Common Marine Mammals
Spring and Summer the San Juan Islands host pods of orca (killer) whales and solitary, baleen minke whales. All our expeditions spend time traversing pathways where orcas are most frequently found as they hunt schools of migrating salmon. This gives you the best odds of encountering orcas in the wild of any other kayak outfitter!
Humpback whales are also making a comeback in island waters, and sightings have increased greatly in the past couple of seasons. The gentle giants run an astonishing 50 tons of weight and 60 feet in length. Hearing a humpback blow is a sound that will resonate in your heart and mind for a lifetime!
While observing whales our small groups follow NOAA and Soundwatch whale watching guidelines and our staff complete the required Commercial Whale Watching Training through Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. In addition, our three, four and five-day trips traverse a popular minke whale feeding ground and explore channels inhabited by Dall’s and harbor porpoise. Other wildlife you may see:
- Common to occasional sightings: humpback whales, stellar sea lions, harbor seal, mink, raccoon, deer, big-horned sheep (imported), Sitka deer (imported), prong-horned antelope (imported) and red-tailed fox.
- Occasional to rare sightings: California sea lions, gray whales, elephant seals.