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Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

Woodbine, Maryland
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Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

Good Morning

Considering a trip out to the San Juan Islands sometime in the future and beginning initial prep phases

Very intrigued by the kayak whale tours and was wondering if there is a time of year where there are more whales (ala Maui) and weather that allows for these tours?

Thanks for any input you can provide out there!

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Maui
Maui
Hawaii
8 replies to this topic
Seattle, Wa
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1. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

It always used to be summer, but as the King Salmon runs have dwindled they have not been seen as reliably as they used to be along the west side of San Juan Island, where the kayak tours go. If you really want to see whales got about to work. But kayak if you want to kayak-- it's still a great activity.

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San Juan Island
San Juan Island
San Juan Islands, WA
Woodbine, Maryland
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2. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

Thank you! Not sure if your reply cut off. If we really want to see whales we what...?

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

Thre is no guarantee any time that you will see whales. A friend of mine this past week saw whales feeding off of thevSan Juan’s. I would say anytime this Summer and into September. There really is not optimum time since they follow their food source, which can be further out to sea. I have been lucky enough to see whales kayaking on my own, but only because they had been feeding in my area for over a week. If you want to increase your chances of seeing whales for obvious reasons don’t try and do it from a kayak. The odds of seeing them are very low and keeping up with them or getting anywhere near them is slim. If you really want to see them go on a whale watching cruise.

Woodbine, Maryland
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4. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

Ah...good to know...any cruises you would recommend specifically? Looking to give $$ to ones that support environment are as eco friendly as possible (if applicable) in the region.

Thanks for your input

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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5. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

To be honest with you I have not gone on a whale watching cruise since 1979. I am not a fan. There was on boat the following the pod those many years ago. It was sponsored by Green Peace to raise money when they had a major presence in Seattle. The last time that I watched three pods fromshore while camping on San Juan Island I watched with a friend from the Whale Museum break all of the rules and he reported them. This is a rare occurrence, and it usually happens with private boats. I am sure that the rules will eventually change as many experts like Ken Balcomb are seeing the impact. End of lecture. I hate to discourage people from doing something perfectly legal. I have heard Maya Legacy get the best reviews on Trip Advisor.

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Seattle
Seattle
Washington
San Juan Island
San Juan Island
San Juan Islands, WA
The Whale Museum
The Whale Museum
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San Juan Island, WA
San Juan Island...
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6. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

Orca can often times be seen in their season (May through September usually although they can be seen at times at any time of year in these waters) from vantage points on the island at public land in a number of places here on San Juan island. Most of these locations where they can most frequently be seen are on the west side of our San Juan island. The best known spot here is Lime Kiln Point State Park (also known as Whale Watch Park)which has an attractive lighthouse and numerous picnic tables in very scenic locations. This is an attractive large area where orca whales can sometimes be seen along the coastline. There are also bald eagles, seals, porpoises, and the occasional minke or grey whale which can at times be seen as well from this park which additionally has hiking trails both within the forest and at the clifftops. In season you can listen to sounds captured by a hydrophone (an underwater microphone) recently installed by our local Whale museum. Information on Limekiln Park is at www.parks.wa.gov/parks/…

A motorized whale watch boat that can cover many dozens of miles in a short time span and has radio communication with all the other whale watch boats gives the best chance of one seeing orcas on a vacation visit. For information on the most recently reported sightings in the San Juan islands check out the frequent updates for the region at https://www.facebook.com/OrcaNetwork or see this web site: www.orcanetwork.org/Main/index.php… For information on the whale watch boats that operate from San Juan island see:

https:/…island-selector-title. For reviews of most of the current companies that are doing this see tripadvisor at https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attractions-g6095… All the boats are in communication with each other on a special live communication network so all boats have the same daily information on where the orcas or any whale in the area are located.

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The Orca Inn
The Orca Inn
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San Juan Island, WA
San Juan Island
San Juan Island
San Juan Islands, WA
Lime Kiln Point State Park
Lime Kiln Point State...
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San Juan Island, WA
The Whale Museum
The Whale Museum
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San Juan Island, WA
Port Townsend...
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7. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

I can recommend Puget Sound Express as a reputable family run tour company that respects the environment. They offer tours out of Port Townsend and out of Edmonds, north of Seattle. If you look at their website and see what times of the year they offer tours for different types of whales, it might answer your question about timing a bit.

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Port Townsend
Port Townsend
Washington
Seattle
Seattle
Washington
Tacoma, Washington
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for Road Trips
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8. Re: Optimal Whale Watching Time of Year

There are different families ir pics. Some are there year round while others migrate.

The area they travel around in cover the island and stretch us to and past Vancouver

On any given day they could decide to take a day trip and not be around to bern seen.

From land on San Juan island they can be found from the shore on the west side of the island.

There are various tours that come out of Friday harbor and roche harbor

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Vancouver
Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
San Juan Island
San Juan Island
San Juan Islands, WA
Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor
San Juan Island, WA
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