Best Times to Go Whale Watching In Florida
Even though many people consider manatees the mammal associated with Florida, there is another giant that the Florida waters host – Right Whales. As of recently, it has been discovered that the long-endangered Northern Right Whales of Florida are now at the stage of recovering their declining numbers.
As the Right Whales like to migrate to the warmer Florida seas from December until late March, they can easily be spotted along the coastline of Jacksonville. Many locals, tourists, and volunteers gather around the coast each year around the same time as they seek the thrill of sighting the Right Whales and plan to go whale watching.
The Right Whale’s migration begins after they have spent summer swimming around the Nova Scotia and New England waters. As the winter months approach, these coastlines tend to become colder, so the Right Whales instinctively move towards warmer waters. In fact, many of the female Right Whales arrive pregnant in the Atlantic to give birth in the warmer water.
Whale Watching in Florida
The impeccably gentle creatures, Right Whales, can grow up to 70 tons and more than 55 feet long as an adult. So there is no doubt that if you ever do plan to go whale watching, you will easily be able to spot them. However, many people get confused that if the Right Whales migrate from December to March, how is it easy to spot them during these months.
The answer to that is as whales tend to travel in groups, there is no fixed opportunity to spot them or have a guarantee that you will spot the whale if you go whale watching. That’s why for a matter of fact, there are no particular excursions that plan tourist trips for whale watching. So the public confusion regarding whale watching in Florida isn’t completely invalid.
However, the best solution to this whole ordeal is for the locals. Florida locals who are residents of Northeastern Florida are truly lucky when it comes to whale watching because they do experience a whale sighting at least once during the winter months. Being a local is a blessing because the sightings don’t happen every day, and it is difficult to predict and spot the whales.
Moreover, for the most part, the Right Whales have been endangered. As the numbers recover, scientists predict that taking boats and ferries near to the whale school for whale watching shall disturb the group. Additionally, many female Right Whales are pregnant when they migrate to give birth and nurse their calves in the Florida seas. So getting up close shall stress them out.
So naturally, only a local or a visitor that plans on staying for long enough in the Northeastern Florida land – truly have a chance at spotting the Right Whales as they go whale watching.
Tips To Improve Your Chance at Whale Watching in Florida
So if you do decide to go whale watching in Florida, you can increase your chances of spotting the Right Whales with the following tips:
- Remember that Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral are probably the best places for whale watching in Florida. So you have to be at these paces to increase your chances of spotting a whale.
- Keep binoculars on you at all times. The whales are often spotted, but obviously, they are further away from the shoreline or the pier, so binoculars come in super handy for whale watching.
- It would be best if you always looked for sea birds and dolphins as they accompany the traveling whale schools. The moment you spot a bunch of sea birds above a spot in the ocean, keep your cameras and binoculars ready as you just may spot the whale.
- Right Whales are easy to spot and acknowledge that you saw a Right Whale while whale watching as they spout an incredibly V-shaped water spray. Moreover, they have raised white patches and a significant absence of a dorsal fin.
- Lastly, while the Right Whales travel all through December to late March, February has been declared the best month to spot whales while whale watching in Florida. So if you are especially traveling for whale watching, keep February scheduled.
We hope that with our information and tips, you can spot a whale when you go whale-watching in Florida. Good Luck!
While there is a gaping lack of excursions for whale watching in Florida, our incredible team at Captain Gary’s Sitka Adventures is working towards increasing the chances of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For more information about our whale watching tours, contact us today!