Gray Whale
Laura Gorodezky
Gray Whale Home
Challenge Questions

Today's News
Today's News

Spring's Journey North
Spring's Journey North

Report Your Sightings
Report Your Sightings

Teacher's Manual
Teacher's Manual

Search Journey North
Search Journey North

return to:
JNorth Home Page


Gray Whale

Gray Whale Migration Update: February 11, 1998

Gray Whale Migration Updates Will be Posted on WEDNESDAYS:
Feb. 11, 25, Mar. 11, 25, Apr. 8, 22, May 6, 20

Please Help Track Gray Whale Migration

Report the FIRST northbound Gray Whale you see this spring to Journey North!

If you're on the West Coast, we hope you'll help provide gray whale migration data this spring. To track the whales' trip to their northern feeding grounds we are collecting the following information:

  • Date of first sighting of northbound gray whales.
  • Date of first sighting of northbound gray whale mother/calf pairs.

Obviously, you would need to watch for whales every day to accurately report these "firsts" of the season. Therefore, we encourage you to contact the captain of one of the many whale-watch vessels in your area. These people are lucky enough to be out every day and can provide accurate data for you.

Gray Whale Observation Posts

As the gray whales travel up the West Coast to their feeding grounds in Alaska, news from people at 2 key observation posts will help narrate their long journey.

Santa Barbara, California

Laura Gorodezsky emerging from a submersible

Laura Gorodezsky, of Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary will provide news and migration data as the whales pass through. Laura's first message is included in below, along with some good news about the stranded baby gray whale she reported last year at this time.

Kodiak Island, Alaska

Susan Payne with her family Don Dumm, and Will Ross H. Dumm

Hundreds of miles further up the coast, Susan Payne is waiting for the whales to reach Kodiak Island in the Bay of Alaska. Susan Payne works at the National Marine Fisheries Service in Kodiak and will provide news from her vantage point. To greet the whales' arrival each spring, Susan coordinates a Gray Whale Migration Celebration in her community. Her volunteer network will share their whale sightings with you this spring. Susan's first report is provided below. It includes the first killer whale alert of the season along with other "Signs of Spring" she's already noticed in Alaska.

Today's Challenge Question
The first northbound gray whales have recently been reported in the Santa Barbara area. How long do you suppose it will take these first whales to travel to Alaska? Pull out a map and find Santa Barbara and Kodiak. Then see if you can answer the first Gray Whale Challenge Question of the season:

Challenge Question #1
"When do you predict the first gray whale will be sighted in the Gulf of Alaska, near Kodiak?"


  • Gray whales migrate at approximately 3-5 mph.
  • The first northbound gray whales are usually sighted off the California Coast during the first half of February.

How to Respond to Challenge Question # 1

1. Address an e-mail message to:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question # 1
3. In the body of the message, answer the question above.

Challenge Question #2

The Next Gray Whale Migration Update Will be Posted on February 25, 1998.

Copyright 1998 Journey North. All Rights Reserved.