Pick-up for your trip is at the col de sac/traffic circle at the junction of Front St and Spring St, across from the Cask and Schooner Restaurant, just outside the Friday Harbor Ferry terminal at:
Half day trips: 10:45 AM or 2:30 PM
Full day trips: 10:45 AM
Multi day trips: 8:30 AM
Bioluminescence Trips: 6:30-8:30 PM Depending on the time of year.
Travel information here!
Packing information here!
If you're only paddling with us for the day park up by the courthouse on 1st St in the 8hr parking. It's only a couple blocks from our pickup location.
Overnight trips should park on Argyle Street (unlimited parking) outside of the San Juan County Fairgrounds. Please do not park inside the fairgrounds. Include your plans to park in your reservation so we know where to pick you up.
I have luggage/bags/clothes that I don't want to take with me on the trip, can you store those items for me?
Anything you don't need for the trip and would like to leave behind we will gladly store here at our office while you are out on the water! There is no cost for this service!
Plan on returning to Friday Habor at:
Half day trips: 3 hrs from your pickup time
Full day trips: Between 4:30-5:30 PM
Multi day trips: Between 2-4 PM on the last day
Yes! We are experts in creating delicious cuisine for all dietary needs. Just detail your restrictions at the time of your reservation and we’ll be sure to keep you full and happy.
Luckily, kayaking is already a water sport, so we do paddle in rain. Rarely do we cancel a trip, unless conditions are extreme, in which we will reschedule your trip.
You can expect:
Half day trips: 1.5-2 hrs
Full day trips: 4 hrs
Multi day trips: 2-2.5hrs before and after lunch
The are bathrooms available at the launch and lunch sites of all half and full day tours. Bathrooms are available at all campsites for multi-day tours.
Outdoor Odysseys sea kayak guides strive to make each kayak expedition unique, fun, and safe for every client. We ensure that our guides are efficient, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. If you feel your guide did an exceptional job and made your time on the water more enjoyable, feel free to express your thanks with a tip. Tipping is not expected, but it is greatly appreciated by your guides. General rule of thumb for the service industry is 10-15 percent.
Unfortunately, there are no showers available at the campsites we use. On the positive side, if you’ve never kayaked before you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you do not get as dirty and sweaty as you would backpacking. There are public showers located in Friday Harbor at the end of the trip.
We camp on various islands in the San Juan archipelago that are accessible only by boat. Our campsites are usually beautiful waterfront sites. The campsites are administered by the Washington State Parks Department. All the sites have picnic tables, fire pits, potable water and outhouses.
Our kayak groups typically include a mixture of both solo guests and groups of 2 or more. We’ll pair you up for paddling with another single guest or if there is an odd number of people on the trip you may paddle with one of our kayak guides. Solo travelers will always be provided their own tent on overnight trips.
On average our group sizes tend to be around 6 – 7 guests per tour. On our day trips if we get above 9 participants we will add another guide and start another trip. On our overnight tours if we get more than 9 guests we will add another guide. We won’t take out more than 12 guests (6 doubles) on our overnight tours. The exception to this is our custom tours where we can take larger numbers of groups for special events such as school groups, corporate functions, wedding parties, reunions or whatever the occasion.
One of our primary goals at Outdoor Odysseys is to raise awareness about the unique character and importance of the Salish Sea and the San Juan Islands. The breadth of knowledge held by the diverse staff at Outdoor Odysseys ranges from marine biology, zoology, and geology, to environmental science, policy, and education. Their colorful experiences and backgrounds combined with their own outdoor play, overseas travel and work make them amazing naturalists and just plain good company!
It may be easier to list what you won’t see. Some of the more common wildlife sightings include minke whales, orcas, humpback whales, Dall’s porpoises, harbor porpoises, harbor seals, stellar sea lions, and river otters. In terms of birds, the San Juans are host to the second largest breeding population of bald eagles in the lower 48 states. Other birds include loons, belted kingfishers, harlequin ducks, various alcids, and a host of others. Occasionally we have sightings of gray whales, elephant seals and California sea lions.
The Southern Resident orcas are the only orcas listed at as endangered in the world and currently number less than 80 among the J, K, and L pods. They are generally found in the San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands between May and October when salmon, their primary prey, come from the ocean to spawn in the rivers that feed into the Salish Sea. The Southern Residents favor the west side of San Juan Island, where we launch the majority of our kayak tours; therefore, we usually have a good chance of seeing them on any of our trips during the summer months.
We strive to provide a fantastic kayak experience and consider orca whales to be the “icing” on an already amazing cake of adventure and natural beauty. Please remember that these endangered animals have a large territory to cover, a limited food supply, and have suffered a huge decline in their population over the last century. We try not to give them too much flak if they don’t show up on cue.
We run our tours May-September to highlight the best weather and migratory wildlife of the San Juan Islands. July and August welcome the most tourists. We recommend the shouldering months for those trying to avoid the crowds and boat traffic, and who open to more variable weather.