The Sea Ranch is an excellent spot to watch for Whale, particularly during the Spring Gray Whale, Eschrichtius robustus, migration from the birthing lagoons of Baja California to the Arctic feeding grounds. During this migration, Whale is much closer to shore - the mothers want to protect their young from predators and give them a chance to adjust to the great big world in the more gentle coastal waters. During the fall migration, everybody is an adult and the gigantic animals steam south a bit further out to sea.

There are plenty of places in the Ranch where, in the spring, Whale comes so close to shore that you can count the barnacles on his back. It is common to see junior alongside mom and sometimes, if you are very fortunate, the animals will breach, or pop their head out of the water, or show a tail. For this, you will need one of two things - patience or luck. Fortunately, there are a lot of birds, wildflowers and beautiful scenery to keep you occupied while you wait for whale to pass by. Most people (us included) do their whale watching while strolling along the bluff top trail.

Whale

Whale

Whale

Whale

As everyone knows, Whale was in real trouble a century or so ago when he was almost wiped out by whalers. Fortunately, whale oil lost it's importance and people realized that Whale should be protected before it was too late. Today, he is recovering nicely and there are a lot of these magnificent creatures passing by our part of the world every year. We even have a group of about two hundred Grays who do not migrate during the summer so you might catch a glimpse of one of these during the period between migrations.

Because Whale is the biggest animal in the world, it is understandable that he draws his fair share of attention in literature, myth and legend. Jonah was swallowed by Whale. Numerous tribal peoples saw Whale as the king of the ocean. Melville wrote Whale into literary prominence and the movie Whale Rider introduced him to popular culture.

Whale watching can be a whale of a good time.