THAR THEY BLOW! While whale watching may be hit or miss, three gray whales — two swimming along and diving for food at the bottom of the ocean and one breaching over and over again — were seen on a recent tour of the Santa Barbara Channel between Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands with Island Packers out of the Ventura Harbor. Gray whales will continue their migration to the warm waters of Mexico to spawn through as late as April, though prime-time gray whale watching occurs during the winter months through February. As the tour guide put it, after feasting on the bountiful food in Alaska’s waters, pregnant gray whales follow nature’s cue to migrate south when the ocean begins freeze over, and so begins the annual migration. For more information on whale watching with Island Packers, go to www.islandpackers.com or call 642-1393.