Whales Pass Through Kodiak Waters

A baleen whale breaches. Michael Dawes/flickr
A baleen whale breaches. Michael Dawes/flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Now is a prime time to find a spot by the ocean and hunker down with a pair of binoculars, because there’s a good chance you could spot a grey whale. Cindy Bower is leading a whale-watching trip Saturday as part of the Audubon Society and says it’s no coincidence that the whales are passing through. It happens every year in an annual migration.

“They’re breeding, having their calves down in Mexico, and then they come up along the coast, California, Oregon, Washington, and all the way up into the Gulf past Kodiak on the way to the Bering Sea to feed and, when they’re all full, they’ll come back in the Fall, and they’ll travel by us again, and they’ll head back to the calving grounds down in Mexico.”

She says they have to be close enough to the shore to feed.

“Cause they’re baleen whales, they need to dive down. So, they’re gonna be going up either coast. They’re gonna go up our coast, and we have about 20,000 whales that migrate between Mexico and Alaska, or they could be coming up on the other side – Japan, Russia, some of the whaling communities. And in the old days, apparently we had Atlantic grey whales too, but they were hunted to extinction back in the 1700s.”

There are ways to increase your chances of spotting whales.

“You need to be on a cliff, and you need to be down at Narrow Cape, Pasgashak Point, you need to be high on a cliff looking down at the ocean, and then you’ll see their spouts, and you’ll see their backs, and grey whales have two blow holes and it’s a v-shaped spout, so you see the spout and they spout a couple of times every thirty seconds three or four times, and then they dive, and they’re down there three or five minutes feeding.”

You can join Bower in a drive to Pasagshak Point for the organized whale watch on Saturday. As with all Audubon adventures, you’ll meet at the Ferry Building at 9:30 a.m. The building is currently under construction, but Bower says everyone can meet at the intersection, and you may carpool from there or drive your own car.

The second whale-watching event on the Audobon calendar will be at Narrow Cape on April 30, with the possibility of a hike to that point is weather permits.

Check Also

Snow blows across the Parks Highway near the Glenn-Parks highway interchange at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in a state road camera image. (From Alaska DOTPF)

Midday Report – February 29, 2024

On today’s Midday Report with host Terry Haines: The Alaska House has passed a bill …

%d bloggers like this: