The Best Month for Whale Watching
If you’ve never been whale watching, you should know that it’s one of the most enlightening experiences you can have. It’s pretty spectacular to see the world’s largest mammal explode their entire body out of the water and shower you with ocean spray.
It should be on everyone’s bucket list to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat. If you’re thinking about going whale watching, you might be wondering which month is best. Let’s keep reading to find out.
Whale Watching in Alaska
Whale watching in Alaska is unique since different species of whales can be found here during the summer months. The state’s waters are home to humpback, grey, Minke, and orca whales. June through August is the optimum time to watch these magnificent marine creatures.
Another exciting thing that people can witness in Alaska is the great grey whale migrating through Alaskan waters, which occurs from April to May. It’s a sight to behold when they go north to the arctic ocean searching for food.
If you are wondering where to go for whale watching, Sitka, Alaska, is an underrated yet incredible place that offers multiple boat tours, and you could witness not only whales but other amazing animals like Stellar sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, the majestic bald eagle, and brown bears.
Best Whale Watching Seasons
The Gulf of Alaska is home to several migratory cetaceans. They migrate from warm, shallow, and safe calving grounds closer to the equator (such as Hawaii or the Sea of Cortez in Mexico) to the rich, deep waters of the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, where Asia and North America unite. Gray whales, for example, swim down to the shallow, warm, and protected waters of the Cortez Sea. Humpback whales have been observed calving in a few lagoons around Molokai, Lanai, and Maui. In Alaska, the best time to see whales is during the summer; however, the possibility of seeing these gigantic creatures is greater during the fall and spring, but we don’t recommend it as the climate quickly becomes icy without any sun to keep you warm.
The Humpback Whale is the most widespread and well-known whale species commonly seen in Sitka, Alaska. Almost hunted to extinction, this whale is the largest mammal on earth. The species has been brought back from the brink of extinction by continuous conservation efforts and legislative protections for all of us to marvel at and admire. The ideal time to see them is from December to early April, when their melodic sounds may be heard for miles.
Gray whales have some of the world’s longest migration paths; they travel from Alaska to Mexico and return every year, covering about 10,000 miles (16,093 kilometers). Such a remarkable effort necessitates a lot of food and energy, which whales can find in abundance off Alaska’s southern shore. Grey whales have baleen in their mouths, which allows them to filter food through bristly growths.
In February, gray whales travelling back to Alaska with their newborn babies by their sides can be seen. They swim near the shore with their offspring on the beachside during their northern journey, giving a perfect close-up view of the incredible creatures.
Sometimes known as killer whales, orca whales are frequent visitors to the area during the summer salmon season. They feed in Alaska’s nutrient-rich waters and move in pods of 4 to 7 whales, and are sure to leave you breathless and fascinated.
These whales are in Alaska throughout the year but are most active during the summer months. Therefore, mid-June through early September are the best months to spot Orca Whales.
Minke whales often called little piked whales, are characterized by long dorsal fins and ridges on their backs near their tails and their beautiful black and white color. These creatures are rarely seen, and nothing is known about their travel habits due to their feeding preferences and reclusive disposition. Still, they will most likely be spotted during the summer months in Alaska.
What Will you Need on a Whale Watching Tour?
It always gets a bit chillier on water than on land; therefore, it is better to dress in layers, as you can always loosen the layers if you get too hot. To protect yourself from UV rays, consider wearing a hat, closed-toed shoes, and always wear sunscreen. It’s usually a good idea to have waterproof clothing on hand.
It’s never a bad idea to bring some snacks and a drink on tour. Finally, bring a telescoping camera or binoculars to picture better the wildlife you may see. Having everything on hand could aid in identifying any whale species you come across, ultimately giving you a better view.
In conclusion, Sitka Whale Watch Tours is one of the best in Alaska, giving you the best whale-watching experience on a custom-built boat that glides across the water, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable ride.