Once again it’s the beginning of the mighty Grey Whales’ annual migration to the south, passing through on their way to Baja California to birth their calves after a summer of feeding around the north pole. Migrating fin whales, orcas, humpback whales, dolphins, sperm whales, and other animals have also been spotted in the waters off Long Beach. I inquired about new behaviors in the Grey Whales as they migrate to calve in the lower Pacific ocean. The story goes that Grey Whales are holding off the birthing of their calves up to a month before migrating, and in many instances birthing is no longer taking place in Baja California. Rather, calving is taking place in the waters of Southern California, which was once an uncommon occurrence. Studies are taking place to explore this new phenomenon and determine its cause. Now you get to see mother and calf swimming together, which is an amazing experience.
I’ve witnessed the majestic creatures swimming off the shores of San Pedro, Long Beach and Los Angeles Harbors to stunning effect. On the whale-watching boats you get the additional bonus of fresh open ocean air and the vastness of the Pacific Ocean bathed in brilliant sunlight as these wonderous creatures swim alongside and past the boat.
Everyone is welcome to visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and embark on Harbor Breeze Cruises for a two- to two-and-a-half-hour whale watch excursion with Aquarium experts daily at noon and 3:00 p.m. The Gray Whale Watch combo ticket is available on site at Aquarium. These tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 562-590-3100. Prices are $49.95 adult ages 12+, $45.95 senior 62+, and $33.95 child (includes whale watch and Aquarium admission).
Photo Gallery after the Break
I sail my Baja boat in the Pacific every year, but I haven’t been to the aquarium yet. I hope to get lucky this year and go on one of these cruises. It would be like a gift to myself!