Have You Ever Been on an Alaskan Whale Watch?
When Is the Best Month for a Whale Watch?
The best time for whale watches depends on the type of whale and the area you’re in. Many whale enthusiasts like to go on a whale watch in the states and other regions of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Washington. You can watch blue, gray, Orca, and humpback whales.
The month of the year when they are most prevalent in these areas are as follows:
• Blue and humpback whales can be seen in the Pacific Northwest of the US, including in Sitka, Alaska, from September through January.
• Gray whales make appearances throughout the year, but most often in March and April, as they travel from Mexico up north to feed.
• You can see Orca whales throughout the summer, from May to September, and some types of Orca whales in the wintertime when seals are also very abundant. Orca whales can be seen in multiple locations, such as Newfoundland and Labrador.
Don’t Go Too Close
It is dangerous to be too close to whales for various reasons. The Whale Watching Coalition of Washington has determined some whale watching guidelines not to be disruptive or dangerous to the species.
• Caution and courteousness – Take care in your approach to areas with known or suspected marine mammal activity. Use extreme caution and look in all directions before entering and exiting these areas.
• Reduce your speed – Slow down to below seven knots when approaching a whale. You want to begin slowing down when you’re about 400 meters away. Take changes in your course slowly to avoid frightening or alarming the whale. No abrupt moves or turns.
• Don’t go too close – Maintain a distance of at least 200 meters from any whale. Any closer could be dangerous for you and your boating companions.
• Stay out of the way – You don’t want to get in the whale’s path. So maintain positioning at least 400 meters from the whale’s path.
• Offshore side – Keep on the offshore side of the whale if they are near the shoreline. Maintain a distance of at least 200 meters away from the whale and the shoreline.
• No swimming or feeding – This should go without saying, but no one should try to swim with or feed a whale.
Remember, the laws or rules regarding whale watches may vary depending on the state or area you’re located in. Although, always be cautious and courteous. Do not give the whale any reason to be threatened by you. Watch from a safe distance and have fun safely on the water. Whales are beautiful and majestic creatures, but they’re also some of the largest mammals on Earth. So keep safety and common sense in mind before venturing into known areas of live mammal activity.