Page 42 - SLO Visitors Guide - Winter 2021-2022
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Morro Bay
Whale watching in Morro Bay
 Spyhopping with whales
Ahumpback whale breaching its 30-ton body out of the water and splashing back down is one of the most dramatic events for whale watchers to experience. Another thrilling behavior to see is “spyhop- ping,” when whales, dolphins and some sharks, rise partially out of the water, appearing to gaze at nearby whale watchers. Scientists think the habit lets the animal get a better view of nearby activity.
Whales can be seen along the Central Coast all year but the best times are during the migrations.
• The Pacific Gray Whale can be 45 feet long and weigh up to 33 tons. The best months to watch gray whales are December to February when they are migrating from the Arctic to their breeding grounds
in Baja California then again from February to April during their northern migration.
• The Eastern
North Pacific blue
whales spend the
summer and fall
months feeding in
California coastal waters
then return to winter in the
waters off of Mexico and Central America. Although the most elu- sive whale, blue whale sightings are reportedly increasing. Blue whales are the largest known animal on earth, growing to 100 feet and weigh about 150 tons. Even calves measure up to 25 feet at birth.
• The best months for seeing Humpback Whales are April through December when they are feeding off the coast of California. Humpback whales are distinctive due to their long, narrow, scalloped flippers. They grow to 55 feet long.
Fin whales are also sighted in Central Coast waters in the winter. Anytime you are on or near the ocean you can expect to see a lot of sea life including sea birds, sea otters, sea lions, dolphins, whales and maybe a rare and treasured orca sighting.
The best practice for watching whales is to have a pair of binocu- lars when exploring the Central Coast cliffs and shorelines. Whales can often be seen far out in the
ocean from high spots,
by moving dark lines and shapes in the wa-
ter. Your binoculars will come in handy for
watching them.
For the excitement and drama of close-up encounters, Virg’s Landing offers whale watching tours out of Morro Bay and can be reached at (805) 772-1222. Avila Beach is also a popular departure point for whale watching tours on the Central Coast.
     A central coast favorite in Morro Bay
  Scan this QR code to see our menu online
at the marina
  (805) 772-1465
 Open for lunch daily, Dinner Thu - Sun
  Across the road from State Park campground entrance on State Park Rd
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