San Juan Island, WA- Friday Harbor
Select dates. July - August.
Click here for schedule.
- Your guides have over 25 years experience and were a 2009 recipient of National Geographic Adventure Travel Magazine's "200 Best Adventure Travel" award
- Enjoy 2 days sea kayaking the pristine waters of the Haro Strait
- Take in the breathtaking scenery as you view Orca Whales, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles, and more
- These waters are host to over 85 resident Orca Whales, and provide the best chance to observe these wonderful creatures in their natural habitat
Join your guide for a fun, informative two day sea kayak and whale watching tour on the west side of San Juan Island.
You'll use San Juan County Park as your base camp for kayaking and exploring on this two day adventure.
The pristine waters of the San Juan Islands and Gulf Islands are host to over 85 resident Orca Whales and other wildlife. Sea Kayaking on the Haro Strait, the body of water that separates San Juan Island from Vancouver Island, puts you right in the heart of the best whale habitat on the west coast for seeing resident Orca whales.
Resident Orca populations are organized into stable, highly social matrilineal family groups called "pods." Known collectively as the "Southern Residents", they return regularly to the west side of San Juan Island during the Summer months to take advantage of strong currents and optimal fishing for Chinook salmon.
In addition to seeing whales, you will also have the opportunity to view brightly colored orange and purple sea stars, majestic bald eagles, harbor seals, and dall porpoise. You'll also paddle past the historic Lime Kiln quarry and Coast Guard lighthouse. Of course, you will also be able to enjoy the expansive views of the Olympic Mountains and Vancouver Island.
After an exhilarating day of kayaking, you'll relax over a gourmet dinner of salmon pesto fettuccine and organic salad greens washed down with bottled wines. For dessert, enjoy a freshly baked Dutch oven apple/pear crisp and the sun setting over Vancouver Island! Still haven't had enough, ask your guide to take you out for a magical eveningbio-luminescence paddle!
Note: These Orca whales are wild animals that can swim up to 100 miles a day and so whale sightings are not guaranteed at all times....just very likely.
Participants must be at least 7 years of age. All kayak gear, meals, tents, dry bags are included. Transportation between Friday Harbor and the launch location is provided.
Lodging: Camping on San Juan Island is included in this package. Details will be provided at the time of booking.
2 days and 1 night
You will be accompanied by other tour participants, with a maximum of 12 per tour. For groups larger than 4 please contact Cloud 9 Living directly for pricing.
This experience is only for those on the tour.
We go rain or shine so dress appropriately.
What to Wear:
Outfitter will provide gear and packing list at time of booking.
For this experience, it is recommended to request bookings 30 days in advance.
Prior to scheduling/booking a date for this experience, Cloud 9's standard return and exchange policy shall apply. Once you have scheduled a date and received a booking confirmation no refunds will be given; however, cancellations made at least 45 days prior to the Experience will incur a cancellation fee of $30, with the remaining balance to be applied to another future booking of a Cloud 9 Living Experience of the participant's choice. Cancellations made 21-45 days prior to the Experience will incur a cancellation fee of $184.50, with the remaining balance to be applied to another future booking of a Cloud 9 Living Experience of the participant's choice. Failure to appear on your booked date or to cancel and rebook at least 21 days prior to your booked date will result in the loss of the value of your Experience.
I have little experience kayaking, is that a problem?
No experience necessary! Your safety is our number one priority. Very stable double kayaks are used that tend to be wider and much more stable than single kayaks. The guides are mature, seasoned guides who will give you a very thorough on-land orientation before you start your trip. You will learn the basics of kayak paddling including how to steer and fit the boat. The tour won’t get on the water until everybody feels comfortable with ocean kayaking techniques. Throughout your kayak trip, your guide is always there to give you pointers and assist you with your paddling skills.
You also don’t have surf zones to contend with in the San Juan Islands. Vancouver Island directly to the west of San Juan Island serves as a ‘buffer’ for the Pacific Ocean waves and surf – which is one reason why the San Juan Islands are one of the premier kayak destinations in North America.
Another important consideration is that the tours don’t venture very far from the coastline. It really isn’t necessary, as the wildlife tends to concentrate along the rich habitat found where the tour is operated.
How far do we kayak every day?
It varies, but figure an average of 7-10 miles per day with 12 miles the maximum the tour will paddle in one day. These tours are geared for novices and intermediate paddlers, so you're not out there to make "mega-miles."
I'm single...How does that work if I go on the tour by myself?
The kayak groups typically include a mixture of both single guests and couples. You'll be paired up with another single guest or if there is an odd number of people on the trip you may paddle with one of the kayak guides.
I'm a vegetarian, is that a problem?
Not at all! If you have dietary restrictions, please let us know at the time of booking and we can accommodate your needs. In addition, you are always welcome to bring your own food to supplement the food that is provided.
What are the camping facilities like?
The campsites are usually beautiful waterfront sites. They are administered by the Washington State Parks Department. All the sites have picnic tables, fire pits, potable water and outhouses.
Are showers available at the campsite?
Unfortunately, there are no showers available at the campsites used. On the positive side, if you?ve never kayaked before you?ll be pleasantly surprised that you do not get as dirty and sweaty as you would backpacking. There are public showers located in Friday Harbor at the end of the trip.
Are guide gratuities expected?
The sea kayak guides strive to make each kayak expedition unique, fun, and safe for every client. The guides are efficient, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. If you feel your guide did an exceptional job and made your time on the water more enjoyable feel free to express your thanks with a tip. Tipping is not expected, but it is greatly appreciated by your guides. General rule of thumb for the service industry is 10-15 percent.
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