The most frequented whale watching areas of California are considered as being between the Channel Islands and the mainland. When taking a whale watching cruise from Ventura or Santa Barbara, you stand a good chance of seeing blue whales, humpbacks and the rare minke whales. Whale watching trips range from two hours, to a cruise that can last for several days, leave from harbours and marinas along the entire coast of California.
You can see more information at Whale watching Byron bay.
Good sightings of whales from land are at Centerville Beach and Guthrie Beach at Ferndale from January until March. At Point Reyes at Lighthouse and Chimney Rock, best viewing times are from December to April, where a shuttle to these locations operates from Drake’s Beach at the weekends.
Just south of Carmel, at Point Lobos State Reserve, it is possible to tour a whaler’s cabin as well as sight whales. Go to Morro Bay, where you may see whales from the bluff in Montana De Oro State Park, or sit and watch for these magnificent creatures, on the dunes at Point Dume. Alternatively, go around Dana Point in Orange County. Cabrillo National Monument offers you a glass-enclosed observatory at Whale Overlook.
The blue whales seen around the California coast reach a length of about 88 ft, and weigh nearly 190 tons and considered as the largest of all mammals. The female blue only births every two or three years and they wean their calves at about six months, reaching maturity at the age of eight. They are either a loner, or else have only one partner to accompany them on their migration. Their lifespan is 34 years and the only enemy is the Orca whale.
The Humpback is a traveller, covering 14,000 nautical miles a year, staying in the polar waters for summer and migrating to more tropical waters in winter, mating in summer and giving birth in winter. The calves are weaned at six months and it is estimated that the live from fifty to sixty years.
Of course, the best way to see whales at closer range is to take a whale watching cruise. Should you see one of the animals spouting, it will probably do it again in the direction that it is moving, which is south in winter and north in the spring. They only travel at about five miles per hour, and it is usual for the grey whales swimming cycle to be between 3 to 5 blows, followed by their diving for 3 to 6 minutes, and often flipping their tails shortly before diving.