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whale watching Orcas vs Victoria

san jose, ca
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whale watching Orcas vs Victoria

We will be on Orcas Island for 3 days at the end of July, then will be going to Victoria for a few days after that. We want to do some whale watching. I have a family of 4, 2 kids are 9 and 13. Would you recommend going out from Orcas Island or from Victoria? Does either one have a better chance of seeing orcas or is either one a less traveled distance to the spots?

Thanks

Seattle
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1. Re: whale watching Orcas vs Victoria

It's hard to say, since by late July the orcas will generally have dispersed--earlier in the summer, they tend to congregate in Haro Strait, between Victoria and San Juan Island, due to the salmon running through that channel. Later in the summer, the orcas are following the salmon to their various spawning places so they may be further afield and it's hard to say whether they'd be closer or further to one location or the other.

I'd wait until you get to Orcas and check with the local operators to see if the orcas have been sighted on recent trips (Deer Harbor Charters does a blog with recent sightings).

One difference between going from the San Juans or Victoria is that some operators in Victoria use zodiacs so if you want that experience, you'd need to go from Victoria.

2. Re: whale watching Orcas vs Victoria

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