SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The first gray whale of the season was seen at the Sea Center in Santa Barbara on Tuesday.
Around 1 p.m., the whale was found feeding just 5 feet off Stearns Wharf, just between the Sea Center and Longboard's Grill.
It is believed to be a juvenile whale around 25 feet in length. The school and teacher services coordinator at the Sea Center was the first to see the whale. She watched as the gray whale was eating food from the bottom of the ocean for around 20 minutes before it left.
According to the Sea Center, this gray whale got an early start on its migration down south for the winter, but other gray whales should begin the journey soon as well. Gray whales found on the western side of the United States are said to have the longest migratory route, traveling from Alaska to Baja for the winter.
After the juvenile finished feeding, it left the wharf heading east into the open ocean to continue toward Baja.