In early August 2018, I was lucky to have a friend take me whale watching with a chartered whale watching company in Depoe Bay, the whale-watching hub on the Oregon coast. We left from the docks on a zodiac with the owner of the business as our captain. The zodiac is a good boat to whale watch from because it’s fairly quiet and it’s easier to get closer to the whales without disturbing them.
We saw a spout pretty early on, so we waited to watch the whale. Our guide was able to tell us that this particular whale is part of the Pacific Coast Feeding Group, a pod of gray whales that does not migrate because of the abundance of food on the Oregon coast. He was also able to name a couple of the other whales we say because of his ability to identify them based on their tail markings. The guide had a small vial of krill to show us what the whales were feeding on, and he provided us with some information about the species and other marine animals.
Our guide did an excellent job of driving out to the right spot to see as many whales as possible. At one point, the zodiac was surrounded by six or seven different whales. Overall, the guide was an excellent captain and provided us with answers to our questions, careful not to bombard us with information as we carefully watched for spouts.