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The Grays Are Coming!

Enjoy a fun week in Pacific City during the Oregon State Parks' sponsored whale watching week which officially begins December 26, 2011.

The southward migration of the gray whales goes on for these 7 days and continues into mid-January. The slower whales can be seen as late as the last weeks in January; it’s usually moms and babies (who are born in January 2011) that bring up the rear of the crowd. Gray whales travel in smaller groups of two and three and make the trek of about 6,000 miles to warm waters off of Mexico (with no food) at the speed of 3 to 6 miles per hour.

The north tip of Cape Kiwanda is one of 24 state sponsored whale watching sites and volunteers will be at Cape Kiwanda every day helping locals and visitors alike spotting these magnificent animals. Whales use the shoreline and sounds of surf to navigate from the coast at Cape Lookout right down to Haystack Rock in Pacific City, so expecting to see them just a mile off shore is possible.

Gray whales are best spotted on clear sunny days from 10am-1pm; try to make sure that the morning light is behind you. Watch for spouts in the water, there is an entry buoy in a great location at Cape Kiwanda, looking at that buoy normally shows you some activity and you may be able to spot several at one time. Who knows you may see some backs or flukes popping out of the water or even a jumper! At Cape Kiwanda you can see up to 30 whales per day and visitors can number up to 100-120 on a nice day!!

Don’t miss this, they won’t be back again until springtime when they migrate northward to waters off of Alaska. Please see www.whalespoken.org for additional details.