The Gray Whale Superhighway
The Gray Whale migration is in full swing right now with juveniles, adults and even mothers with calves swimming past the coast of San Diego. On Hornblower’s Whale Watching Cruises, we are currently seeing mostly southbound whales often traveling in groups of 2 to 3. The whales are headed to the lagoons of Baja’s Pacific Coast — Laguna Ojo de Liebre/ Scammon’s Lagoon, Laguna San Ignacio, and Bahia Magdalena. These lagoons provide calm, protected waters for courting Gray Whales and also for mother’s to care for their calves while they gain enough weight and strength for the journey north.
As the whales travel past San Diego, some of the spectacular behaviors we all enjoy watching are fluking (when the whale lifts its flukes above the surface before a dive) and breaching (launching out of the water and landing with a huge splash). This time of year, we also see small groups of adults engage in mating behavior, which includes chasing and barrel rolling together at the surface.
While we’re currently at the peak of the southbound Gray Whale migration, we will continue to see large numbers of grays as they travel back up north along our coast through April.