Monday, December 5, 2011

About Pilot Whales

The pilot whale is a member of the dolphin family and is second only to the orca whale in size; males are much larger than females. Adult males reach a length 20 feet and can weigh up to 3 tons, adult females grow to 16 feet and weigh 1 ½ tons. There are two species of pilot whales, long finned and short finned; they are in the suborder of the Odontoceti the same as the killer whale which means they have teeth. Pilot whales are predominantly dark grey, brown or black, but have some light areas such as a grey saddle pitch behind the dorsal fins. The dorsal fin is set forward on the back and sweeps backwards. The body shape of a pilot whale is considerably more robust than most dolphins with a distinctive large, bulbous head; male long finned pilot whales develop more bulbous heads than females. The flippers are long and sickle shaped, and the tail stock is flattened from side to side and very deep.

Pilot whales generally take several breaths before diving for a few minutes, feeding dives may last over ten minutes. They are capable of diving to depths of 2,000 feet, but most dives are to a depth of 100-200 feet. Shallow dives tend to take place during the day while deeper ones take place at night. When making deep dives, pilot whales often make fast sprints to catch fast moving prey like squid. Short finned pilot whales foraging in the same depth range as sperm whales and beaked whales perform the more energetic hunting tactics in comparison. This involves an energetic burst of high speed swimming near the deep part of the dive and is usually followed by one or two buzzes which may indicate attempts to capture prey. This is unusual considering deep diving breath holding animals would be expected to swim slowly and steadily to conserve oxygen. It is possible that if pilot whales have a higher metabolic rate than other deep diving mammals to enable sprinting, this would be a factor influencing the relatively short diving period of pilot whales compared to other similarly sized marine mammals. This apparent lower diving capability has also been observed in long-finned pilot whales.

Pilot whales are primarily squid eaters, but will feed on fish as well. They are also highly social and some studies have found that both males and females remain in their mother’s pods, an unusual trait among mammals, but this is also found in some killer whale pods. Pilot whales have one of the longest birth intervals of the cetaceans, calving once every 3-5 years. Calves are approximately 6 feet long at birth and weigh about 250 pounds. Mating and calving in long-finned pilot whales peaks in the summer, though some calving occurs throughout the year. Both species live in groups of 10-30 but some groups may number 100 or more.

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

Visit our website at: www.whalestaildepoebay.com

Whales Tail @ (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Dr.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Thursday, November 3, 2011

About Blue Whales



The blue whale is the largest mammal to have lived on earth reaching lengths of 100 feet and can weigh as much as 150 tons. They have two large blowholes that have a raised shield in the front and the spouts are tall and straight of over 25 feet high. The blue whale is blue/gray in color and has darker spots along the sides of their body, with barnacles on their flukes and the tips of the flippers or dorsal fin. The dorsal fin is only about one foot and is ¾ of the way back on the body; its flippers are tapered and short.

Blue whale’s can cruise the ocean at more than 5-12 miles an hour, but can accelerate to more than 25 miles an hour when they are agitated. Blue whales are among the loudest animals on the planet. They emit a series of pulses, groans, and moans, and it’s thought that, in good conditions, blue whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles away. Scientists think they use these vocalizations not only to communicate, but, along with their excellent hearing, to navigate the ocean waters.

During the winter blue whales travel to the warm tropical waters to breed and give birth, during the summer they travel to the cooler polar waters to feed, then migrate back to the tropics segregated by sex and age, the older and pregnant whales migrating first, with the sexually immature whales bringing arriving last. Generally, the larger, older whales migrate the furthest north, during the migration, they eat virtually nothing for at least 4 months and live on body reserves. Females give birth in warm tropical waters because the young only have a thin layer of blubber to keep them warm.

Blue whales are baleen whales which mean they have fringed plates of fingernail like material called a baleen attached to their upper jaws. Blue whales have about 250-400 fringed overlapping plates hanging from each side of the upper jaw, these plates are a finger like material called keratin and are about 20 inches long. When these whale’s feed, large volumes of water and food are taken into the mouth, as their mouth closes water is expelled through the baleen plates which trap the food inside where they then use their tongue to swallow the food.

These whales feed by gulping a mouthful of water, expanding the pleated skin on their throat (they have 55-65 ventral grooves), and then the whale uses its tongue to force the water out through the overlapping baleen plates. Blue whales feed mainly on small shrimp like creatures called krill, during the summer season the blue whale will consume about 4 tons of krill a day.

Blue whales reach sexual maturities between the ages of 6-10 years, the females have their calves every 2-3 years and the gestation period is about 12 months. Calves are born 24 to 27 feet long and weigh 3 tons; they consume 100 gallons of fat rich mother’s milk every day and gain 200 pounds a day. The average lifespan for the blue whale is estimated at around 80 to 90 years with some reaching over 100 years of age. It is thought that between 10,000 and 25,000 blue whales still swim the world’s oceans.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Depoe Bay Whale Watching Tours


Experience the excitement of seeing gray whales “up close and personal” and other wildlife on one of our whale watching trips aboard the Whales Tail. We depart from picturesque Depoe Bay, Oregon which is only minutes from the beautiful Pacific Ocean. This is a thrilling and exciting ride for people who enjoy being out on the ocean or first timers who just want to experience being out on the ocean and have an enjoyable ride, additionally our whale watching trips are fun and informative.

One of the features the Whales Tail offers is a unique vantage point that gives you 360° viewing for observing Oregon’s resident gray whales as they feed along the coast of Depoe Bay. Don’t be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them. We try to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories. This trip is a little more personal where we can take the time to talk and get to know our customers, find out what they like or would like to see, you can’t beat a ride on the Whales Tail.

The Whales Tail is a 26′ zodiac style boat that carries up to 6 people. It was the first and original zodiac style whale watching boat on the Oregon coast, the Whales Tail was designed specifically to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences. The Whales Tail has a smaller seating capacity and is a quieter ride than the larger boats, and they ride just a few feet above the ocean’s surface. If there are whales in the vicinity, the Whales Tail can get you near them. Here you can enjoy the simplicity and intimacy of the Whale’s Tail. It’s quiet, roomy and faster than the larger boats so you get to spend more time around the whales. We have all the safety features and have been inspected by the State of Oregon.

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters) GPS Coordinates: Lat. 44°48.552 N, Long. 124°03.564 W
270 Coast Guard Dr.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Oregon Coast Attractions


I have been involved in the maritime industry for 40 years and recently retired from Oregon State University Research Ship “Wecoma” which included scientific research of whales to sampling the bottom of the ocean to name a few. We were the first and original zodiac style whale watching boat on the Oregon Coast. We have been inspected by the State of Oregon and have all the latest safety equipment. I hope you will join us on a exciting whale watching excursion aboard the “Whales Tail”.

The Whales Tail is a 26′ zodiac style boat that carries up to 6 people. It was designed specifically to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences. This is a very unique experience that puts you “up close and personal” for observing Oregon’s resident gray whales. 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. Don’t be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them. We try to provide you and your family a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories.

The Whales Tail operates out of Dockside Charters which is located on the east side of the Bay in the center of the harbor next to the Coast Guard Station. We have put our thoughts and ideas together, forming the premise, that ocean charters should be a more personal experience. Be honest and caring, making safety, comfort and satisfaction of our customer’s our first priority. Whether you’re heading out on one of our whale watching trips or just got back from a trip, you are always welcome to stop by to relax and say hi, the coffee is always on, and free. We have built our business on satisfied, repeat customers, give us a try and you’ll see why.

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

Visit our website at: Whale Watching on the Whales Tail

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whale Watching in Oregon





Fin whales are the second largest whale and the second largest animal ever to have lived and can reach lengths of over 80 feet and weigh more than 160,000 lbs. A fin whale’s blow can rise 20 feet and can be seen for several miles. These whales are extremely fast, sleek, and muscular, and are sometimes referred to as “the greyhounds of the sea” they can reach a speed of 29 mph. Fin whales feed on a wide array of prey species, depending upon availability, ranging from small schooling fish such as herring, mackerel, krill, copepods and squid. A variety of feeding techniques are employed in order to concentrate prey, essentially fin whales are “gulpers,” taking in large quantities of food and water in each mouthful.

Fin whales get their name from the prominent dorsal fin, situated about 2/3 of the way back from the head. Fin whales also have a distinctive V-shaped pattern of coloration around their heads called chevrons and may also have dark eye stripes and ear stripes which form a pattern called a blaze. Dorsal fin shape, chevron and blaze patterns, and scars can be used to identify these whales. Fin whales can dive to depths of over 600 feet and can remain submerged for 30 minutes. Typically, fin whales remain near the surface for a series of breaths every 10-12 seconds and will then go into a dive. When feeding near the surface, dives can last about 3 minutes, fin whales arch their backs as they go into a dive, but usually don’t show their flukes.

Fin whales, like other mysticetes, are solitary animals, but can be seen feeding in groups of 3-20 when food is abundant. The one and only stable association in fin whales is between a mother and her calf, which last for approximately 6-7 months. There are about 20,000 fin whales in the North Pacific, although researchers don’t have enough data to determine the fin whale’s population it seems that fin whale numbers have increased over the past decade.

Visit our website at: Whale Watching on the Whales Tail


Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Oregon Coast Whale Watching Tours


Click to view Awesome Whale Watching Video


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

For more information on our whale watching trips visit: http://whalestaildepoebay.com

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tips and Idea's for your Whale Watching Cruise



Items to consider for your trip


Binoculars: Usually the whales are close enough to see without binoculars, looking through them is hard on a moving boat they restrict your view to a small area. Sometimes they come in handy if you enjoy watching other marine life such as birds.

Tennis Shoes: Remember you are on a moving vessel sometimes the decks get wet and slippery; tennis shoes will help give you better traction.

Warm Clothes: Be sure and bring a coat or sweatshirt or dress in layers, it can be cold even on nice sunny days especially if the wind starts to blow.

Sunscreen: On sunny days you can get sunburn even on a 1 hour trip, the sunlight has a tendency to bounce back up from the water’s surface and you can sunburn even on cloudy days.

Sunglasses: Sunglasses or a hat will help protect your eyes from glare off the water; sometimes the glare from the water will give you a headache.

Camera or Camcorder: Make sure your batteries are charged or bring spares; sometimes taking pictures of whales can be trying, a lot of times its pure luck.

Tips for the squeamish
Some people are a little nervous going out on the ocean, especially if it’s your first time, I always tell people not to worry just have a good time and enjoy the trip. Last year I only had one person get seasick. First off, unlike larger boats the “Whales Tail” sits flat on the water and has a low center of gravity, which means it does not don’t roll like the larger boats and you won’t get seasick. Sometimes the earlier in the day you go the smoother the ride will be, the wind can pick up in the afternoon and cause the ocean to get choppy.

There are medications you can take; check with your doctor what might work best for you, most medications should be taken a few hours prior to the trip. Once your trip begins it is too late to take anything. Sometimes these medications will make you tired, which means you want to take a nap after the trip instead of seeing some of the other sights or going out for lunch. I tell people to avoid fatty or fried foods, eat crackers or ginger snaps; this reduces stomach acid and can help prevent sea sickness. Keep hydrated by drinking water, ginger ale, or even sports drinks; avoid drinks that are high in sugars.

If you start to feel a little queasy take some nice deep breaths sometimes this is all that it takes. Look at the horizon, looking at something that is not moving helps your equilibrium. Remember we are whale watching, help the ole Captain out by looking for whales and other sea life; this will keep your mind occupied. The excitement of seeing these magnificent creatures will make you feel better.

About the Whales Tail
Experience the excitement of seeing gray whales “up close and personal” and other wildlife on one of our whale watching trips aboard the Whales Tail. We depart from picturesque Depoe Bay, Oregon which is only minutes from the beautiful Pacific Ocean. This is a thrilling and exciting ride for people who enjoy being out on the ocean or first timers who just want to experience being out on the ocean and have an enjoyable ride, additionally our whale watching trips are fun and informative.


One of the features the Whales Tail offers is a unique vantage point that gives you 360° viewing for observing Oregon’s resident gray whales as they feed along the coast of Depoe Bay. Don’t be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them. We try to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories. This trip is a little more personal where we can take the time to talk and get to know our customers, find out what they like or would like to see, you can’t beat a ride on the Whales Tail.

Thank you for visiting our blog site, if you would like more information on whales and our whale watching tour visit: Whale Watching Whales Tail 

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Monday, March 7, 2011

Whale Watching Tours in Oregon





Visit our web site at: Whales Tail Whale Watching

The Whales Tail is a 26′ zodiac style boat that carries up to 6 people. It was designed specifically to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences. This is a very unique experience that puts you “up close and personal” for observing Oregon’s resident gray whales. 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. Don’t be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them. We try to provide you and your family a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories. I hope you will join us on the Whales Tail.

The Whales Tail operates out of Dockside Charters which is located on the east side of the Bay in the center of the harbor next to the Coast Guard Station. We have put our thoughts and ideas together, forming the premise, that ocean charters should be a more personal experience. Be honest and caring, making safety, comfort and satisfaction of our customer’s our first priority. Whether you’re heading out on one of our whale watching trips or just got back from a trip, you are always welcome to stop by to relax and say hi, the coffee is always on, and free. We have built our business on satisfied, repeat customers, give us a try and you’ll see why.

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

Rates
1hr. $25.00
1 1/2 hr. $35.00

To make advanced reservations visit: Whale Watching on the Whales Tail

Join Our Facebook Page

Join Our Facebook Group

Thank you for your interest in whale watching, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

About Gray Whale Calves



The mouth of a newborn gray whale makes up about 90% of the length of its head and about 15% of the length of its entire body. When the calf grows up and is weaned it will get food by filtering large volumes of mud and water through baleen plates which are yellowish in color and hang from its upper jaw. The baleen acts like a large comb, catching tiny crustaceans in the hair-like fringe as water and mud are pushed out of the mouth. The young whale will use its tongue to lick the food off its baleen.

The skin of the gray whale feels like a peeled hardboiled egg, the skin easily stretches as the baby gains a layer of blubber to keep warm. The skin is dented or dimpled where hairs grow from those dents. The upper jaw has a number of regularly spaced indents containing hair follicles; each indent has a coarse white hair about a half inch to an inch long. Whales are mammals, and mammals always have some hair.

When born, gray whales are a deep gray color with white to light gray patches. Newborns have whale lice, which are small crustaceans that live in the creases of their skin and feed on dead skin (this is actually beneficial for the whale). As the calf grows, its skin will also become embedded with barnacles, these barnacles and whale lice give older gray whales their mottled appearance. The skin of some baby whales have some scars, some scarring of the skin can happen when calves rub against the sandy bottom of the lagoons or rub against the barnacles on their mothers.

The calves nurse for about 6 months, the mother provides up to 50 gallons of milk each day, her milk contains 53% fat. Calves gain 60 to 70 pounds a day; this helps them build up blubber for their trip north. Mothers stay near their young to protect, and guide, babies have much to learn and they must gain strength. They spend most their time swimming alongside mom. When they get tired, they stretch out sideways across mom’s back to rest, sometimes the mother will extend a fin to support the calf


For more information on whales and our whale watching trips visit: Oregon Whale Watching Tours

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

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oregon Coast Whale Watching Tours




The Whales Tail is a 26′ zodiac style boat that carries up to 6 people. It was the first and original zodiac style whale watching boat on the Oregon coast, the Whales Tail was designed specifically to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences. The Whales Tail has a smaller seating capacity and is a quieter ride than the larger boats, and they ride just a few feet above the ocean’s surface. If there are whales in the vicinity, the Whales Tail can get you near them. Here you can enjoy the simplicity and intimacy of the Whale’s Tail. It’s quiet, roomy and faster than the larger boats so you get to spend more time around the whales. We have all the latest safety features and have been inspected.


One of the features the Whales Tail offers is a unique vantage point that gives you 360° viewing for observing Oregon’s resident gray whales as they feed along the coast of Depoe Bay. Don’t be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them. We try to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories. This trip is a little more personal where we can take the time to talk and get to know our customers, find out what they like or would like to see, you can’t beat a ride on the Whales Tail.

The Whales Tail operates out of Dockside Charters which is located on the east side of the bay in the center of the harbor next to the Coast Guard Station. We have put our thoughts and ideas together, forming the premise, that ocean charters should be a more personal experience. Be honest and caring, making safety, comfort and satisfaction of our customer’s our first priority. We offer whale watching, scenic tours, to personal charters to fit all your needs. We have built our business on satisfied, repeat customers, give us a try and you’ll see why.

To view pictures and video's visit our website at: www.whalestaildepoebay.com

Click to  Join our Facebook Page

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gray Whales



During migration and while in calving areas, gray whales eat very little, although they occasionally will eat shrimp-like mysids or small fish at the surface. The blubber they add during the summer feedings must give them enough energy for the remainder of the year. Whales can go without food for 3, 4 or even 5 months. Recent research at Laguna Ojo de Liebre has shown that there are critters in the muddy bottom which the whales may feed.

During feeding, the gray whale appears to prefer using its right side to scour the bottom and find its food. To feed they gulp mouthfuls of mud from the bottom, then use the whiskery baleen as a filter to drain out the 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.

The gray whale has two blowholes, and between 9 and 14 dorsal nodules on its back, gray whales do not have a back fin. A gray whale spout or blow can reach up to 15 feet, and resembles a heart shape from the front or behind. The natural color of the gray whale is dark gray. Often the skin is discolored from barnacle scars left on the skin.

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. The Mysticeti whales have baleen instead of teeth. The male gray whale can reach 45 feet, while the female can reach 50 feet and weigh 30 or 35 tons. The largest grey whales have flukes, or tails, that can span up to ten feet.

Gray whales can reach a length of about 40 to 50 feet. Weight about 50,000 to 80,000 pounds. They can live up to 50 years, some 70 years. Just like people, once they reach middle age, they seem to get broader .

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

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Dr.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

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