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The California coast provides amazing opportunities to witness the world’s most massive mammals as they make their great migration across the oceans. Whale Watching is an unforgettable experience for all ages, and learning about these gentle giants can teach us how best to protect them. Of all the animals on earth, gray whales undertake the longest migration, traveling up to 12,000-miles on a long-distance trek from their birthing lagoons in the warm waters of Mexico to the cold, food-rich waters of the northern arctic seas. And they don’t move fast: can you imagine migrating that distance at a speed under six miles-per-hour? That’s close to the speed at which you may leisurely pedal your bike! The whole trip takes almost three months each way. And at a length around 40-feet, weighing a whopping 60,000 pounds – imagine the fuel and energy required to undertake this important migration!
There are hazards on this journey, including noise pollution, ship strikes and entanglement, and plastic pollution, to name a few. Since whales rely so heavily on sounds that transmit through the water, noise pollution is extremely problematic for navigating a successful migration and for locating prey. If your group decides to book a whale watching cruise, try to select a reputable expedition that uses a sailboat to reduce underwater noise. We recommend https://nextlevelsailing.com in San Diego Bay. There are many locations to see migrating whales from land using binoculars; Cabrillo National Monument or Bluffs at Torrey Pines State Reserve are great options. For more locations across the state of California, visit https://thewhaletrail.org.