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

2-Day Whale Sanctuary Tour

Our Two-Day Whale Sanctuary overnighter is all about paddling with orca whales in the wild!

This adventure offers the best in pristine coastline and easy mileage and spends two days in the orca lanes of Haro Strait’s proposed Federal Whale Sanctuary! With Canada’s Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands as backdrops, we will ply the waters known as home to our three local pods of orca whales. With guides experienced in orca behavior and natural history, your experience will be safe and educational and a ton of fun! We have been paddling with whales for 37 years, so please join us for a close encounter!

This area also abounds with porpoise, harbor seals, bald eagles, otters, fox and stellar sea lions! An added bonus in recent years is the influx of humpback whales to island waters. These 50 ton giants are more and more a regular staple of both our day and multi-day trips.

If we get our fill of whales by day two, we will paddle back into history with a stop at British Camp National Park. Here we will explore the British garrison built in the 1800’s, marvel at the seventh largest maple tree in the United States and hike to the top of Young Hill with spectacular panoramas of Canada’s Vancouver Island, the Olympic Mountain Range and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Our campsite is a small, cozy island reserved just for San Juan Kayak Expeditions and accessible only by sea kayak! We will enjoy a spectacular sunset paddle, watch the last light of day obscure Vancouver Island, British Columbia and its’ capital Victoria then swap stories around the campfire! We will wake to the sound of Black Oystercatchers and Great Blue Herons just outside our tent doors and arise to find breakfast on the table and a steaming mocha ready to jump-start your day! Book a reservation today.


Friday Harbor 2-Day Whale Sanctuary Trip Details

Cost: $395.00 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: Easy to Moderate;  Participants must be active and adventurous.
Departure: 10:30 AM
Distances: 10 miles (5 miles each day)
Islands Explored: 6
Minimum Age: 14 (children must be mature for their age, active and experienced in the out-of-doors and able to interact well with adults)

2018 – June 16-17; July 3-4; July 21-22; August 4-5; August 18-19; September 12-13.

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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
  • Many other migratory and local bird species
  • Quality, fiberglass double sea kayaks (Seascape II’s by NW Kayaks) and gear
  • Werner carbon-fiber paddles
  • NRS PFD’s
  • Snapdragon Design spray skirts
  • Delicious and nutritious breakfast and dinner
  • Two-person Kelty tents (singles will have a tent to themselves)
  • ThermaRest seat cushions
  • Nylon Eno 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 available to rent for a nominal fee if you don’t wish to bring your own.

– 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 on “A” Street, past Serendipity Used Books, and The Market Chef. We are on the corner of A and Nichols Street adjacent to Café Demeter. Look for our Sea Kayak Center signs and colorful 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 San Juan County Park launch site for detailed instruction and packing

– Explore west side’s Whale Sanctuary northward to outer coast of Henry Island and Open Bay

– To Posey Island State Park, set up camp and enjoy some hammock time and scrumptious dinner

– Break camp and paddle south around Henry Islands’s west side into whale country

– Finish trip in Westcott Bay at our exclusive take out site

– Shuttle back to Friday Harbor in time to catch 3:45 PM ferry or drop off at your accommodation in town

All meals are made with 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 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!
  • 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


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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