'Tis the season for gray whale-watching excursions
The annual south-bound migration of Pacific gray whales has begun.
Each winter, more than 20,000 of the leviathans pass near the Southern California coast as they travel from the waters of Alaska to Baja California, where the females give birth to calves.
Beginning Saturday and continuing through mid-April, daily whale-watching boats will depart from Redondo Beach and San Pedro landings to see these magnificent mammals.
All boats are staffed with a trained naturalist from Cabrillo Whalewatch, a joint effort of the American Cetacean Society Los Angeles Chapter and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, to help spot whales as well as provide interesting facts and information about the species.
Prices and times vary for each tour operator, so call the landing or visit their website (links above) for information and reservations. Group reservations should be made by calling Cabrillo Whalewatch at (310) 548-8397.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: A Pacific gray whale swims past fog-shrouded Santa Catalina Island on its southward migration to warm water breeding grounds in Baja California. Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times