I have been involved in the maritime industry for over 45 years and recently retired from Oregon State University Research Ship “Wecoma” which included scientific research of whales to sampling the bottom of the ocean to name a few. We were the first zodiac whale watching boat on the Oregon Coast. We have been inspected and approved by the state of Oregon and have all the latest safety equipment.
WHERE IS YOUR TICKET WINDOW?
The Whale’s Tail Charters ticket window is located at 80 S. Hwy 101 in Depoe Bay at the corner of Bay St. and Hwy 101 next to O’Connell Gifts and Gallery.
WHERE ARE THE BOATS LOCATED?
Turn east at the only traffic light at the north end of the bridge and follow the road down around to the backside of the bay, past the Coast Guard Station, into the harbor parking lot. Our boats are located on Dock #2, half way down on the left side. “No” stairs to climb to get down to the boats. View Our Location
IS THERE PARKING AVAILABLE NEARBY?
Yes! Parking is available in the harbor parking lot.
WHEN IS THE WHALE WATCHING SEASON?
Our season is from March through October, the most common whales are gray whales and humpback whales. Humpbacks whales are usually 3-7 miles offshore feeding, last year we did have a number of blue whale and fin whale sightings. The grays whales are the resident whales that come back every year to feed off Depoe Bay.
DO YOU GUARANTEE SIGHTINGS?
The chance of seeing a whale on a trip is 90%.
HOW LONG ARE THE TRIPS?
Our trips run 1 hour $30.00 or 1 ½ hour $40.00.
WHAT ARE YOUR TRIP TIMES?
8:00am | 10:00am | 12:00pm | 2:00pm | 4:00pm
DO I HAVE TO MAKE RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE?
Advance reservations are strongly recommended to maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please make your reservations well in advance. You can make advanced reservations online or call Whale’s Tail Charters at 541.921.1323
1 hr. $30.00 – Book Now
1 1/2 hr. $40.00 – Book Now
We require a 24 hour cancellation notice, special situations and emergencies can and will be taken into consideration. We aim to provide 100% customer satisfaction and will work with every customer to ensure that is delivered. We make our living on the ocean and no-shows are harmful to the business. So we ask you to please be courteous if you are not planning on keeping your reservation, please give us a call.
WHEN DO WE BOARD THE BOAT?
We ask that you arrive at least 30 minutes early to purchase your tickets at the window. If you you have booked your trip in advanced you can report directly to the boat.
HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN BE ON THE BOAT AT ONCE?
Our boats have been inspected and approved by the state of Oregon and can carry 6 passengers.
CAN I DO A PRIVATE CHARTER?
In addition to our whale watching tours, we also do memorials. Possibilities include:
•Burials at Sea/Ash Scatterings
•Weddings, Parties, Special Events
•Sunset Cruise, subject to prevailing weather and sea conditions contact us for more information about chartering the boat for a private trip or event.
HOW CLOSE DO WE GET TO THE WHALES?
We abide by all marine mammal protection laws and stay the required 100 yards away from the whales, after that, it’s up to the whale. Often times they get curious and friendly and approach the boat.
HOW FAR OFF THE COAST WILL WE GO?
How far we go depends on where we find whales; during spring through summer gray whales are about 1/2 – 1 mile offshore. Humpback whales are usually farther offshore 3-7 miles, at times we may have fin whales or blue whales offshore, every trip is different.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT RAINS?
We run our trips rain or shine; we don’t run in heavy storms so the rain we experience is usually on the lighter side.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Dressing warmly and in layers is highly recommended, the air is always cooler on the ocean so come prepared. Closed toed shoes and windbreakers are a good idea, watch the forecast and bring a rain jacket if necessary.
IS THE BOAT SAFE?
We have been inspected and approved by the state of Oregon and carry all the necessary safety items required by the Coast Guard to insure your safety, EPIRB (emergency position indicating radiobeacon), life floats, life jackets, fire extinguishers, etc. Safety is the #1 priority of our passengers.
WHAT TIME OF DAY IS BEST TO SEE WHALES?
Whales can be seen throughout the day, whether it’s the morning or afternoon makes no difference in terms of sightings. However, weather conditions tend to be calmer in the mornings as opposed to the afternoons, our 8:00am, 10:00am and 12:00pm tours are highly recommended.
WILL I GET SEASICK?
We hope not! If you know you are prone to seasickness it is advised to take precautions before boarding. Some people are a little nervous going out on the ocean, especially if it’s your first time, I always tell people not to worry, just have a good time and enjoy the trip. Last year I only had one person get seasick. First off, unlike larger boats, our boats sit flat on the water and has a low center of gravity, which means it does not roll like the larger boats and you won’t get seasick. Sometimes the earlier in the day you go the smoother the ride will be, the wind can pick up in the afternoon and cause the ocean to get choppy.
There are medications you can take; check with your doctor what might work best for you, most medications should be taken a few hours prior to the trip. Once your trip begins it is too late to take anything. Sometimes these medications will make you tired, which means you want to take a nap after the trip instead of seeing some of the other sights or going out for lunch. I tell people to avoid fatty or fried foods, eat crackers or ginger snaps; this reduces stomach acid and can help prevent sea sickness.
Keep hydrated by drinking water, ginger ale, or even sports drinks; avoid drinks that are high in sugars. If you start to feel a little queasy take some nice deep breaths, sometimes this is all it takes. Look at the horizon, looking at something that is not moving helps your equilibrium. Remember we are whale watching, help the ole Captain out by looking for whales and other sea life; this will keep your mind occupied. The excitement of seeing these magnificent creatures will make you feel better.
DO YOU OFFER GIFT CERTIFICATES?
Yes, we offer 1 hour and 1 1/2 hour Gift Certificates online. Gift Certificates Available – Purchase Now
DO YOU OFFER ANY OTHER SERVICES?
Yes! Celestial Navigation, this is the art and science of navigating by the sun, moon, planets, and stars, and is one of the oldest of human arts. For more information Contact Us.