Whale Watching: Love is in the Air

We are halfway through Gray Whale Watching Season! Join Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Flagship Cruises & Events and embark on a journey to locate gray whales on their round-trip migration from Alaska feeding grounds to Baja California. We’ve had plenty of exciting events happen this season — from watching dolphins play, to a rare spotting of orca whales, and now courtship behavior! Read on about this adventure.

Despite the recent weather, it has been beautiful days full of sunshine and clear waters. There were just shy of a hundred guests aboard the Marietta on the morning whale watching cruise on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017. The group was composed of visitors from out of town, local residents, and our first Ocean Connectors school group of the year. The team from Birch Aquarium at Scripps consisted of volunteers Deborah, Kat and Carla who worked alongside naturalist Ally and Education Specialist Lisa.

Shortly before exiting the San Diego Bay, guests were informed of typical gray whale characteristics and behaviors. Within minutes of entering the open ocean, we came across a herd of three gray whales. The trio was displaying courtship behavior; we observed them rolling around, chasing and splashing, and displaying their pectoral flippers.

One of the gray whales decided to approach the boat, much our delight. Gray whales are known to be friendly, and we were in for a treat. It was amazing being able to see the sheer size of the whale. The captain announced that this was the first trip this year to see gray whales this close to the boat.

Want in on the action this season? Join Birch Aquarium and Flagship Cruises and Events twice-daily to locate gray whales! See our website for more details.

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Scripps Institution of Oceanography UC San Diego