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Whale Watching on Orcas or SJI

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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3 posts
17 reviews
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Whale Watching on Orcas or SJI

We are staying on SJI for three full days, two nights. We want to go whale watching. I am seeing a lot of offers through groupon and living social for whale watching on Orcas in the 60 range. Trying to decide, should we go over to Orcas for whale watching or just spend the extra 40 x 4 and stay on SJI. If we went over to Orcas, would we need our car, it is at Smugglers Villa Resort 54 Hunt Road, Eastsound, WA 98245.

I am going back and forth on what to do. Please give me your opinion. I don't want it to take up the whole day, but the extra money would be nice.

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Orcas Island
Orcas Island
San Juan Islands, WA
Eastsound
Eastsound
Orcas Island, WA
4 replies to this topic
Seattle, Wa
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1. Re: Whale Watching on Orcas or SJI

Yes you'd need a car. Did you already look at ferry schedules to see what ferries you'd have to take to do the Orcas tour? This could eat up the better part of the day. The only way I'd do it is if you could make it work with your return journey to Anacortes.

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Orcas Island
Orcas Island
San Juan Islands, WA
San Juan Island...
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for San Juan Islands
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1,143 posts
8 reviews
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2. Re: Whale Watching on Orcas or SJI

Contrary to common assumption, Orcas island is not named after the whale. Orcas is a coincidental abbreviation of the name of Horcasitas, the viceroy of Mexico who sent an expedition here in 1791. That's who the island was named for. Orca whales can be seen off the coast here on San Juan but not off Orcas or Lopez. As you can see on maps of this area such as at …blogspot.com/-yTk5iWXU6bk/…2Bcopy001.jpg you can see that the deep water of Haro Straits and the nearby Strait of Juan de Fuca lie right off the coast of San Juan only so that's why we see the orca whales pass by here.

On San Juan island you could go out to Lime Kiln Point State Park (also known as Whale Watch Park) and have the best chance of seeing them from land anywhere on any of the San Juan islands....nearby the parking lot you'll see the attractive lighthouse and perhaps have a picnic at the nearby tables. This is a very scenic spot where orca whales can sometimes be seen along the coastline. There are also bald eagles, seals, porpoises, and the occasional minke or grey whale which can at times be seen as well from this park. However a motorized whale watch boat that can cover many dozens of miles in a short time span and has radio communication with all the other whale watch boats gives the best chance of one seeing orcas on a vacation visit. Information on Limekiln Park is at www.parks.wa.gov/parks/… and for whale watch boat tours see visitsanjuans.com/what-to-do/…A6 And for information on the most recently reported sightings in the San Juan islands check out the frequent updates for the region at https://www.facebook.com/OrcaNetwork or see this web site: www.orcanetwork.org/Main/index.php… .

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Orcas Island
Orcas Island
San Juan Islands, WA
The Orca Inn
The Orca Inn
299 Reviews
San Juan Island, WA
San Juan Island
San Juan Island
San Juan Islands, WA
Lime Kiln Point State Park
Lime Kiln Point State...
538 Reviews
San Juan Island, WA
Texas
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for Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna de San Carlos
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3. Re: Whale Watching on Orcas or SJI

We went from Friday Harbor with Maya's Legacy, and they were excellent. We saw seven orcas on our trip with them. Their boat was fast and comfortable. After the tour, they emailed us some great photos that they had taken. Would not head over to Orcas.

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Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor
San Juan Island, WA
Orcas Island
Orcas Island
San Juan Islands, WA
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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3 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Whale Watching on Orcas or SJI

Thank you for your thoughts. I was kind of thinking it could eat up a lot of time going to Orcas. Interesting how Orcas got it's name. I did think it had to do w/ whales.

Thank you for the info about Maya's Legacy. I have looked them up and will take a look. Just looking at them and the others, I agree the smaller faster boats are the way to go. Did you go in the morning or the afternoon? Was your boat full?

So looking forward to the trip.

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Orcas Island
Orcas Island
San Juan Islands, WA
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