Thursday, February 17, 2011


Whales are not frequently seen from Ocracoke's beach. In all of the years I've lived on the island and walked along the beach I've only twice seen a whale off shore. Although I have not seen a whale for several years I was chatting with Jamie Jackson over at Jimmy's Garage several days ago and he told me that more than one person had seen a whale recently. Speculation was that the whales were either right whales or humpback whales.

Mostly, whale sightings are in the winter, from Thanksgiving until late February. I'll keep looking. If any of our readers has spotted a whale this year, please leave a comment and tell us about it.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Sam Jones, Island Legend. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous7:11 AM

    Tell me, Philip, when the whales are spotted, do these majestic creatures ever pose a threat to local boats?

    It sounds all so fascinating to this NC mainlander. I guess one could say my "whale" is the large, handsome Angus bull who grazes and watches "his" cows across the road, in the pasture!

    Thanks for sharing, as always!

  2. I've never heard of any encounters between whales and Ocracoke boaters.

  3. A couple of years ago, when a whale spent about two hours just off the lifegaurd beach, many said that it was a right whale. After getting home, I googled "whales of the Atlantic" to learn more.

    That one lacked a dorsal fin (the top one?) and was only about 20 feet long. Since the flukes never broke water and there was no parent whale in evidence, I believe that it was a Minkie's whale, possibly adult.

    Wish that I could have seen this sighting.


  4. Anonymous8:37 PM

    March 30, 2013.

    My wife and I spotted a whale just up from Lifeguard Beach. Well, actually it was mile 76.5. I'll post some pictures after I get back to the house on Monday and get better internet connection. The pics weren't the best, but you can definitely make out the whale blowing, and see a couple of dolphins close to it as well as a boat, in order to judge size.

    1. Interesting. I was walking on the beach early this afternoon with a friend and we stopped a couple of times, thinking we'd seen something larger than a pod of dolphins, but it was too far offshore to be sure. Sighting a whale is always exciting. If you would like us to post your photo(s) here on this blog, just email them to us at