Road Trip to Whidbey Island’s Welcome the Whales Day Festival

Join the annual celebration to welcome the whales back to the Bering Sea.

By Erin Bosetti

0413roadtrip

April 19, 2013

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 issue of Seattle Magazine.

WHERE: Langley, Whidbey Island.

WHY: The annual Welcome the Whales Day festival (4/21. Free. Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 301 Anthes Ave.; 360.678.3451; orcanetwork.org), which celebrates the return of eastern North Pacific gray whales to Saratoga Passage during their 10,000-mile migration from Mexico to the Bering Sea.

BRING YOUR OCTOPUS CAP: Join the critter parade (starts at 1 p.m.), starring an eclectic mix of handmade sea-animal costumes, and ending with a Salish blessing of the sea. Afterward, NOAA scientist Sue Moore discusses how climate change is affecting grey whales.

PRICK UP YOUR EARS: Listen for the “whale bell,” alerting festivalgoers to sightings of these gentle giants enjoying a shrimp smorgasbord in shallow coastal waters.

GO FOR THE GOLD: Stop by the acclaimed Ott & Murphy Wines tasting room (204 First St.; 360.221.7131; swedehillcellars.com) to sample the 2011 Chanson Rosé and 2009 Tempranillo, both awarded gold at the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards.

GETTING THERE: Take the ferry from Mukilteo to Clinton; drive northwest on State Route 525 and make a right on Langley Loop.

 

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