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

3-Day Coastal Explorer

On our classic Three-Day Coastal Explorer, we’ll start from San Juan Islands’ southeast side and steer north and then west exploring remote coves and beaches along the way! 

We’ll keep a constant watch for orca, humpback and minke whales, as we spend a day and a half in prime whale country. Rugged coastline, an abundance of wildlife and a last-night island jewel campground reserved exclusively for San Juan Kayak Expeditions highlight this trip.

Though the route appears similar to our two-day Orca Quest, it is much different.  This unique route traverses varied wildlife habitat, enjoys the spectacular cliffs of Speiden Island’s north side, puts us in prime orca whale habitat longer and stays off the beaten path.  It also puts us in two spectacular island campsites and allows us time to hone our kayak skills, explore our surroundings and get to know our fellow paddlers.

Our specialty, honed by experience, is using the tide and eddies to our advantage and predicting the travel patterns of orca whales. If the wind is right, we’ll hoist our spinnakers to experience the excitement of sea kayak sailing! Each evening after dinner, you may enjoy a sunset hike or paddle, and, when conditions are right, a bioluminescent paddle! This active adventure also allows downtime in our comfy, nylon hammocks,  leisure to explore intertidal pools and reminisce about our days on the water around a warm campfire!

Breaking camp each morning with the anticipation of the adventure, scenery, and wildlife ahead make this trip a true expedition! You won’t want to miss it!

Get into the rhythm of a sea kayaking adventure with the original sea kayaking company in the San Juan Islands! Book with us now.


3-Day Coastal Kayak Explorer Tour Details

Cost: $579.00 per person.  A 50% deposit is due at time of 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.
Difficulty: Moderate
Departure: 10:30 AM
Distances: 25 miles (10 mi, 9 miles, 6 miles on consecutive days).  Participants must be in good to excellent physical condition, experienced in the outdoors and able to paddle for sustained periods of time.
Islands Explored: 17
Minimum Age: 14 (kids must be able to interact well with adults, be physically fit and experienced in the outdoors)

2019 – May 25-27;  June 8-10;  June 21-23;  July 5-7;  August 9-11;  August 17-19;  August 24-26;  August 31- September 2;  September 7-9;  September 21-23.

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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
  • Peregrine falcon
  • Osprey
  • Many other migratory and local bird species
  • Pick-up at kiosk and return
  • Services of a knowledgeable, fun and friendly guide
  • Seascape II fiberglass, tandem kayaks by NW Kayaks
  • Werner carbon-fiber paddles
  • NRS PFD’s
  • Snap Dragon Design spray skirts
  • ThermaRest seat cushions
  • Delicious and nutritious breakfasts and dinners
  • Two-person Kelty tents (singles will have a tent to themselves)
  • Nylon hammocks
  • Thorough kayak instruction on the beach
  • All cooking gear
  • Rain tarps
  • 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 available for rent, if you don’t want 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 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.

– Shuttle to Griffin Bay launch site for detailed instruction and packing before launch

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

– Set up camp, relax then enjoy delicious dinner

– Hike to sunset viewpoint to watch sun set over the Canadian Gulf Islands

Day 2

– Savor a Jones Island mocha with a scrumptious breakfast, break camp

– Cross to Speiden Island’s north side then cruise along pristine coastline to western edge

– To Sentinel Island then cross Speiden Channel to Barren Island and Posey Island(camp) – Set up camp, enjoy hammock time and lunch

– Paddle to Henry Island’s west side and Whale Sanctuary area for afternoon

– Return to Posey Island for savory dinner

– Launch for sunset paddle into Haro Strait and sunset

– Back to Posey for campfire

Day 3

– Break camp and launch kayaks

– Circumnavigate Henry Island spending day in 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

– Transport 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 accommodation in town

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

  • Fresh garden salad with Newman’s Own dressings, real bacon bits, roasted sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese, pasta and pesto fettucine, cracked wheat bread and butter and dessert.
  • Our signature world famous Baja Norte Burrito on toasted flour or corn tortillas (bring Mexican attire) with melted taco cheese, diced onion, cucumber, green pepper, jalapenos, chiles, black olives, with sour cream and guacamole with a squeeze of fresh lime and dessert.

Breakfasts include gourmet pressed coffee (from San Juan Roasting Company), cocoa, fresh melons, bananas, blueberries, grapefruit, oranges along with yogurt, raisins, granola, bagels and oatmeal with honey and cinnamon.  These get-up-and-go breakfasts allow us to get on the water in time 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 these waters, coastlines and wildlife 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  launch beach. Paddle more and drive less!
  • Our carbon footprint is the least in the industry!
  • Affordable price!
  • Fun, friendly, knowledgeable and professional guides!
  • Complimentary storage for luggage, bicycles and extra stuff!
  • Owners Sally or Tim greet and assist every guest upon your arrival!

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

Kayak Tour Map
Summer Kayak San Juan Island
Poey Island Camping
Hiking/Kayaking San Juans
Sunset Kayaking San Juan Island


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
275 A St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA
Open 7 days a week for questions & reservations.

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