I am lucky enough to live on the wonderful Whidbey Island in Washington. Every year in late March and April some of the gray whales pop over into Puget Sound as a stop on their migration. When they come by the neighborhood, everyone runs down to the beach to see them. Today, the whales came down the Saratoga Straight and passed right off Sandy Point. The water is pretty deep off the point and if the tide is just right the whales can come really close to the beach. It is an amazing sight to see. They are such majestic animals.
The gray whale is a about 45-50 feet long and has a deep gray color with white spots that are a result of scars from a parasite. When they come into our area, they are making their way to the from winter breeding grounds in Mexico up to their summer grounds in Alaska. In the straight they feed on something called ghost shrimp. At times you can see them rolling around in the shallower waters kicking up the shrimp for a snack.
Today was a typical spring day with high clouds and the look of rain looming off in the distance. None of that kept me from running with the whales a mile or so down the beach until I ran out of beach. They average about 5-6 mph so it is a bit of work to keep ahead of them and still stop to take some photographs. Hopefully, they will be around for the next few weeks and I can get some more engaging images, but I am happy with the first day of the whales being back.