Oxnard's Whale-Watching Season Set to Open

Did you just spy a big tail beyond that wave?

GRAY DAYS: When the holiday hustle-and-bustling starts around Southern California, many people engage in the classical seasonal to-dos. But many Californians grab a blanket and a thermos and head for their favorite bluff or stretch of sand. That's because holiday time is the general start of whale-watching excursions along our particular stretch of coast. Oxnard's season officially kicks off the day after Christmas and stretches into April. And, nope, it isn't always about grabbing some shoreline but rather boarding a boat and heading out to the open ocean. Well, not "open ocean" exactly but the beautiful and picturesque Channel Islands.

ISLAND PACKERS: The official concessionaire to the Channel Islands, Island Packers offers a number of trips leaving from Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. The popular trips run about three-and-a-half hours, and while you will see the islands we should mention these are non-landing tours. So, once on the boat you'll stay on the boat the whole trip. An adult ticket is $35. Channel Islands Sportsfishing Center is another choice for your day on the Pacific.

THOUSANDS OF BEAUTIES: Now if you've been whale watching before, you know there's some luck and timing to it. But the numbers are with us in the heart of the whales' big journey; some 20,000 to 25,000 Pacific Gray Whales are seen during a season around Santa Barbara Channel on their migratory way to Baja.

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