Gray whale watching season has started on Whidbey Island and runs through the middle of May. Each year, the gray whales return in March, when a small population of 10-12 grays arrive to feed on ghost shrimp in Saratoga Passage and Possession Sound. Now in its second season offering whale watching out of Langley, Mystic Charters' spring whale watch cruises run now through May 18, 2014.
- March Whale Watch Cruises | Friday-Saturday-Sunday | 11 AM departure
- April & May Whale Watch Cruises | Thursday through Monday | 11AM departure + 3PM on Saturday
- Friday Night Wine Tasting Cruises | April 4-May 16 | 5-7:30 PM | Appetizers + Whidbey wineries
The three-hour whale watching cruises with an onboard naturalist are aboard the 100' M/V Mystic Sea. The 60-passenger whale watching boat cruises in the Saratoga Passage and the inner waterways of Whidbey and Camano islands, along with the area surrounding Hat Island. The wine tasting cruises are for 21 and older. For all cruises, check in and board at the dock in Langley at least 30 minutes before departure (228 Wharf Street). Here are the rates for the 2014 Gray Whale Watching Cruises:
- Adult - $65
- Senior (65+) - $59
- Student (18+) - $49
- Child (3-17) - $45
- Wine Tasting Cruise - $79
Group rate, military and AAA discounts available. Fares subject to 8.7% sales tax and $1 port fee. Reservations may be made online at Mystic Sea Charters or at 360.588.8000 / 800.308.9387.
New Langley Whale Center Opens
The Langley Whale Center opened March 1 in downtown Langley. Located at the corner of Second and Anthes, it features whale displays of natural history, local photos, videos and such specimens as skulls, bones, baleen, whale lice and barnacles. There's also a huge 17-ft. blue whale jawbone and a small gift shop. Springtime hours are Thursday through Sunday, 11-5, with expanded hours during summer. The Langley Whale Center is run by the Orca Network to further raise awareness of the whales of the Pacific Northwest. Nearby is the Langley Whale Bell at Whale Bell Park. When someone spots a whale, they ring the brass bell located above Langley's Seawall Park. A grand opening of the Langley Whale Center is planned for later this spring.