Techniques for Whale Watching in Port Angeles

Have you ever heard someone on the ocean ask to a native, “Do you ever see whales out here?” A lot of people ask this question because seeing a whale is unlike most other experiences. Most natives on the coast will tell you yes, that they have seen whales, but that it takes a lot of patience and persistence.

Port Angeles, Washington is one of the many areas in the states known for catching a glimpse of whales, orcas, and dolphins. Its quiet coastline allows for whale watchers to have more of a chance to see these peaceful, magestic creatures. Here some techniques to follow on a whale watching excursion:

Be Prepared & Pack Wisely

Whale watching tours are usually a 30-minutes to a couple hours long, so it’s best to prepare yourself for this particular adventure. You’ll be out on the water, so bring an extra jacket, water, and be sure to eat breakfast prior to departure. Whale watching boats tend to be small, creating a larger risk of sea sickness for passengers. A balanced breakfast can help prevent queasiness.

A few hints if you begin to feel queasy:

  • If the boat has an indoor compartment, stay outside. While it sounds strange to be outside where you can see the water, deep breaths of fresh air can actually help you feel better.
  • Talk with passengers–keep your mind distracted and occupied.
  • Look at something that is not moving, for example, the horizon.
  • Lastly, focus your mind on the whale watching. If you’re foused on something other than getting sea sick, your mind will be too occupied to feel queasy.

Also, bring binoculars. Some tours might provide viewing devices, but it’s always nice to have your own so that you’re not fighting over binoculars from other passengers. Bring a camera,  too. You don’t want to miss capturing a whale jumping several feet out of the water and then crashing back into the ocean.

The Best Place to See Whales

On a boat, there really is no “best” place to see whales. Some will argue that upper deck is best, but you never know at what angle a whale may present itself. It’s important that you move throughout the boat to get a glimpse of a whale, don’t just stay in one spot. If you are on the shore whale watching, find a high point, such as a cliff where you can view the whales at a distance but without anything obstructing your view.

kittiwake_erniewestle_orcaPatience

The best whale watchers have the best patience. Patience is important while whale watching because whales don’t always present themselves right away. Boating companies are knowledgeable in where whales reside the most, but there are no promises that you’ll see one at all times during a tour.

This is a guest post provided by George Washington Inn, a Port Angeles bed and breakfast near Sequim, Washington.

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