Why choose Sea Quest for your
This the perfect adventure for those who really want to immerse themselves in sea kayaking and absorb the rhythms of the Salish Sea – another name for the convoluted waterways that surround the San Juan Islands. Guaranteed to cleanse away the stress of daily life, the five day expedition is the longest kayak tour we offer in Washington. Its ideal for devoting time to perfecting your stroke, improving navigation skills, studying natural history, and reading a novel. Many guests choose the 5 day kayak expedition as a means of preparing themselves for an extended kayaking adventure on their own, or the purchase of their own sea kayak.
Like all of our camping adventures in the San Juan Islands, the scenery, flora and fauna, and killer whale watching is excellent on this kayak trip. As most students of nature understand, the longer you spend in the proper habitat, the more likely it becomes to see the full range of wildlife that an area supports. We believe the five-day expedition offers you the best chances of kayaking with orca whales and frequently more than once. Killer whales have been spotted on as many as 90% of these trip in some July’s. This kayak tour also has the best opportunities to spot some of the more difficult denizens such as minke whales and mink. Read about our two-day and three-day San Juan Island kayak trip details to discover features shared by all of our camping adventures. This kayak expedition is also available as a Women's-Only Kayaking Vacation.
Quick Trip Facts
Scheduled Monday-Friday - trip fee $869
Meeting Time & Place: 9:00am on San Juan Island. Look for our dark van with kayak trailer next to the Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal in the traffic circle.
Day 1 Itinerary: After readying the kayaks and stowing our gear, we engage in an hour long kayaking tutorial. Your guide will help to increase your paddling skills right through the kayak expedition. We embark on the journey by immediately entering the principal killer whale watching waterway. Setting a northerly course from San Juan Island to the outer islands, we explore the countless isles and reefs that make up the archipelago, many of them a part of the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Kayaking time fluctuates from 4 to 6 hours each day, resulting in daily distances of 7 to 12 miles. Many floating rest breaks, and one to three daily shore visits keep us invigorated. Weather and currents allowing, we stay overnight at our spectacular and private Orca Camp.
Days 2, 3 & 4 Itinerary: After enjoying the sunrise and the dawn chorus of birds, we have a meeting to discuss our kayaking route for the day. A weather and current check is crucial for making our daily decision. Most, if not all, days will find us kayaking in the primary orca whale and porpoise waters. Stunning views of the volcano Mount Baker, the Cascades, Olympic Mountains and other ranges are enjoyed from all directions. Our eventual route may involve a partial circumnavigation of San Juan Island, or explorations of the northwest portion of the archipelago where the killer whales spend the majority of time in midsummer. A favorite event during the kayak tour is the 5½ mile round trip hike to a lighthouse clinging to the rocks of a magnificent sea cliff with nesting peregrine falcons. The beauty from this vantage point as the sun sets into the Canadian Gulf Islands is unforgettable - its also an excellent location for observing orca whales and Dall’s porpoises. We usually move to different campsites on remote islands each night.
Day 5 Itinerary: Following our the last sunrise of the expedition, we set our course back to San Juan Island. The return trip offers main fine views and wildlife sightings and we always hope to have a grand finale with the killer whales! In the end, our van returns us to Friday Harbor.
Finish Time & Place: Friday Harbor Ferry Terminal between 2:00 and 4:00pm. If you wish to take a ferry to the mainland, you will several sailings to choose from.
Our Five Day San Juan Islands Kayak Expeditions were selected as a:
● Top 10 Adventure Bargain in the World by USA Today Travel
Sea Quest Kayak Expeditions Provides:
Sea kayaks, all sea kayaking equipment and safety gear, radio and emergency signals, tarps & tents, galley, freshly prepared breakfasts & dinners, van transport to and from and our launch beach and Friday Harbor, kayak instruction and superb guides.
You Will Provide:
Outdoor clothing, footwear for wading and hiking, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, sleeping bag & pad, and lunches. Click here for hints on how to prepare for a San Juan Islands kayak expedition.
Five Day San Juan Islands Kayaking Tours Map: The green shading illustrates the main orca whale feeding and traveling route where most encounters happen. We will navigate through the primary killer whale waters on about half of the five-day kayaking tour. The remainder of the expedition will be in the secondary orca whale habitat where sightings are always possible but less likely. As with all kayaking adventures, adverse winds or currents can rarely cause us to stray from our favorite paths and our alternate routes are also drawn.
Click on the map to open a full-size version in PDF format that you can save, zoom, and print!