washington whale watching

Old Mar 30th, 2005, 06:48 PM
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washington whale watching

we are traveling to seattle,washington at the beginning of may and would like to go orca whale watching around May 4-5. i've researched the san juan islands-friday harbor for possible options. I would like input on vendors for whale watching by boat and kayaking. Is going this early in May too early to see these beautiful creatures??
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Old Mar 31st, 2005, 09:38 AM
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We have gone whale-watching in May and seen Orca pods near the San Juan Islands. We went out of Everett, with the Mosquito Fleet (www.whalewatching.com), and had a great time. If you want to go kayaking, check out Outdoor Odessys (www.outdoorodysseys.com) - we went on a great tour with them, and saw some Orcas (although they were quite far away - there are some rules about how close you can get). Other kayak companies:
Leisure Kayak Adventures (www.leisurekayak.com)
San Juan Kayak Expeditions (www.sanjuankayak.com)
Anacortes Kayak Tours (www.anacorteskayaktours.com)
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Old Mar 31st, 2005, 09:47 AM
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Has anyone here done the newer all day whale watching with a stop at Friday Harbor? It goes from 8 AM to 6:30 PM from Everett. And while we're at it, how long would we allow to get to Everett from downtown Seattle? How early do we need to get going?
This seems like a great way to spend a full day with our friends who aren't into driving a lot, and we only have two full days (plus a part or a third) in Seattle. Since we won't have the time to go out to the San Juans otherwise and they're really into "nature", this sounds like a good deal.
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Old Mar 31st, 2005, 10:37 AM
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Patrick, it is about 30 miles from downtown Seattle to Everett. Of course the time all depends on traffic, but you would be going against the normal commute each way, so unless there is an accident or something figure on anywhere from 30-40 minutes. We lived near Everett so made the trip often.
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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 11:35 AM
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I haven't taken the trip that stops in Friday Harbor, but it makes sense to do that - a delightful small town that is easy to walk around, and a nice break for an all-day cruise. I have taken many trips with Mosquito Fleet, including several charters (I used to teach oceanography at Everett Community College), and find them to be a great outfit.

As mentioned above, you should allow 40-ish minutes to get to Everett in the morning, as you are going against rush-hour traffic. That same trip in the late afternoon will take over an hour.

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Old Apr 1st, 2005, 07:32 PM
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May is a pretty good month for whale watching. The Whale Museum has this handy chart that tells you the frequency of sightings per month-they also have a "hotline" page that tells you where, when and what species people are sighting around the whole region:
http://www.whale-museum.org/educatio.../arrivals.html
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Old Apr 5th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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I have done a whale watching charter with Jim Maya on San Juan Island.
http://www.mayaswhalewatch.biz/
He is awesome and if the whales are around he will find them.
The boat is small and fast, which is a plus on a whale watch outing. I took a group of gals and we were lucky enough to see the resident J Pod and 2 transient pods frolicking in the Canadian water about 45 mins north if San Juan Island. Sixty or more whales, we truly lost count ..It was spectacular.
Not sure if the transient pods are around yet but Capt Jim will know.
We were lucky enough to see the J pod last May when we were fishing off our baot on the north side of Stuart Island ( in the San Juans), they literally swam right by the side of our boat, the entire pod including a mother and her calf.


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Old Apr 5th, 2005, 06:25 PM
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thanks everyone!!!! I really appreciate the input.
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