Lifestyle

Whale watching with Birch Aquarium

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Photo from 'Tomcio77' via Flickr

Photo from 'Tomcio77' via Flickr

Every year, approximately 20,000 gray whales pass through San Diego on their 10,000 mile round trip journey from the Bering Sea to Baja, where the females give birth. It is the longest mammal migration in the world and you and your family can witness it with your own eyes, while joining Birch Aquarium in celebrating its 10th anniversary of whale watching with San Diego Harbor Excursion.

After docking off San Diego Harbor, aquarium naturalists and San Diego Harbor Excursion will guide you on the epic adventure as you cruise on a vessel through the Pacific, while locating the beautiful gray whales on their mass migration. Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s state of the art technology allows you to detect and listen to whale and dolphin sounds on the tour. You’ll learn all about gray whale baleen, prey items and other ocean creatures, in addition to viewing them close-up.

The annual migration of gray whales, one of the largest mammals on earth, is an unforgettable sight to see. The excitement you feel whenever you spot a whale and experience the amazing size of these “gentle giants” is an indescribable feeling of awe. Witnessing one of nature’s greatest phenomenons is an enjoyable experience for all ages.

Starting tomorrow, two tours are offered each day, one at 9:45 a.m.—1:15 p.m. and the other at 1:30—5 p.m. Prices range from $30-$35 for adults, $15 for children, and free for kids three and under. Save $5 with this printable coupon.

Gray whale fun facts:

  • They are 52 feet long and weigh 36 tons.
  • They live 50-60 years.
  • They normally travel alone or in pods of two or three, but can be seen in dozens at the peak of migration.
  • They swim at an average speed of five knots, or about six miles per hour. They are slow swimmers!
  • The gray-white blotches on their skin are actually scars left by parasites.
  • Mid-December to January, the majority of gray whales are found between Monterey and San Diego and can even be seen from shore.
  • To learn more about gray whales, check out SeaWorld’s gray whale site.

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