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Spotting spouts

Posted: Thursday, Dec 27th, 2012

(Photo by Dennis Anstine)

Winter Whale Watch Week volunteers (left to right) Helen Wellmar, Sandy Hagen, Barbara Smith and Quentin Smith spent most of three hours Wednesday looking for signs of migrating gray whales from the Don Davis Memorial Park gazebo. Due to heavy seas, sightings on the first day of the annual event were few and far between. Hagen said only two spouting whales were seen during the three-hour watch, with about a dozen people stopping at the Whale Watching Spoken Here site. Hagen estimated that about 30 whales pass through every hour during the winter migration at a distance of three to five miles. “They are there,” she said, “we just can’t see them because of weather.” However, viewing improved on Thursday at the 24 designated sites on the Oregon coast, and the forecast calls for relatively clear weather for several days. The Davis gazebo and the Yaquina Bay State Park are the two Newport sites, which will have trained observers available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Sunday.

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