The Blue Whales are Here
Blue Whales are in abundance off of San Diego’s shoreline. On occasions, the surreal giants can be seen closer to shore, but often they are in deeper water off the Coronado Islands or the Nine Mile Bank. Blue Whales can be 70 to 100 feet in length, weigh over 100 tons (which means that the tongue of a Blue Whale can alone weigh as much as 2.7 tons!), and have a distinctly blue color. They are also very fast swimmers and can swim at 30 knots if they choose to do so.
According to the Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, whale watching as a formal activity originated in 1950 when San Diego’s own Cabrillo National Monument was declared an ideal observation area for Gray Whales. Over 10,000 visitors were drawn-in to the new site, and the industry of whale watching quickly spread up and down the West Coast. The first commercial whale-watching voyage was later introduced in 1971 when the Montreal Zoology Society began offering trips to the St. Lawrence River where Fin and Beluga Whales were in abundance.
Whale watching has gained quite a following over the past few decades, offering tourists and locals alike a unique, intentional interaction with the World’s largest known animals. Erich Hoyt, one of the leading whale conservationists in the world, conducted a worldwide survey of whales and our interactions with them. In 2008, Hoyt concluded that over 13-million people had gone whale watching, as opposed to 9-million people in the ten years preceding that time. Such numbers are a testament to the wonder of such majestic creatures, their magnetic beauty, and our own human desires to be up close and adventurous with them.
For such reasons, San Diego can count itself particularly blessed to have so many whale pods right off the shoreline. The American Cetacean Society cites Blue Whales as belonging to the animal family Balaenopteridae, which consists of the humpback whale, the fin whale, Bryde’s whale, the sei whale, and the minke whale. The variations of the Blue Whale mean that whale watchers can expect to see beautiful animals but perhaps also see variations in whale grazing behavior, surface activity, animal-human curiosity, and personality.
Whale Watching Awareness
Whale watching has also greatly contributed to wildlife awareness. Tourists and locals participating in whale watching often come to view sea life in a new light, becoming increasingly exposed first-hand to an ecosystem that human activity directly impacts. Correlating with that same wildlife protection awareness are well-implemented regulations for whale watching boaters, marina rules that serve to protect the natural swim patterns and behaviors of Blue Whales while still allowing watchers to observe the massive creatures.
San Diego Boat Tours observes and values whale-watching regulations, and is proud to serve the San Diego area with adventurous, respectful interaction with the wild. So what are you waiting for? Book your whale watching adventure with San Diego Boat Tours today, and see these gorgeous animals for yourself.