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How to Maximize Your Whale Watching Experience

Whale watching is an adventure in itself filled with breathtaking views of magnificent marine life and cherished memories. Make your trip a spectacular journey by doing a little extra planning. Follow these simple tips and reminders in order to have a successful whale watching trip worth a lifetime.

Wear Sunscreen and Sunglasses

If you are whale watching in warmer months do not forget to lather up on sunscreen as visitors could get quite a sunburn being exposed on the boat’s deck for a few hours. With sunglasses, you will be more likely to catch every whale sighting because your eyes will be protected from the strong glare on the ocean’s surface allowing you to continually scan the horizon.

Bring a Camera

Make sure your camera is charged and ready to go in order to capture the wonderful whales on your excursion. Also check your memory card and bring extras if you have them. It may take a couple sightings to get the perfect whale shot as they move quickly back underwater. To take an ideal picture, do not concentrate on the area the whale dives down. Instead, focus your attention towards the direction of the whale’s movement and point your camera in that direction. Typically, gray whales travel 4-5 knots per hour and we do our best to match their speed. Stay focused and steady until the mammal emerges from the sea. If your camera is out and ready, pointed in the right direction, you can usually capture the moment just in time. Catch the fluke, or tail, as it is coming above the water’s surface with streams of gleaming water trailing off of it. Then, wait a few seconds until the tail is completely out of the water and the underside is showing to snap your shot ultimate tail shot. If there are multiple whales, take a video to really capture the moment. Most importantly, don’t forget to take a break from your camera and watch the whales with your own naked eye.

Wear Rubber Soled Shoes and Warm Clothes

On a whale watching boat it is safest to avoid fancy shoes such as high heels or leather platforms, instead opt for a pair of sneakers with great traction on the bottom. Boat decks can get wet and slippery while out at sea so stability is necessary. As for what to wear, layer up. When out on the boat, the ocean breeze is a lot cooler than just standing on the coast, so it is good idea to bring a heavy sweater or winter coat to combat any cold winds while out whale watching.

Just for Fun, Bring Binoculars

This is especially especially enjoyable if you have kids traveling with you. We get as close as possible to the whales and dolphins, so you will easily see them with the naked eye. That being said, there is a lot of other marine life that can be spotted with binoculars. For instance, you can use them to identify seabirds or smaller marine life out in the distance.

During the duration of the trip, you’ll always want to keep your eyes peeled so you don’t miss any sightings of these majestic creatures. Keep an eye out for the spout or the whale’s blowhole, where a fountain of water comes above the ocean’s surface as the animal breathes. Most importantly, have fun! Bring your smiles, friends, and family to create memories that last a lifetime. We look forward to having you aboard!