

Nautical Bits
What is Dead Reckoning
Dead reckoning is the process of estimating your present position by projecting course and speed from your known past position. It is also used to predict a future position by projecting your course and speed from a known present position. The DR position is only an approximate position because it does not allow for the effect of leeway, current, helmsman error, compass error.

When navigating you can use dead reckoning in many ways, such as: to determine sunrise and sunset, to predict landfall, sighting lights and arrival times, to evaluate the accuracy of electronic positioning information, to predict which celestial bodies will be available for observation.

The most important use of dead reckoning is to project the position of the ship into the immediate future and avoid hazards to navigation. Before the development of the marine chronometer, dead reckoning was the primary method of determining longitude for mariners such as Christopher Columbus on his voyages.

Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

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

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

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Oregon Whale Watching




I would like to thank Joe and Niki of Hubbard, Or. for riding along on the Whales Tail, hope you have a great Anniversary.

The forecast for Tuesday 15 June looks good as they are calling for North winds 15-20 knots, Westerly swell 7 feet and a chance of showers.

Whale Bits
Off the Oregon Coast we see gray whales every month of the year. There are approximately 18,000 gray whales in the winter and spring migrations and a group of 200-400 whales that feed along the Oregon and Washington coast during fall and summer. In the spring March through June most of these gray whales make the journey from their breeding lagoons in Baja California to Arctic feeding grounds. On this northbound migration, small numbers of gray whales fall out of the migration group and stop at various locations along the Oregon coast, one of these places is Depoe Bay. These whales are called resident whales.


For whales to be known as residents, they must stay around a certain area for at least two days, exhibit feeding behavior, and return year after year. This distinguishes them from migrating whales which stop on their migration and feed then move on their way.

Along the central Oregon coast, resident gray whales begin showing up in May. On any one day throughout the summer, numbers range from one to 20. Some arrive in early summer, leave, and then return in late summer or early fall.

Resident gray whales remain around Depoe Bay for a period of days to months. Some residents don’t show up for a year or more, there is one whale “Scarback” who been around for at least 17 years.The last of the residents leave in October or November and return to the breeding lagoons of Baja California to rejoin the remainder of the population.

Click to view the latest forecast: Marine Weather

Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

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

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

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

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.

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, June 11, 2010

Whale Watching Report For The Whales Tail June 11



I would like to thank Scott, Eric, Christren and Jack from Genentech, Inc. for riding aboard the Whales Tail

Whales were sighted on the morning trip both Orca Whales and Gray Whales, but we did not see any on our afternoon trip.

Here's the latest Marine weather forecast: North wind 15-20 knots with gust to 25 knots, wind waves 3 feet, Northwest swell 4 feet.

Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

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

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, June 10, 2010

Whale Watching Report For The Whales Tail June 10



FRIDAY FORECAST: NW WIND 10 TO 15 KT. WIND WAVES 2 FT. NW SWELL 7 FT AT 9 SECONDS. SLIGHT CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.

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

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

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Oregon Coast Whale Watching Report For June 5


Happy Whale Watchers From Ethiopia, Niguse Berta, Mikiaj Berta, Fitsum Tadesse, Teghome Tadesse

The weather was great today, we finally saw some sun here on the Coast. We ran multiple trips today and only saw one whale, just off North Point. Our resident whales should be arriving any day. The ocean conditions look great through Wednesday as they are forecasting light winds and seas. 

Whale Bits












The body of whale lice is distinctly flat and considerably reduced at the rear. Its legs, especially the back three pairs of legs, have developed into claw-like protuberances with which it clings to the whale. Its length ranges from (0.2 to 1.0 in) depending on the species.

Most species of whale lice are associated with a single species of whale. They remain with whale throughout their development and do not experience a free-swimming phase. Although the relationship between a specific species of whale lice and a specific species of whale is more pronounced with baleen whales than with toothed whales, almost every species of whale has a lice that is unique to it.

Whale lice attach themselves to the whales body in places that protect them from water currents, they are  found in natural body openings and in wounds, with baleen whales they are found primarily on the head and in the ventral pleats. About 7,500 whale lice live on a single whale.

The clusters of white lice contrast with the dark skin of the whale can help researchers identify individual whales because of the lice clusters unique shapes. The lice eat algae that settle on the whales body. They usually feed off the flaking skin of the whale, and found in wounds or open areas. They cause minor skin damage, but this does not lead to illness.








Nautical Bits
The Sky's Brightest Stars and their Magnitudes

1. Sirius -1.4

2. Canopus -0.6

3. Arcturus -0.1

4. Alpha Centauri 0.0

5. Vega 0.0

6. Capella +0.1

7. Rigel +0.2

8. Procyon +0.4

9. Achernar +0.5

10. Betelgeuse +0.5

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

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
 
google200096da794a1a23.html