Whales Watching Season

Whale Watching Season In Georgia/Florida

The endangered Atlantic right whales have made the long trek from Canada and New England down the Atlantic Coast to waters off South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Five of these right whale calves have been spotted flanked by their whale calves. The ocean this year has not been favorable for these whales due to high winds and not unseasonably cold weather. Last year 39 babies were spotted in the entire calving zone which was a record since survey flights began in 1984.

Baby Calve

This mom and baby were spotted off St. Simons Island.
This mom and baby were spotted off St. Simons Island.

Whale Facts

An estimated 300-400 right whales exist since they were almost hunted to extinction. The International Whaling Commission banned the practice in 1949. The more recent threats are ship strikes and entanglement in fishing gear. While the regions have rules in place to protect the whales it is difficult to enforce water speeds. It takes four calves to replace one adult female right whale, so safety is extremely important.

These massive mammals weighting up to 70 tons and measuring 35-55 feet long in adulthood journey south to calm waters each year. This is the only know calving ground in the Atlantic Ocean. They begin arriving in December and stay until March or April.

Right whale with Baby Swimming on Left

The first right whale calf of the 2009 season was spotted Dec. 22 off the coast of Jekyll Island. The mother of the first calf is named Aphrodite. She is a 23-year-old female and this is her fifth calf. (Courtesy of Wildlife Trust
The first right whale calf of the 2009 season was spotted Dec. 22 off the coast of Jekyll Island. The mother of the first calf is named Aphrodite. She is a 23-year-old female and this is her fifth calf. (Courtesy of Wildlife Trust

Whale Watchers

Many people volunteer and are trained to identify whales and report their sightings. They can be identified by the rough, white patches of skin on their heads called Callosites. In is illegal to be within 500 yards of a right whale.

Anyone can call the hot line 1-888-979- 4253 to report a whale sighting. Among the data researchers dissect is fertility, so the mothers and babies are carefully recorded. Many people love to watch the whales and classes are held from South Carolina to Daytona Beach. To volunteer between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, contact Marineland at marinelandrightwhate@gmail.com or call 1-904-461-4058 .

Whales are fascinating to watch. If you live in an area near whales don't miss the opportunity; grab your binoculars and attend a class.

Whale with Water Spouting

Source

Whales near Hutchinson Island off FL coast

Flicker Wild Life Photo
Flicker Wild Life Photo

Whale Watching

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 16 comments

Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Pamela,

I imagine this artic blast is very harsh for these whales.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tom, You sure found me quickly. Yes, I wondered about that because it is supposed to get to 24 tonight, its windy and that is very cold for Jacksonville, FL. I hope it won't hurt the whales since there are so few.


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Wow. I've never seen a whale live but would love to. The only whale I've seen is a stuffed one in a museum unfortunately. Thanks so much for sharing this, Pamela!


ehern33 profile image

ehern33 6 years ago

Thanks for the info. I have never seen a whale up close and personal but it would be nice. It is a shame that their numbers are so few.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

They are magnificient creatures and I loved that picture and your hub. Thank you.


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Dear Pamela,

Whales are magnificent creatures. I had the awesome pleasure of seeing one off a San Diego beach. I will never get over it. Great hub!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Thank you all for your comments. Whales have always fascinated me but I haven't seen them live in the ocean. I did have the opportunity to visit the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and saw beluga white whales among other sea life and that was a great experience. If you get to Atlanta it is well worth the stop.


TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Excellent Hub! I haven't had the opportunity to see whales either but I'm sure it would be an awesome event. Good Work!


theguru-reports profile image

theguru-reports 6 years ago from Montana

The last time I went on a whale watching boat (on the west coast) it was an awesome event--for everyone else. I was trying to keep my stomach in place and not embarrass myself by getting sick in front of everyone.

If you get the chance, I'd recommend it. Just don't eat till later.

Thanks for the hub, Pamela


Roberta99 profile image

Roberta99 6 years ago

Very interesting article. Would love the chance to see

them swimming in the ocean.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Jack, Guru and Roberta, I appreciate the comments. Guru,it must have been beautiful in the blue Pacific. I get sea sick fairly easily also, although I do okay on cruises because I use the patch behind the ear. I would love to see them close up.


K Partin profile image

K Partin 6 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

Thanks for the hub Pam, this is something my wife and I will do now that we retired...they are amazing to watch I bet. K.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I've seen only one whale "in person." That was off Fernandina Beach. Enjoyed the read!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Habee, Whales are so unique and I wish I had seen more of them. Thanks for your comment.


sherrylou57 profile image

sherrylou57 6 years ago from Riverside

Hi pamela, I like the whales. Thank you for this great hub.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Sherrylou, I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for your comment.

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