Early on the morning of May 4th, our neighbor Cam Shaw was out surfing at north Long Beach, about 15 miles south of Tofino, when he encountered our first confirmed Gray Whale cow/calf pair of the 2013 migration season.
This is a particularly late first cow/calf sighting date for our area, however westerly winds have kept us off the open coast on many days this spring. We know, for example, that cow/calf pairs were reported as early as April 24th by Observation Post #16 at Kodiak, Alaska, well to the north of us. Remote Passages Marine Excursions's senior guide Jay Feaver sighted a possible cow/calf pair in a group of 5 animals on April 21st, but conditions were too difficult to allow him to confirm that sighting.
Thank you Cam for sharing your Gray Whale encounter with us! (Photo by Kim Shaw - Long Beach, May 4th a.m., showing cow/calf sighting location apporox. on horizon over Cam's right shoulder).