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So you want to see a whale. Let's make that happen.
Your best chance to see a whale in Oregon:
You'll be surprised how easy it is.
Our Favorite Spots
In the summer and fall, these are our go-to locations.
The most obvious spot to watch for whales is from the point, but don’t forget to look in the bay which contains kelp beds.
Depoe Bay City Center
Stand pretty much anywhere along the sea wall and you’re pretty likely to spot whales, sometimes right by the shore.
There is typically an abundance of kelp close to shore. Keep an eye out for whale watch boats to help spot them.
Bring your binoculars and telephoto lens. This spot offers unique head to tail views of gray whales from 500′ of elevation.
You know where to look, but what are we looking for?
Spouting is the most common behavior and the easiest way to spot a whale. Just look for little puffs of white either against the horizon or against a blue sea.
After a series of spouts a whale will initiate a dive to feed. If the water is deep enough and a dive is steep enough, a whale might flip it’s tail up. After a dive a whale will typically stay underwater for 3-5 minutes.
While feeding in shallow water, whales will roll onto their side and stick half of their tail out of the water resembling the dorsal fin of a shark.
Less Common Behaviors
Gray whales typically feed on the sea floor, but you might see one come up while discharging water through their baleen. You might also catch a spy hop, when a whale pops its head straight out of the water. If you’re really lucky you might see a breach, which is when a whale launches a large portions of its body out of the water.