There are plenty of whale watching opportunities in the Pacific Northwest, but we’ve never taken one as a family out here. A few weeks back, Ken went and not only recommended Island Adventures, but the coupon he gave us pushed me over the edge to book the trip. Unfortunately a couple days before we were scheduled to go, their big boat had mechanical issues but we were able to use a smaller boat instead. I think it actually ended up being a nicer experience in some ways.
We were out on the water for about five hours but the time went pretty quickly. The company posts a summary of every trip so I’ll copy their summary of our outing here because it’s better than I could do:
We headed out into the Salish Sea once again with beautiful weather settling in over the area. Starting the day off, we headed down Rosario Strait and began to see many harbor porpoise popping up all over the place as we made our way down to Colville Island. When we got to the island, we found a few nice bobs of harbor seals before making our way back to the east with reports of animals inside Whidbey Island. After a fun cruise through Deception pass, we headed south and our sharp eyed first mate Brittany found the T37A’s just east of Polnell Point. We had an amazing time with these orcas and got a spectacular show from them as they continued eastbound and up Saratoga Passage. After a great time, we waved goodbye to the orcas and headed for the Swinomish Slough where we took a nice slow cruise through La Conner. We spotted all sorts of harbor seals and great blue herons as we traveled along the channel to the north end. Soon we rounded the March Point refineries and made our way into Cap Sante Anacortes.http://blog.island-adventures.com/2021/09/september-11-2021.html
It was fun to go under the Deception Pass bridge and then back up the slough past La Conner. They implied that both were uncommon so maybe it’s because we were in a smaller boat?
We didn’t know if Elijah would get seasick or bored but neither were a problem. Even with the cold and wind, he was in good spirits all day and seemed to enjoy seeing the whales. It was fun being the first boat to spot the whales too because we got some time to ourselves before the rest of the boats showed up to check it out. (All the tours are in communication about where the whales are.)
The only downside was the small interior. With it being so windy and cold, it would have been nice to spend more time in the warmth but it was so packed on the smaller boat that we tried to stay outside as much as possible figuring that 30-40 mph winds are better COVID protection.
That blog post linked above has the photos from the tour guides but here a couple that we took: