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Whale watching in mid March in California? Is this possible or have they already migrated North?

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Jan 27th, 2003, 03:30 AM
  #1
Susan
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Whale watching in mid March in California? Is this possible or have they already migrated North?

Also, if this is the right time to see them, which city do you recommend?

We are looking for the part of California where we can view whales on some type of charter as well as experience some decent weather.

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Jan 27th, 2003, 05:37 AM
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sunshine
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Yes I am very much interested as well.
 
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Jan 27th, 2003, 06:04 AM
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You can stay in many places in or near Point Reyes, about 50 miles north of San Francisco. There are lots of B&Bs in the area. Or you can stay in Sonoma or Marin County, where there are also lots of lodgings (and wineries!!!). But Point Reyes is best. It's a beautiful area, and the whales can be seen through the end of the month. Be aware, though, that it is rarely warm on the California coast, and it is always blustery. Wear very warm coats.
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Jan 27th, 2003, 06:34 AM
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Another vote for Point Reyes, or maybe Bodega Bay, which is in Sonoma County. You need to dress warmly, and if you are prone to seasickness at all youd better take something to help you out. I was on a whale watching cruise out of Mendocino County once and I had...well, let's just say a mishap!
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Jan 27th, 2003, 06:37 AM
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Jan 27th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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Oh yes, I forgot to mention the seasick part. If you're susceptible to such things, take precautionary measures. It can be a rough ride!
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Jan 27th, 2003, 06:57 AM
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Another vote for Point Reyes. You can see them particularly well fromthe lighthouse. We were just in Point Reyes on a beach last week and spied a line of whale blows. The park itself is beautiful and very green right now. There are many places to stay in the area. Others have mentioned Sonoma which might also be a good spot. The sea lions will be pupping and Goat Rock Beach in Sonoma is a place to see the pups. One comment on charters..we took one a few years ago sponsored by the Oceanic Society out of SF. It was a particularly choppy day. The guidelines for the cruise called it a success if the guides spied either blow(s) or fluke(s). Most of us were too sick to even try to spy. I'd opt for trying to spy from various spots on land. The Oceanic Society probably has a web site you can check out their charters.
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Jan 27th, 2003, 07:15 AM
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I considered the issue of seasickness, but thought dramamine or some other anti nausea med would help.

It sounds like the Pacific is extremely rough. hmmmm

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Feb 10th, 2003, 01:38 PM
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Another vote for viewing them from Point Reyes...Chimney Point, which also has beautiful wildflowers then. We were there in late March one year & had grea luck. You'll only see spouts, probably...sometimes the shadows of their bodies, but they aren't super close. And, it's all a matter of luck. Also, the lighthouse there is known for viewing.

However, from the sea, I can only recommend viewing from Monterey Bay. I did a grey whale outing from there, & it wasn't bad at all for seasickness. *Anything* north from there, like out from the San Francisco Bay area is pretty known for sea roughness! (as is stuff near L.A...the islands off the coast there, etc.) Wherever you go from, you'll probably want to take mediation.
I tend towards motion sickness & yet
Monterey was quite calm...and you see SO many other terrific animals, as well. Tons of sea lions...dolphins, birds, etc. And, I'm quite sure our trip was indeed in March as that's when they're migrating back up the Coast. I don't even recall taking any medication...nor feeling sick. 'Course it helps a LOT if it's a sunny day & warm enough that you can stay outdoors at all times for fresh air. Dress VERY warmly as the boat creates wind, always. That way, you can have fresh air, good viewing, etc.
Grey whales are tougher to see by a LOT than orcas. They just blend in more w/the sea color. So, you have to be prepared for nothing too dramatic. If you happen to get a whale jumping out of the water, consider yourself very blessed. Otherwise, it helps to be satisfied w/just seeing the humps of their backs...the barnacles on their backs, etc. And, enjoying all the other wildlife from a place like Monterey. Good luck!
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Feb 10th, 2003, 03:10 PM
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Point Reye's gets my vote as well. Walk all the way out to the lighthouse (including the "stairway to heaven -- or hell, as the case may be). The stairs out to the lighthouse point are well known. It's a serious climb back up, when you are done. BUT, the whales are CLOSE! We seen them as close as a "9 iron shot", and have seen them breaching as well. Go in the AM, but be prepared for the fog and wind.
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