Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whale Watching on the Central Oregon Coast

Whale Watching Report For Oct. 5
We had great whale watching this morning as whales were sighted just outside the harbor entrance and off South Point. Tomorrows weather looks to be good with swells 6' and a Northerly wind of 10-20 knots. This weekend may not be as nice as the wind and sea conditions may pick up which make for rough ocean conditions.

Dockside Charters located in Depoe Bay, Oregon offers whale watching Zodiac Style aboard the Whales Tail. This is a very unique experience that gives you 360° viewing and puts you "up close and personal" for observing Oregon's resident gray whales. This is a great trip that is a little more personal and 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, harbor 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.

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 30 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.

Something NEW this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available price $25.00

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