There's nothing like the thrill of seeing a whale in the wild.But while many whale lovers pay for close-up encounters by boat, anincreasing number of eco-minded tourists are opting for experiencesfrom shore. It's a natural response to growing concern thatwhale-watching boat traffic may be harmful to the animalsthemselves.
In several West Coast communities, including Friday Harbor,Washington, and Moss Beach, California, researchers have beenencouraging people to head to coastal bluffs that overlook popularwhale thoroughfares.
Watching from shore has benefits for humans as well as whales.Bluffs are often more easily accessible to the public, and no boattrips means no motion sickness. But perhaps most important is thesatisfaction of not disturbing these gentle creatures during theirdaily activities.