“I recently returned from an overnight kayak trip. It was everything I had dreamed of and more!…I spent hours researching which company to entrust with this experience. I finally chose Outdoor Odysseys…We saw bald eagles, seals, river otters, porpoise, mink, beautiful tidal pools, and on the last day, a pod of orcas! Our guide, Tom Murphy, was phenomenal!! I’ve been on several other guided trips and he is by far the best guide I’ve ever encountered. If you’re looking into a tour of the San Juan Islands, you can’t go wrong by choosing Outdoor Odysseys. Oh, and the food was amazing!!” Trip Advisor
Join our naturalist/guides for a fun, informative two day sea kayak tour on the west side of San Juan Island. We’ll use San Juan County Park as our base camp for kayaking and exploring. Sea kayaking on Haro Strait (the body of water separating Vancouver and San Juan Island) puts us “in the heart of the best whale habitat on the west coast for seeing resident Orca whales.”
Orca Whale Notes
We’ll spend two glorious days sea kayaking on Haro Strait the body of water that separates San Juan Island from Vancouver Island. Outdoor Odysseys has been running guided sea kayaking tours off the west side of San Juan Island for the past quarter of a century – so we know the waters well. This area is considered one of the world’s best orca whale watching sites – providing superb opportunities for viewing over 82+ whales. Resident orca populations are organized into stable, highly social matrilineal family groups called “pods” and labeled alphabetically as the J, K, and L pod. Known collectively as the “Southern Residents” they return regularly to the west side of San Juan Island during the summer months to take advantage of strong currents and optimal fishing for their favorite food source – Chinook salmon.
In addition to viewing whales, opportunities also abound for viewing brightly colored orange and purple sea stars, majestic bald eagles, harbor seals and dall porpoise. We’ll also paddle past the historic Lime Kiln quarry and Coast Guard lighthouse. Participants are also treated to expansive views of the Olympic Mountains and Vancouver Island.
After an invigorating day of paddling you’ll relax over a dinner of smoked salmon pesto fettuccine and organic salad greens washed down with bottled wines. For dessert? Hard to imagine which will knock your socks off more – our freshly baked Dutch oven Apple/pear crisp or the sun setting over Vancouver Island? Still haven’t had enough? Ask your guide to take you out for a magical evening “bioluminesence” paddle!
Nifty Trip Features…
- We’ve chosen specific dates in July and August to take advantage of “THE BEST“ opportunity to view whales via kayak.*
- Our three course dinners and “Killer Cuisine” include: bottled wines, local ingredients, smoked salmon, organic greens and a freshly made Dutch oven apple/pear crisp.
- Our guide/naturalists – Friendly, fun, knowledgable and experienced.
- The optional sunset/bioluminesence evening paddle is, in a word, SUBLIME!
*Truth in advertising: These whales are wild animals and are capable of swimming up to a 100 miles a day so we cannot guarantee whale sightings, that being said we paddle and camp in one of the most prime locations on the continent for orca sightings…
Why Choose Outdoor Odysseys for your 2 day San Juan Island Tour?
Award Winning Tours – We have been named one of the “200 Best Outfitters in the World” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
Naturalist / Guides – Our seasoned, mature, professional guides willingly share their knowledge of the whales, bald eagles, harbor seals you may encounter.
Our Cuisine Rocks! – Our meals may include: brie and crackers, smoked salmon pesto fettucine, organic salad greens, bottled wines and seasonal fruits dipped in a chocolate ganache – CAUTION: You may not lose any weight on this tour!
San Juan County Park Launch – This tour launches from SJCP putting our guests in the heart of the “Best Orca Whale Habitat on the West Coast”.
Since 1987 – We are the oldest and most experienced kayak company to launch from SJCP.
Best Value – The small things: Dry bags and lunches included as standard (not all companies do), bottled wines & gourmet food = exceptional value.
Click BOOK NOW for dates and availability.
Kaitlin – 9th year Guide
“Thanks to Kaitlin for a great day on the water. She was so warm and friendly it helped the experience, immeasurably. She was very knowledgeable and we were lucky to have her as our guide. Kaitlin rocks!”
This is Kaitlin’s 7th season guiding for Outdoor Odysseys. Warm and personable, Kaitlin has a special knack for putting people at ease and making them feel comfortable. On overnight tours she has been known to make homemade chocolate chip cookies for her appreciative guests!
Duration: 2 day | Length: 14 miles | Season: July – August
Coming from Seattle? Most guests drive from Seattle to Anacortes & then take the ferry to San Juan Island. You’ll want to plan on staying on San Juan Island the night before. See our travel information page for details.
Meeting Place & Time
Meet at 8:30 AM in downtown Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, at the Friday Harbor ferry terminal.
Return Place & Time
Friday Harbor ferry terminal, 4:00 – 5:00 PM
There are three B&B’s within a short walking distance of the ferry terminal. Check out our lodging page for suggested accommodations.
We’ll store any luggage/gear you don’t want to take with you on your trip
Gear You Will Need:
Water bottle, sunglasses and/or hat, sunscreen, appropriate kayak and camp clothing (preferably not cotton or denim) – Quick-dry, synthetic and/or wool layers work best; Footwear – Chacos, Tevas or Crocs are good choices for paddling. Bring another pair of shoes for camp; sleeping bag & pad.*
Outdoor Odysseys Will Provide:
Kayaks & related gear, tent, large & small dry bags, tasteful cuisine, transportation between Friday Harbor and our launch location.
*Sleeping bag & pad available for rent.