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

Incredible Orca Whale Encounter #3

Kayaking with Orcas San Juan IslandKayaking with orca whales in the San Juan Islands is an amazing experience. One summer day in July and years ago, my group encountered a pod of orcas. We saw them coming, so rafted up by moving together side by side. Immediately to our left, a bull orca surfaced with an explosive blow heading directly for us. I was on the left side of the “raft”. Both the bull orca and I realized right away that the submerging six foot dorsal fin of the whale was not going to clear my boat. I could see the whale try to adjust his course, but to no avail. A collision looked imminent.

At the last second, the orca turned onto it’s right side allowing it’s dorsal fin to run under our kayaks horizontally just a few feet beneath us. As it passed below my kayak, I looked over the side of my boat and saw the whales eye staring straight up at me. For a split second, we held each other’s gaze. With a powerful flip of it’s fluke, the ten ton orca literally disappeared from beneath us with an unbelievable display of speed. The water from the fluke’s thrust boiled to the surface to our left and the whale was gone.

We had enjoyed the thrill of sea kayaking with orca whales in their environment: the waters of the San Juan Islands!

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
275 A St, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA
+1-360-378-4436
sanjuankayak@rockisland.com
Open 7 days a week for questions & reservations.

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