Whale Watching

Whale Watching in Sonoma County – from Coastal Traveler Website

The number one spot for watching gray whales in Sonoma County has to be Bodega Head, the headland associated with Bodega Bay. Because of the topography of the land, this is the point where the gray whales tend to come the closest to shore. You can often watch the calves interacting with their Mothers which can lead to lots of exclamatory remarks if you happen to be standing in a crowd which can certainly happen on the weekends when hundreds of people migrate to this spot to watch the whales. Don’t be surprised if the whales start to intently watch all those people on the bluff as they are just as curious about us as we are about them. It is a thrill to be checked out by a giant whale!

The favorite food of gray whales are krill. These are tiny shrimp like creatures which congregate on the bottom of the ocean in the soft sediment. When grey whales dive, they use their sieves called baleen to slurp up the soft sediment and trap the krill. This is the same food source they eat in massive quantities in the Arctic waters of Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea. It’s also how they make their blubber.

Gray whales migrate more than 11,000 miles a year between the Arctic, where they have their richest feeding grounds, and Baja California where they mate and bear their calves. The Sonoma coastline just happens to be a favorite spot for them to linger a bit before continuing their journey. There are also sometimes a few year round residents in this area but there are many more winter residents further north at places like Depoe Bay, Oregon.