brings Gray Whales and whale watchers
by Nancy Barth
Whale War of 1976, when Mendocino Coast residents boycotted
Japanese imports until the Japanese agreed to stop killing
gray whales, the coast has celebrated the recovery of the
gray whale population and the migration of the 20-40 ton
marine mammals on the first and third weekends in March with
a festival which became official in 1982.
annual Whale Festival in Mendocino on March 6-7, and in Fort
Bragg on March 20-21 will feature whale related activities
for residents and visitors.
California Gray Whales migrate from their winter calving
lagoons in Baja California to the Bering Sea, 6,000 miles to
the north and whale spouts can be seen off Mendocino Coast
headlands and beaches.
Visitors come to
the coast during the winter season to watch for whale spouts
from State Park trails, charter boats and even from
POINT CABRILLO LIGHTHOUSE activities for the whole family
take place from 10 am until 4 pm. Novice whale
watchers can receive help from experienced docents at one of
the best observation locations on the coast. Visitors
can also learn about marine life from the saltwater aquarium
and local history from interpretive walks on the headlands.
from the Marine Mammal Center show how stranded seals and
sea lions are rescued. For the younger visitors, art
activities and the life size whale puzzle are always
restored lighthouse, visitors can see historical displays,
including articles from the wreck of the Frolic, and the
lighthouse gift shop offers many books and unusual items
including original local artwork.
lighthouse is located on Point Cabrillo Drive between Caspar
and Mendocino. Visitors walk half a mile from the
parking lot to the lighthouse. For more information
about Point Cabrillo activities pick up the Point Cabrillo
Whale Festival Guide at local visitor facilities and shops,
call 937.0816, or visit the web site
PARKS offers a whale exhibit and whale videos at the Ford
House in Mendocino and interpretive walks on the Mendocino
Headlands. Whale watchers can visit the elevated whale
and seal viewing station at MacKerricher State Park north of
WATCHING CRUISES from Noyo Harbor provide an close look at
gray whales. Several local charter companies offer
Saturday, March 6
12-4 pm. Mendocino County wines will be available at
participating galleries and shops
where commemorative glasses may be purchased.
11 am - 2 pm at Crown Hall. Sample chowders from
Mendocino's finest restaurants.
German Sausage Sandwiches.
Mendocino Fire House 11 am - 4 pm.
KOZT Live Concert.
7:30 pm at Crown Hall.
Saturday & Sunday, March 6-7
House Whale Celebration.
Whale videos, whale watching and history walks on the
Art Exhibits at Mendocino Galleries and an Art Fair,
Fort Bragg Events
Saturday, March 20
Run & Walk.
8:30 am. 10 and 5K walk/run along the oceanfront on
the Logging Road north of Fort Bragg.
Sponsored by the Soroptimists.
12-4 pm. Sample local award winning micro brews at
Eagles Hall on the corner of Corry and Alder.
Sponsored by the Fort Bragg Rotary Club.
Seafood Chowder Tasting.
Fort Bragg Town Hall at Main and Laurel. Chowder from
Fort Bragg restaurants.
Classic Car Show.
10 am - 4 pm at Laurel and Franklin streets, downtown.
See restored vintage vehicles.
Saturday & Sunday, March 20-21
Fair at the Recreation Center next door to City Hall from 10
information on Whale Festival activities,
call the Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce at 707.961.6300.
*Mendocino Travelers Guide, Spring