Whale watching Feeding on ghost shrimp at the south end of Whidbey & Camano Islands or off the Snohomish Delta near Everett is where you have the best chance of spotting the annual migration of 10-12 gray whales that pass through North Puget Sound from March to May.
Sounders as they are affectionately called, have paid visits to our area for years on their way to Alaska from Mexico, a 10,000 mile journey. And we are more than happy to have them make a guest appearance.
According to the World Wildlife Fund: “Intensive whaling drastically reduced gray whale numbers over the last three to four centuries. Of the original three gray whale populations, one in the North Atlantic is extinct, one is critically endangered in the Western North Pacific (with as few as 150 individuals remaining), and one has recovered from very low levels in the Eastern North Pacific and was removed from the U.S. Endangered Species List in 1994.”
Tourists and Seattle area locals alike take to their favorite spotting sights, be it on boats near the waters of Possession Sound or the shorelines of Island and Snohomish counties, to see these magnificent mammals that stretch from 45-50 feet in length and weigh 35-40 tons.
Just keep in mind when looking for a migrating gray whale that it has a predictable breathing pattern, usually it blows water 3-5 times in intervals lasting 15-30 seconds before raising its fluke & submerging out of sight for another 3-5 minutes. That is important because when it resurfaces it won't be where it was: gray whales can stay submerged for up to 15 minutes, and travel at 3-6 miles per hour.
Our area also hosts Orca, Minke, Humpback and many more types of whales. For the most up to date info on the gray whales and sightings specifically, your best bet is to check out Orca Network's Facebook Page or head to the Langley Whale Center which offers all who enter the opportunity to learn more about our North Puget Sound gray whales.