Whales at Depoe Bay

Sunday I returned to the town of Depoe Bay, Oregon.  I was there briefly on Saturday but wanted to return and spend some time watching for whales.  There are pods of gray whales which live in this area year-round and this is a popular spot to see them close to shore.  Don’t get too excited – you really don’t get to see much.  These aren’t whales jumping way out of the water (called breaching) like they do in the Pacific Life commercials.  You wait for the spray of air (spout) being ejected from their blowhole then watch as they arch their back while diving back underwater.

There are several companies which offer “whale watching” trips out onto the water.  Here are a few boatloads of paying customers:

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As it turned out, they got a pretty good show.  We took my mother whale watching up in New England many years ago and didn’t see a thing…

Sequence 1 ( 5 shots):

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And to give you an idea how close to shore this is happening, here are the three boats sitting just offshore.  I was standing on the sidewalk next to Highway 101 and you can see a little of the rocky shoreline which wasn’t too far out in front of me:

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Some of the whales surfaced between where those boats are and where I was.  Unlike the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific gets very deep, very fast once you get offshore.  When we went whale watching in the Atlantic we had to go way offshore to find water deep enough for big whales.  The three boats in the photo above later went out to sea to try their luck out there.

Sequence 2 (9 shots):

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