A very popular question that arises while out on our Jersey shore whale watching cruises is the question of when is the best time of the year to see whales in the Jersey shore area and the best time of the day to see them. The question, although appearing to be basic since the Jersey Shore Monmouth sees whales very often, has a lot of background information needed to answer correctly. Each year whales must migrate to warmer waters to mate, give birth to their live young, and raise their calf. Whales use their senses to follow the weather, water conditions, feeding grounds, and more to find a healthy location to stay for a while. The basic idea of migration is that during the warmer season, whales will migrate to cooler waters, so they will travel towards the poles. During the cooler season, whales travel to the tropics for the warmer water. In the Northern Hemisphere, we see most whales traveling closer to the Equator during the winter season as they are searching for warm waters to mate and breed in. Northern, cooler waters tend to be more nutrient rich than the water in the tropics, so the whales tend to travel North to feed. These waters will most likely be more nutrient rich due to the continuous upwelling, which brings the warmer, nutrient rich water from the bottom of the ocean to the surface, creating a constant flow of nutrients. Cold water can better hold the important nutrients required for the whales, which does make the water look ‘dirty’; however, this ‘dirty’ water is much better for marine mammals and organisms than the crystal clear water in the tropics. Join us this fall to see whales just 1 or 2 miles off shore as they head south!
// by billmckim