Whale Watching Week Spring

Spring Whale Watch  

Spring watching begins in late March as the gray whales travel north on their way toward  Alaska. The first surge swims by around the end of March. North-bound whales are observed all the way until June.   Spot Gray Whales on their migration north along the Oregon Coast with a trained volunteer at Ecola State Park.  Visit the Oregon State Parks website to view a map with a list of 24 designated locations and volunteer schedules. 

 

Whale Watching Week & Spring Break!

It’s Whale Watching Week!

Bring your binoculars and be awed by one of the many natural wonders of Oregon. 

While whales are visible from Oregon’s shores all year long there are two designated weeks when the viewing is better than ever, one in winter, and one now, March 24-31.

Hundreds of whales can be spotted swimming along the coastline each day.  That’s because the great migration of 20,000 gray whales is underway as the huge mammals head back up the coast to Alaska, after spending winter living large in the warm lagoons off Baja California, where many of the females have given birth. 

With there youngsters swimming along, the grey whales are returning home.

While the first surge of grey whales is moving north now, others will follow all the way through June.

The best viewing is from up high at Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach and from Neahkahnie Mountain by Manzanita, both places where trained volunteers from Whalespoken.org will be on site to help visitors spot the impressive mammals.

 


 

 

Whales, Wine, Yoga & Deals: 4 Tempting Reasons for a 1st Qtr. Tolovana Stay.

whalesSure, you might need to bundle up a bit, but don’t let that slow you down from visiting Cannon Beach during the first quarter of 2017.

Besides the unfailing appeal of the Oregon coast, with its natural wonders and special events, Tolovana Inn room rates are especially inviting this time of year. Now through March 23, if you stay two nights, you can enjoy a third night free.  Rooms are limited and some restrictions may apply.  Call 1-800-333-8890.  

So, besides great rates, here are some other things to consider.

The Gray Whale Migration is now underway

Gray whales head south from their feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi seas around Alaska from mid-December through January traveling to breeding grounds in Baja California, Mexico, where warm-water lagoons become nurseries for expectant mothers.  On the trip down, these giant mammals swim on a direct course, move quickly, and mostly stay about 5 miles offshore. At their peak, about 30 whales pass by each hour. Then from late March to June, the whales migrate north back to Alaska. On each trip, approximately 18,000 gray whales will pass close to the Oregon Coast.

Ecola State Park provides a great vantage point for whale sightings. In morning light with the sun at your back is best.  First locate whale spouts with your naked eye; then focus more closely with binoculars. 

Coming back, the whales travel much more leisurely and stay closer to shore—within a half mile is not unusual. The non-breeding males and females lead the way back with some early birds starting in late February. Mothers and young calves generally roll by starting in May.

Cannon Beach Yoga Festival, February 24-27, 2017

World Class Instruction in a World Class location.  That’s the three-day Cannon Beach Yoga Festival.  No matter what your level of experience, this is a wonderful opportunity to explore something new, as well as deepen your practice. Enjoy workshops, daily morning meditations, a community dance party and more. Everything you need to know, including a detailed FAQ can be found here.   Cannon Beach Yoga Festival.

Savor Cannon Beach, March 9-12, 2017

It’s a wine and culinary event you won’t want to miss this. The festival includes wine tastings, wine dinners and a wine walk throughout the town from over 20 Northwest wineries.  Tickets are now available and its usually a sell-out event.  Tolovana Inn is proud to be a sponsor and host site for this incredible favorite foodie  event!  

Make 2017 the year you experience something new in Cannon Beach, staying at the ever comfortable ocean front Tolovana Inn.

 

(information about whale migration provided by visittheoregoncoast.)

 

 

 

Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast for the New Year

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Oregon’s Whale of a Tradition

An excerpt from a column written by David Sarasohn, in
The Oregonian, 12/28/2014.

There are places, of course, where the holiday animal traditions run to reindeer, and others featuring cuddly bears.

Around here, we think bigger.

This weekend marks the beginning of whale watching week on the Oregon coast, which annually takes place right after Christmas, as though the whales were trying to get to a New Year’s Eve party in California. Over several months, about 20,000 gray whales, and maybe some cetacean fellow travelers, journey from Alaska to Mexico. This week, Oregonians will trek out to the coast to catch a glimpse from the shore or get a closer look from a bobbing boat.

The goal is to pick out a gray whale in a gray sea, or a spout of water in an endless ocean, and catch sight of a parade that’s been going on longer than anything with floats or marching bands. For the whale, it’s a several weeks nonstop cruise.

“It’s an opportunity to see an animal the size of a school bus,” says William Hanshumaker, Oregon Sea Grant chief scientist at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. “It’s hard not to be impressed by seeing something that large.”

Gray whales, like a lot of other legends prominent around this time, are a renewal story. “These animals are back from the brink of extinction,” says Sobel. “Thirty or forty years ago, they were nearly extinct. They were protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972…before that, crucially, the Mexican government protected the whales in their winter quarters. In 1995, the gray whale came off the endangered list.

Now, thousands of them annually swim by the Oregon coast, keeping close to shore, although probably not consciously posing for pictures. Heading south at the end and the very beginning of the year, with a heavy layer of blubber that keeps them from stopping too often to feed, they’re swimming in mixed groups, on the way to give birth in warmer waters. On the way back north in spring, the males go first, with the females working to keep the new calves between themselves and the shore.

Oregonians tend to venture outside through various climatic conditions.  And they feel, it seems, a special pull from a prehistoric creature proceeding placidly down one of the world’s longest maritime migration routes, coming back from the threat of extinction to claim their (very large) place in the world.

Especially for a place that likes to think of itself as deeply connected to the natural space around it, whale watching seems a particularly fitting “New Year.”  With wobbly stomach and constant uncertainty, you scan an endless horizon trying to catch a sudden glimpse of something wondrous, something bigger than yourself.

 

(Bring binoculars and check into an ocean-front suite at Tolovana Inn for winter whale watching!)