San Juan Island's Original Sea Kayak Outfitters & Guides Since 1980

2 Day Orca Quest

This super-popular overnighter covers 19 miles and spends a half-day in prime orca whale country!

Tides are planned just right to aid our journey each day, but the trip is for the fit and adventurous! After a day of paddling, kayak sailing and hiking, we will enjoy a seaside campsite on an island accessible only by boat. After a scrumptious dinner, we will hike to a secret lookout to watch the sun set over the Canadian Gulf and Vancouver Islands. From our mossy aerie, we will be able to view feeding Dall’s and harbor porpoise and harbor seals below, while sunset colors bathe the British Columbia Coast Range in pink and purple!

On day two, we hunt whales! The west side of Henry Island is prime orca habitat, as our local pods move up and down Haro Straight in search of salmon, and we will spend our last afternoon paddling with eyes wide open. This trip launches from Griffin Bay to the southeast, but never looks back, because it finishes in Westcott Bay at our exclusive landing beach on the northwest tip of San Juan Island. It has an exciting, two mile crossing into Spieden Channel with a river of current behind us and intimately explores rugged, steep coastlines and intertidal zones where sea stars, sea cucumbers and urchins go about their daily lives!

Please join us for a two-day sea kayaking journey in search of whales and adventure!

NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!

Trip Facts

Cost: $389 per person.  A 50% deposit is due at booking with the balance charged 45 days prior to departure date.  If you are registering within 45 days of your trip date, full payment is required.  Thank you.
Departure: 10:30 AM
Distance:  19 miles(9-10 per day)
Difficulty: Moderate to hard;  Participants must be in good to excellent shape, experienced in the outdoors and able to paddle for sustained periods of time.
Islands Explored: 15
Minimum Age: 14

2017: May 21-22; June 3-4; June 21-22; July 3-4; July 19-20; July 25-26; August 2-3; August 5-6; August 9-10; August 17-18; September 8-9.

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  • Orca whales
  • Humpback whales
  • Stellar and California sea lions
  • Harbor seals
  • Dall’s and harbor porpoise
  • River otters
  • Mink
  • Bald eagles
  • Osprey
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Many other migratory and local bird species
  • Quality, fiberglass double sea kayaks (Seascape II’s by NW Kayaks)
  • Werner carbon-fiber paddles
  • NRS PFD’s
  • Snap Dragon Design spray skirts
  • ThermaRest seat cushions
  • Delicious and nutritious breakfast and dinner
  • Two-person Kelty tents (singles will have a tent to themselves)
  • Nylon hammocks
  • Thorough kayak instruction on the beach
  • All cooking gear
  • Rain tarps
  • Services of an experienced, fun and friendly guide
  • Sleeping Bag and sleeping pad (ThermaRest or comparable)
  • Lunches for each day
  • Layered clothing
  • Rain coat w/ hood (GoreTex or comparable)
  • Personal camping gear (headlamp, mess kit, etc.)

A detailed information packet and equipment list of the things you need to bring will be sent to you upon receipt of your registration form.

Sleeping bags and ThermaRest sleeping pads are availbable to rent for a nominal fee if you don’t wish to bring your own.

Day 1

– We begin at our Sea Kayak Center kiosk at 275 A Street on the morning of your tour. If you are on the ferry that morning, catch the 8:25 AM (Spring) or 9 AM (Summer) ferry from Anacortes. Upon arrival, please make your way immediately to our location. Please call if you have any questions.

We are located just two blocks directly up the hill from the ferry dock in Friday Harbor. Follow East Street past ferry loading lanes, cross to The Hungry Clam, past Serendipity Used Books, and The Market Chef. We are on the corner of A and Nichols Street in front of The Barking Bird pet store and adjacent to Café Demeter. Look for our Sea Kayak Center signs and umbrellas inside the white, picket fence.

If you are on the island the night before your tour or coming off the ferry the morning of, please meet at our kiosk at 10:15 AM.

– Depart 10:30 AM.  Shuttle to Griffin Bay launch site for detailed instruction, packing and launch

– Paddle north to Turn Island, Shaw Island, Wasp Islands, Yellow Island(hike) and Jones Island(camp)

– Set up camp, enjoy exquisite camp cuisine and sunset hike to west side lookout

Day 2

– Break camp, pack kayaks and cross to Speiden Island, Sentinel Island into Speiden Channel to Barren Island and Posey Island(rest/bathroom break)

– Circumnavigate Henry Island into Open Bay(whale country)

– Lunch and sea glass hunting in Open Bay

-Paddle into Westcott Bay and Garrison Bay(British Camp National Park)

– Finish at our exclusive landing site on Westcott Bay

– Shuttle back to Friday Harbor in time to catch the 4:15 PM(Spring) or 3:45 PM(Summer) ferry back to Anacortes or to your accommodations in town

All meals use fresh ingredients and are wholesome, delicious and nutritious and there is plenty of it!

Our signature world famous Baja Norte Burrito on toasted flour or corn tortillas with guacamole, melted taco cheese, diced onion, diced black olives, diced cucumber, diced green pepper with salsa casera, sour cream, diced jalapenos and chiles with a squeeze of fresh lime (bring Mexican attire) make our evening meal fun and scrumptious!

Breakfast includes gourmet pressed coffee (from San Juan Roasting Company), cocoa, fresh melons, bananas, blueberries and yogurt on  super nutty granola. This get-up-an-go meal allows us to get on the water to catch the tide or encounter a pod of whales.

If you have dietary preferences like vegan, veggie, gluten or dairy-free, we will be happy to work with you!

Our meals are active and fun.  You’ll enjoy every bite!

  • We have been leading sea kayak tours since 1980! Our knowledge of tides, winds and whales is unmatched!
  • We use only quality, state-of-the-art, fiberglass sea kayaks and gear! No wet, slow and uncomfortable plastic boats or heavy, plastic paddles are used on our tours!
  • Just a five minute ride to our beach. Paddle more and drive less!
  • Our carbon footprint is the least in the industry!
  • Fun, friendly, knowledgeable and professional guides!
  • Complimentary storage for luggage, bicycles ands extra stuff!
  • Owners Sally or Tim greet and assist every guest upon arrival at our kiosk!

With notice 45 days or more prior to departure date a 100% refund less a $50.00 cancellation fee. 44 – 30 days prior notice to departure date we will retain 50 % of the fee paid. With notice less than 30 days prior of departure date full payment is retained.

Route Map & Photos

Click to Enlarge

Acknowledgments

All photos in our website have been contributed by past guests. Thanks to all who have shared their experience! And special thanks to guest Philip Robinson for his fun pics.

Contact Info

San Juan Kayak Expeditions
Tim and Sally Thomsen, Owners/Operators since 1980
PO Box 2041
Friday Harbor, WA, USA 98250
(360) 378-4436
sanjuankayak@rockisland.com
Open 7 days a week for questions & reservations.

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