We've seen Deception Pass from the bridge a number of times and have hiked around the area, but this was our first time on the boat tour. A Groupon coupon brought the cost down to a price that I couldn't resist. It may be a little confusing as to where to check in exactly, as the web site said that the check-in was south of the bridge, but we found the ice cream cone sign and boat tour sign north of the bridge; it turns out that you could check in at either location, but that could be made a little clearer on the web site. It would be nicer if you could check in down by the dock so you would only have to park once. Parking is easier at the north-side check in booth because you have to fight with all the bridge tourists at the south-side check in booth. The nice-looking waffle cones were irresistable, very tasty and reasonably priced at $4 with two large scoops of ice cream. If you don't already have a WA state parks Discover Pass, you may be surprised to find you have to pay $10 per vehicle when parking down by the dock because that parking lot is apparently within state park land. The boat was very stable, powerful and open with good viewing for all. There were good photo opportunities of the bridge from both sides of the pass and you get an entirely different perspective from the boat than from up on the bridge. The steep, tree-covered cliffs around the bridge and pass are very scenic. The staff were all very friendly and informative. I didn't know about an old prison mining operation up in the cliffs by the bridge, so that was interesting. We also saw several harbor seals, a great blue heron, a flock of rhinoceros auklets, lots of cormorants flying overhead, a bald eagle nest with an adult bald eagle perching nearby, and even a couple on shore in the wedding finery. Nice views of snow-covered Mt. Baker and the Olympics. I'd recommend bringing your binoculars to see the wildlife better. The weather was perfect, but it could be pretty miserable if it is raining and cold, as the seating on the boat is all out in the open with no overhead shelter. Jackets are provided if you didn't bring one. Restrooms are at the check in booth, down by the dock and on board. If you could be the first to answer a maritime/nautical question, you won a free ice cream cone at the check in booth. Free souvenirs are given out if you go back up to the check in booth (probably to get you to buy more ice cream cones). Photos are taken (for a fee). Free red licorice is passed out at the end of the tour and fresh kelp strips are given out for tasting when stopping by a kelp bed. There is a big sign at the front of the boat reminding tourists to tip the crew, so remember to bring some small bills. I'd suggest that the crew set out some crab pots (if in season), pull one up on the tour to show tourists some of our local Dungeness crabs and offer a small taste of cooked Dungeness crab. All in all, it was a very enjoyable boat tour and one I'd recommend, especially if you can get a Groupon deal or similar deal to lower the cost.
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