I booked the sunset kayak tour several months ago using the online booking system. The reservation process was seamless and professional. There were a total of six in our party ranging from 30 years of age to 63 – very close family. There was very wide range in athletic ability in our group and body size. Some members of our group could not get in and out of the kayaks without assistance, and many of them were scared to death when we started out.
Our guide Pete did an absolutely superb job! The orientation he provided before we set out on the water helped to get everyone as comfortable as possible. He was very polite, very professional, and really upbeat even with the challenges that some members of our group provided him.
When we started out, we first saw several Columbia black-tailed deer on the shore as we paddled by. Then we found a pair of bald eagles that were calling to each other and flew out over our heads. There was a juvenile eagle nearby. That show was really awe-inspiring. A bit farther down, we found a harbor seal sun bathing on a rock. All the while, Pete pointed out biological, historical, and just interesting facts about the San Juans, and everything we were viewing from the wildlife to the bull kelp in the water.
As we got closer to the turn-around point of our short trip, I spotted what I thought was a dorsal fin of a whale. It turned out to be an orca whale and about 25 of its friends! We watched over the next 20-30 minutes as the whales swam and played as they headed parallel to the shore that we had just paddled up. We saw several flukes tail-slapping the water, spy-hops (raising their head to look around), and one full breach. One of the orca whales spy-hopped no more than 12 feet from our group of kayaks as we huddled together close to the shore to make sure we weren’t in their way. Some of our group members teared up from the absolutely majestic display.
I would recommend the sunset kayak trip to anyone. While you shouldn’t expect to always see whales or tons of wildlife, Sea Quest and Pete provided an absolutely professional and fun environment to experience nature in the San Juan Islands. It really was the highlight of our whole trip to the San Juans.
This is an unsolicited review from a participant of our July 15th sunset kayak tour on the west side of San Juan Island in the orca whale waters. Images courtesy of whale-watching captain Jim Maya.