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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Have a Whale of a Good Time

Feb 01, 2015 12:00AM

It’s that magical time of year when whales migrate, letting us witness their barnacled backs, forked tails, and spouts spraying water. From January to April, gray whales swim from the Bering Sea to warm Baja lagoons, where they mate and/or give birth, and then travel back to the frigid waters surrounding Alaska. Bodega Head is a prime spot to see the whales along their journey. In the middle of February, you can see whales traveling both south and north; going north, they usually stay closer to shore, especially moms and calves, which are often seen in April. According to longtime local whaler Norma Jellison, mom/calf pairs often stop to rest and nurse on the jetty side of the Head, close enough to see the barnacles that are responsible for the gray whale’s mottled appearance. Volunteers from the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods staff the Head on weekends from 1–4 p.m. to show newbies the ropes. See stewardscr.org/cms/pages/index.html and sonomauncorked.com (search on “whale”) for more information.