A Whale of a Tale
A Whale of a TaleHALFWAY THROUGH MIGRATION SEASON, GRAY WHALES ARE HEADING BOTH NORTH AND SOUTH ON THEIR ROUND-TRIP JOURNEY ALONG THE PACIFIC COAST.
Gray whales migrate between December and March/April, an annual journey that begins with thousands of gray whales traveling south from Alaska along the California coastline. They’re visible from numerous points along the coast, including Crystal Cove, before arriving at their final destination in Baja California where they will breed and birth. February at Crystal Cove State Park, however, is a particularly exciting month—visitors to the park may have the opportunity to see two-way traffic as the final whales traveling south pass the first northbound whales making their way home.
Throughout the migration, whales travel in small groups and remain either near to the shoreline or follow an offshore contour outside of the Channel Islands. The approximately 12,000-mile round-trip journey is made in 70 to 80-mile increments daily. While whales follow a strict pattern to conserve energy while heading south, their northbound route is not as rigid. The first to return home are typically sub-adult males, while the last are new mothers with calves.
Heading out to sea is often the best vantage point to view the marine mammal, so CCA is offering members a chance to climb aboard the Western Pride, provided by Newport Landing, for our first annual Members’ Cruise on March 8. The ship takes members out into the Pacific to explore Crystal Cove’s offshore underwater park and watch gray whales on their annual spring migration back to Alaska. CCA naturalists are on board, lending their expertise to help participants understand our marine environment and the importance of protecting it. The complimentary cruise is being offered to those at the Cove Steward level or higher; anyone interested in becoming a member in time for the cruise is encouraged to find out more information at our website, crystalcovebeachcottages.com/membership.