How does this work?
You’ve decided to go whale watching! How does this work? Well, check your schedule! Make sure to give yourself 30-60 minutes after your ship docks, and DO NOT WORRY about what the whales will be doing! Cetaceans have awesome brains that allow them to sleep with half of their brain, while the other half is still feeding and surfacing. Because of that, there’s no “best time of day” to see whales. Now, let’s check the weather – this is a temperate rainforest, and we get about 200 inches of precipitation every year. We TOTALLY still go if it’s raining! If it’s windy, though, that’s another story – but even then, it might not be windy out on the water! So let us worry about the weather, which we’re obsessed with anyway, and you just make sure you have warm, water-resistant clothes and a good charge on your camera.
Any whale watching tour will have a naturalist who will tell you exactly what to watch for – that will be the blow, or spout. On an overcast day with a little drizzle you’ll be able to see that blow from miles away; sunny days are harder for spotting whales due to the glare on the water. As you watch the whale you can watch for spyhopping, which is basically the whale treading water and looking at what’s above the surface; tail-lobbing and pectoral slapping, and for those lucky few: breaching, peduncle throw, and the ever-elusive bubblenet feeding.