Get Outside: Gray Whales are Gathering Off of North Bay Waters

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Moby Dick and Co. are making their sea voyage up the Pacific Northwest. And, for our viewing pleasure, they’ve taken-up a semi-permanent residence in Point Reyes.

Ready your smartphones, gang: there’s a whale rave going on just outside the waters off our coastlines. Every year, The Bay Area’s home to what is the “tail end”—yes, pun intended—of the gray whale Pacific migration. While they’re quite rare in the San Francisco Bay, these fifty-foot oceanic leviathans group in the dozens around the Point Reye’s Coastline.

The whales are known to almost hug the shoreline, even popping-up in the waters right outside the Golden Gate. And, because so, are susceptible to collisions with both commercial and residential vessels, sanctuary spokeswoman Mary Jane Schramm said.

"We need to give them their space for their sake and for our own sake," Schramm said.

Just like us, gray whales don’t want to be put on-blast every time they're seen. If they could curl-up next to a Postmates delivered pizza and a hefty glass of wine, while binge watching OITNB, they would—metaphorically speaking.

Historically, gray whales were once nearing extinction do to effects of unmonitored ocean pollution; krill blooms, the small ocean invertebrates they feed on, were greatly deplinished from illegal dumping, causing cows (mothering whales) to either starve during pregnancy or fail to produce enough milk to sustain their nursing calves. Couple that with the fact they were harpooned without abandon in the eighteenth century, we’re lucky these majestic marine mammals are still around.

"We should just be delighted they're here," Schramm said.

We couldn’t have said it any better, Mary Jane.

So, in the spirit of delighting your Insta followers, here are a few places around The Bay we’ve rounded where you can whale watch from:

// Sixty-six whales have—as of this article’s publishing—been spotted in the waters off North Bay Waters; they’ll likely be saying ¡adios! sometime in May.