People Flock to the Coast for Whale Week

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CAPE PERPETUA, Ore. — Saturday marked the official start of Spring Whale Watching Week at the Oregon Coast. Spectators could see dozens of grey whales passing by the Oregon Coast at Cape Perpetua.

Volunteers are staffing lookout points along the coast to offer a helping hand to amateur whale watchers. “We’re out here to stimulate interest in the whales and to get people thinking about what maybe they can do to help whales,” said Wayne Starr, a whale watching volunteer.

Volunteers said once you see the first puff of water from the whale’s spout come up, you won’t take your eyes off of the water. “Once you see the whale, you’ll be hooked and it’s a pretty awesome experience to be able to see them, very exciting,” said Sharon Hatter, a whale watching volunteer from Florence.

A relatively calm ocean and clear skies helped the volunteers spot the animals. “We’ve seen fourteen grey whales,” said Hatter.

Volunteers said some occasional waves were the only thing making the whales a bit hard to see. “For some reason we’re seeing them right here in front of us, there’s a trough between waves that you will lose sight of them, but with the lack of a rough sea today, we’re just having a great morning,” said Starr.

Although the whales migrate north from Mexico each spring, the Oregon and Washington coast is a permanent home to some grey whales. “If you’re lucky, you get to see them here during the summer too if you came down you could see our local whales, said Starr.

Volunteers will be staffing lookout points for the next week. They recommend people bring a pair of binoculars because the whales are a few miles from the coast.

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