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Worldwide Whale Watch Week?

Humpback photo courtesy of Ruben Ayala, taken on Seven Seas Whale Watching based out of Gloucester, MA, in Sept., 2006.
Great Britain just got through with another Whale Week, with sightings of an impressive eight species of cetaceans–dolphins and whales. Minke and humpback whales visited Scotland. Bottlenose dolphins ventured farther south than ever; common dolphins pushed north. The event, sponsored by BG Group, so far only extends to the British Isles, but it would be great to see it expanded worldwide.

Right about now is the peak season for seeing blue whales–the largest creature on earth, ever–in one of their largest concentrations, off Santa Barbara, right outside Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Cetacean Society is having its annual blue whale trip this Saturday. The southern California whale watching industry is geared more towards the spectacle of gray whales migrating up and down the coast in spring and winter. But Santa Barbara’s Condor Cruises has $98 4.5 hour trips to where the blue whales and calves like to feed. Up the coast in central California, Monterey Bay Whale Watch goes out all year.

The trouble with an international Whale Watch Week would be that the peak season is different on migration routes all over the world. Oregon’s Whale Watching Spoken Here has two big gray whale weeks a year: Christmas week and March 20-27. Still, summer is great time to see whales in lots of places. Cape Cod, the best whale watching spot on the East Coast, has a season from roughly July to September. Hawaii is year-round (though humpbacks are winter) and whale watch week is a fun way to let people know. We’ve certainly all caught on to Shark Week as the time to see sharks on the Discovery Channel (which starts Sunday). Why not whales in the water?

Want to go look for dolphins?

Want to see some whales? Here are some of the best places.

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