Whale Watching from Long Beach – Saturday

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I’m booked on another boat, this Saturday morning out of Long Beach Harbor on Long Beach Sportfishing’s whale watch boat.

I thought I’d throw it out as an open invitation to everyone who might want to head on down the 710 (or down the street if you’re one of our LB readers) to hop on a boat this weekend and see what’s out there. I’m on the Saturday @ 10 AM boat as a rookie whale watch naturalist, there’s another at 1:30 PM and the schedule repeats on Sunday. $10 for kids & seniors, $12 for adults.

We’re expecting excellent weather on Saturday with westerly winds 10 to 15 knots and westerly swell of 2 to 3 ft. They’re spotting Pacific gray whales every day from the whale census at Pt. Vicente so there’s a good chance we’ll be able to catch sight of one. Even if we don’t there’s always lots to see – sea lions, skimmers, gulls, pelicans, terns and the magnificent dolphins.

Redondo Beach Sportfishing also has boats going out at 10 AM and 1:30 PM every day.

4 Replies to “Whale Watching from Long Beach – Saturday”

  1. My Mom and Lorne have docked their RV in Corona and they’re game for the action adventure itinerary this weekend. When I mentioned Whale Watching she said she’s always wanted to do that. So we’re on. See you at the 10:00 am departure!

  2. I don’t mean to be a complete killjoy, but I was awfully stoked to go on this trip til I talked to marine biologist friend who said whale watching is actually v. disruptive to the breeding patterns and day to day life of whales. It’s like I feel about zoos (not that u asked): some animals suffer so others may be protected. But I thought I would let you know whale watching (perhaps especially aboard a fishing vessel) is maybe not as innocuous as it seems.

    I am not saying it should stop you – I don’t know if it stops me. But I thought I’d share.

  3. La La, I completely understand your sentiments. Up until I moved to southern California, I never went out on a boat to watch whales, I watched only from the shore.

    The vessels that go out with the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium & American Cetacean Society whale watch programs (of which I am a docent) obey all rules from the Marine Mammal Protection Act (and then some). The vessels are not fishing boats – the vendors that operate these boats do have fishing vessels, but these boats are soley for pleasure boating (tours around SoCal and Catalina and the seasonal whale watching).

    The Gray Whales are one of the most observed whale species on earth (with the Orcas of the Pacific Northwest up there as well) – their mating and birthing grounds are well observed and their behavior is well known. The great majority of gray whales from December to March are just passing by – they rarely feed (as they are already fattened up from their summers in the Bering & Chukchi seas) and mating occurs almost exclusively in or near the lagoons of Baja. The females that have calves during their migration are given special leeway so as not to stress the mother and calf pair and luckily they travel slower so are easier to observe without disturbing.

    The Pacific gray whale has rebounded from near extinction to return to its pre-whaling populations and part of that, I think, can be credited to better public awareness of the animals through programs such as whale watching. But I share your feeling about zoos and naturalist tours being such a necessary evil – they are great educational, PR and breeding programs.

    As for the dolphins and other marine species seen, the dolphins will actually go out of their way to meet up with boats because they enjoy bow-riding. If the dolphins are not interested in the boats, the captains do not pursue them.

    One of the things that I think the trips really help to cement in the minds of the whale enthusiasts is that the ocean is tied inextricably to the land – when we’re out on the water it’s impossible to not see the effect of humans. After the heavy rains we’re still seeing plenty of floating plastics (water bottles, plastic bags, etc.) in the water – most of that is carried there from runoff – from littering. I think it make everyone think about those little signs on the stormdrains with the dolphin that sais “drains to the ocean.” It’s actually quite heartening to see a little child point at the trash and say to his parents that people should pick up after themselves.

    I’m glad you brought it up though because I think it’s a worthwhile discussion.

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