What Kind of Whales You May See During the Winter

When you’re on the West Coast, you have the amazing opportunity to go whale watching San Diego . You can get up close and personal with these majestic creatures, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

If you go during the winter, you also have the benefit of avoiding the summer beach crowds. Fewer tourists means you don’t have to wait in long lines or struggle to find the perfect spot among a crowded deck. Instead, you get the VIP experience unique to the San Diego area.

Pacific Gray Whales

You may be wondering what kind of whales you can expect to see during the winter. As it turns out, the colder months are the perfect time to watch Pacific gray whales, whose winter migration takes them past the San Diego coastline. These whales travel in pods from December through April; over those five months, about 20,000 whales will make the journey, giving you plenty of opportunities to catch a glimpse.

As you might have guessed, gray whales are dark gray in color, though they also have white splotches all over their bodies. They grow to be quite large —up to 77,000 pounds, in fact, and nearly 50 feet in length.

Photo Opportunities

When you sign up for San Diego whale watching tours, you get many opportunities for photographs. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the whales will be moving, so you’ll have to time your photos just right. You’ll want to have your camera ready for when the whales surface, as they may spray from their sprout, creating a geyser of ocean water. You can also snap a great picture of their flukes by waiting for them to dive again; during this process, their tails come up out of the water before slamming back down and creating a huge splash.

You’ll also want to bring along some binoculars so you can get a closer look that these beauties. While taking pictures is a wonderful way to immortalize the scene, don’t forget to be in the moment and enjoy these majestic creatures in person.

Whale Watching Tours

While you can watch whale migration from the shore, whale watching tours are an excellent way to see it up close. Additionally, guides provide a wealth of information on the lives and histories of gray whales, as well as many other marine creatures that visit San Diego:

  • Sea lions
  • Seals
  • Dolphins

A whale watching tour is also a great option to celebrate a special occasion. For example, if you and your partner have dreamed of a nautical wedding, you can arrange to exchange vows on a whale watching vessel. Many companies also have packages for birthdays, anniversaries and reunions. If you have a celebration coming up, arranging for a whale watching experience is an excellent way to make it extra special.

Whale watching in the winter is the perfect way to experience the ocean without having to deal with the crowds. Whether you’re interested in a San Diego boat wedding or just want a fun and relaxing vacation, you should look into booking a winter whale watching tour.


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