Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whale Watching off the Oregon Coast

The Whales Tail is a 26' zodiac style boat that carries up to 6 people. It was the first and original zodiac style whale watching boat on the Oregon Coast, designed specifically for Dockside Charters to give passengers the utmost in sightseeing and whale watching experiences. We have all the latest safety features and have been inspected.

One of the features the Whales Tail offers is a unique vantage point that gives you 360° viewing and puts you "up close and personal" for observing Oregon's resident gray whales as they feed along the coast of Depoe Bay. Don't be surprised if you notice the whales watching you as intently as you watch them. We try to provide you with a once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed along with some great memories.

Gray Whales
Midspring to midfall is the gray whales feeding season. Most of the whales spend this time off Alaska, although every summer some whales are observed feeding from British Columbia to Mexico. The summer population off the Oregon coast is about 200 to 400, with many of the same whales returning year after year.

There are two basic types of whales, toothed and baleen. The gray whale is a baleen whale. Instead of teeth, they have a row of 130–180 baleen plates that grows along each side of the upper gum line. The baleen is made of material like a human fingernail. Appearing quite stiff and solid at its outer edge, each piece of baleen is fringed inside the mouth and tapers from 3 inches wide at the gum line to nearly a point at its bottom.

Gray whales feed primarily on amphipods, shrimp like animals. They go to the seafloor and suck up an area of the bottom. Sometimes this makes conspicuous holes on the bottom. The amphipods are trapped on the baleen filter inside the mouth, while mud, sand, and water pass between the baleen plates. This is the way the whale washes the amphipods clear of sand and mud. It then uses its tongue to suck the amphipods off the inside of the baleen fringe. Since gray whales filter animals from mud and water, their baleen is stiffer and has coarser fringes than that of other baleen whales.

Dockside Charters
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Toll Free:1-800-733-8915