Whale watching season may be the best ever!
According to researchers the number of gray whale calves in the Chukchi Sea has hit a modern day record, 57 cow / calf pairs compared to a record 18 in 2011. In fact according to Wayne Perryman, a researcher with the federal Southwestern Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, there is an estimated 1,000 calves this year and “there should be a lot of them everywhere.”
This should bode well for the whale watchers this fall. On the Oregon coast whale watching related travel could hit a record.
A dramatic and impressive site Gray whales grow to over 45 feet long and weigh over 35 tons; calves are born weighing about 1,100 pounds. The North Pacific gray whale population is estimated to be between 18,000 and 22,000 animals.
With the whales migration route close-in along the North American coast whale watching is possible from shore or by boat. With its dramatic shore shoreline Whale watching along the Oregon coast an increasingly popular fall and winter travel destination from all over thee world.
The whales migration along the coast of North America is legendary as the animals can be seen swimming south in the fall and north in late winter. The site is as dramatic today as it was hundreds of years ago to Indians and last century to the builders of the coastal highway and bridges. Today the whales attract travelers in close on zodiac raft boats and on cabin cruisers. Some even make direct contact with the whales while in kayaks.
Though mostly migratory gray whales, known as Ecola to the Indians and Devil Fish to hunters in the past the Gray can be seen along the Oregon coast throughout the year, in particular in the Depoe Bay area. In the North coast The views from Ecola State park make it a popular location to view the whales; with Haystack Rock to the south and the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse perched on a desolate rock islet about a mile off the ‘Tillimook Head’.
Further down the coast there are many hamlets and towns that feature harbors and chartered whale watching cruises. The central area with Lincoln City, Depoe Bay and Newport may be the hotspots for coastal ventures. But all along the coast each area features its own unique offerings…
Towns like Garibaldi with the rolling railroad museum where history can be experienced on a train ride powered by one of several locomotive engines including a 1925 steam locomotive featured in this video.
There are also dinner trains offered through out the year. Each train is a three hours excursion starting in Garibaldi and goes north to Wheeler offering views of Tillamook Bay, the Pacific Ocean and Nehalem Bay. The meal is a four course catered meal. For more details go here http://www.ocsr.net/dinner.html