I See a Whale!

Where the best kayaking spots are to find whales.

Orca Whale (killer whale) tail on Johnstone Strait, Vancouver Island. Photo credit: Gary Luhm


Rob Casey

It’s starting to be that time of year again when whales migrate from one extreme pole to the other. That means whale sightings and what better place than from the seat of a kayak? Canoe & Kayak has compiled a list of the best places to find whales while cruising along the ocean waves.

1. Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Island, WA – This is the epicenter for watching orca whales in the Pacific Northwest. Several kayak tour companies based on the island regularly visit this spot. Orca whales can be seen year around in the tide rips below the lighthouse. Kayakers can also launch from San Juan County Park which requires a fee and safety video prior to launching. http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=lime%20kiln%20point

2. Bahia Magdalena, Baja, Mexico – From January to mid-March you can view California Grey whales from your kayak in Bahia Magdalean, the most southern of three grey whale calving lagoons on the Pacific Coast. Close to both the La Paz and Loreto airports Bahia Magdalena is easly accessed. Check out kayak adventures with http://www.kayakbaja.com

3. Peninsula Valdes, Patagonia, Argentina – Located on the Patagonia steppe in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Peninsula Valdes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the calving ground for the southern right whale. Best season is September and October. See http://seakayakadventures.com for more info.

4. Walker Bay, South Africa – Hermanus is the most southern point of Africa located on Walker Bay. Also called the Riveria of the South, it’s one of the premier right whale watching locations in the world. June through December is the best time to go and take one of the many tours available to view the whales. Tours range from a few hours to a few days. More info: http://www.walkerbayadventures.co.za/whale_watching.php

5. Bay of Fundy, Novia Scotia – The Bay of Fundy keeps whale watchers busy all year with several different species which spend time there. In late spring, finback and minke whales arrive from their southern breeding grounds. Humpback whales arrive in June and white side dolphins arrive in late June. The endangered atlantic right whales show in mid summer. The bay can have rough conditions and is home to one the world’s largest whirlpool called “Old Sow.” More info: http://www.fundyfun.com

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