48 | BoatU.S. Magazine FEBRUARY | MARCH 2016
BY PATRICIA RAINS
Whales are the largest creatures to inhabit the earth, as Jacques Cousteau toldus, andamongthemost powerful, intelligent, far-ranging, andmajestic. As boaters, what a remarkable opportunity we have to experience whales swimming free in the ocean. Winter is the peak period for whale watching along the Pacific Coast. California gray whales
(eschrichtius robustus) in the Eastern Pacific number about 18,000, with another 6,000 located off Japan. Grays are by
far the most frequently spotted whales off the U.S. West Coast, by a factor of 10. But also look for other species, including
blue, fin, North Pacific right, orca, sperm, humpback, and minke whales – all in different locations and times.
A WEST COAST