When to go

 
huwh pair - blow

When planning a whale watching trip, it's good to know what species of whales you might be able to find in your area as well as what time of year they should be present.  Use the general guidelines below to get started.

 

Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CA)

 

Humpack whale: April to December (August to November is best)

Minke whale: July to November

Blue whale: August to November (October to November is best)

 

Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (CA)

 

Gray whale: December to April

Humpback whale: May to November

Blue whale: May to November

Minke whale: Year round

Fin whale: Year round, mostly in summer and winter

 

Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (CA)

 

Gray whale: Winter and Spring

Humpback whale: Summer and Fall (May to October)

Minke whale: Year round, less common in winter

Blue whale: Summer and Fall (May to December)

Fin whale: April to September

Sperm whale: Year round

 

 Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CA)

 

Gray whale: Northern migration from December to February,

                     southern migration from mid-February to May

Blue whale: Late May to September

Sei whale: Late May to September

Humpback whale: May to August

 

Current Weather:

weather buoysFind the current marine weather wherever you plan to go whale watching.  Check out NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center. Just zoom in and click the buoy near your destination along the coast to get details.

 

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