Depoe Bay

The Whales are Coming!!!

whalespoutLater in December and Early January is a great time for whale watching on the Oregon Coast.  This is typically when the numbers are highest during the whale migration. (again in March and April)  For the guests of Lincoln City Beach Retreats you will be able to sit right at the window, grab those binoculars and watch to your heart’s content.   The easiest way to spot them is to watch for the spray of water from their blowhole.  This is best when the sea is calm and you don’t have a lot of white caps.   Once you know their location you can then focus your binoculars in the general vicinity  for a closer view.   If you would prefer a more up close experience I might suggest taking a short trip down to Depoe Bay (10 miles south on 101) and booking a trip on a whale watching boat.

All along the coast during the height of the migration (December 27-31, March 19-26) you will find “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites (map) with volunteers that can help you observe this natural phenomenon.  This program is sponsored by Oregon State Parks.  Locations with guides close to Lincoln City include the Inn at Spanish Head and Boiler Bay Scenic Viewpoint.

What are you waiting for… Book your visit to the Oregon Coast for a Whale of a time!

Gray Whale Migration

whaletaleWhen visiting the Oregon Coast, be sure to plan some time to break out your binoculars and watch for the whale migration.  End of March and first part of April are usually a great time to catch a glimpse of these incredible animals.

A whale of  information on the Gray Whale…

  • The 10,000 mile migration is the longest of any mammal.
  • Killer whales (Orcas) are vicious enemies of grays and will  hunt the calves during migration.
  • Gray whales typically only stay submerged for 5 minutes or less before coming to the surface.
  • Gray whales are typically 40-50 feet long and  can weigh as much as 40 tons.
  • Just like humans a gray whales normal body temperature is 98.6 degrees.
  • The thick insulation fat layer (blubber) of the gray whale can be 10 or more inches thick.
  • Gray whale gestation period  is about 12-13 months with most whales born in January
  • When baby gray whales are born they are about 12-14 feet long.
  • It takes approximately 8 years for a gray whale to reach sexual maturity and they can live 50-70 years.
  • Gray whales have 2 blow holes

Websites

Alan B. Nichols – Gray Whales

Visit the Oregon Coast – Whale Watching

Oregon State Parks – Whale Watching

Spring Whale Watching

BreachingGrayNewportEach year nearly 18,000 gray whales do a migration from their feeding grounds up near Alaska down to the Baja area for breeding.   The migration south occurs in the mid-December thru January timeframe and the migration north is late March thru June.   The spring migration back to the feeding ground will have the whales much closer to shore (1/2 mile)  than the winter migration (up to 5 miles).  They also tend to be more leisurely on their northbound migration.  The mothers with their young are usually seen in May and June.

In the Lincoln City/Newport area there is a group of gray whales (I’ve heard 30-60 of them) that make this area home and do not continue their migration north.  As a visitor to the area this means that there is always an opportunity to catch a glimpse of a whale.

March 21st thru March 28th, 2015  is a designated Whale Watching Week up and down the Oregon Coast.  During this time you will find volunteers situated at the points listed here to answer questions and to help you understand what to look for.

If you happen to need a place to stay you can view our properties at Lincoln City Beach Retreats and use coupon code SB40 for a $40 immediate discount off of your reservation.  Sit at the windows with the binoculars and watch the whales from the comfort of your own room.