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Great Bioluminescent Night Kayak tour!

The kayaks were very comfortable and maneuverable, and the tour was great. We saw many millions of... read more

Reviewed September 23, 2020
Holly P
Ellensburg, Washington
Great experience

The bioluminescence was amazing. Just as advertised. The guides (Kelly and Adam) were well informed... read more

Reviewed September 16, 2020
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Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile

I have never, ever kayaked before, but heard that on the islands you've gotta kayak. We weren't sure what company to go with, so I called Discovery (the man we talked to was cheerful and helpful) and Crystal Seas (they were very busy and put me on hold for 5 minutes). Based on the customer service I received on the phone, we chose Discovery.

We met at the shop and were given a quick wildlife talk--if we saw orcas, law states we must stay 200 yards away. We would probably see harbor seals, and we needed to stay 100 yards away from them and not lock eyes (which is intimidating to the seals). We were told that the wildlife is special and needs respect, so we must be careful and steer clear, admiring only from a distance. This was a useful talk and a reasonable and smart request.

We met our guides and drove out to Small Pox Bay (horrible name, but nice cove) in a group of 12 but quickly split into two groups of 6 after we arrived. Our guide, whose name I cannot remember, was awesome--he's been everywhere and was super informative about everything from trees to starfish, went over the equipment, how to get in and out if the kayak, and steering.

We were out for a couple hours and although the tandem kayaks were heavy to carry down to the beach, they were steady and solid on the water. I learned a lot about kayaking in the sea, and was perhaps most focused on figuring all that out than looking at the beautiful coastline. I think I learns a lot and got quite a workout paddling against the current on the way back.

Apparently Discovery has a promise to never have more that eight people in a group and to provide good, safe guides and equipment. We had access to dry jackets and pants and dry bags if we wanted them (you will want them). Other companies that arrived after we were done appeared to have at least 12 or more to a guide and offered no dry gear.

I would highly recommend Discovery. As a novice kayaker and crappy swimmer, I felt safe at every moment; our guide was rad--encouraging, smart, and interesting; I learned a few new things about kayaking (and trees--our guide began his college education studying trees), and I generally had a great time. Kudos, Discovery. You may have made a kayaker out of me!

Date of experience: August 2013
Thank AnnArborVino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

After much research of the kayak trips available on San Juan island, we decided to go with Discovery Sea Kayaks and were not disappointed. It was everything we hoped it would be. Our guide Chad was excellent. He is very knowledgeable in the history of the islands, the natural environment and wildlife. The food was amazing and the gear provided was first class. We would recommend this trip to any one interested in expanding on their kayaking experiences, especially those wanting to get their feet wet in dynamic waters. It was a huge confidence builder for us. Thanks Chad!

Date of experience: August 2013
Thank Kaliece H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We took the bioluminesence tour and had an amazing time. The guide was knowledgable and very laid back while being firmly in control. The sea really does light up and, if you're lucky enough to get a clear night, the sky is incredible. He said that few people choose this tour and it's a shame. If you're on the island, take this thing. Unlike whales, the luminescent bacteria are reliably present.

Date of experience: August 2013
Thank p j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

I reviewed Discovery Sea Kayaks in 2011 after my second trip with them (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60957-d1798736-r120117401-Discovery_Sea_Kayaks_Kayak_Tours-Friday_Harbor_San_Juan_Island_San_Juan_Islands_W.html#REVIEWS) and I still stand by every word I wrote then.

However, I went back again this year -- this time for a mid-season 5-day circumnavigation of Orcas Island -- and wanted to provide an update. If you're reading reviews of DSK, then you already know that the San Juan Islands are home to world-class kayaking & wildlife viewing, and that DSK will take you to those places. You've also figured out that DSK will provide amazing food (homemade ceviche, anyone? ok, then, how about vegetarian chili from scratch?), amazing gear, and a fabulous time.

This time we went with a seasonal guide, Nate, instead of the owner. If anything I am even MORE impressed with DSK; it's easy for a San Juan native to know the ins-and-outs of local fauna, flora, history, tides and currents, kayaking technique and safety, etc -- but to train someone else with the same knowledge? That's the mark of a top-notch outfit. Nate answered every question we threw at him; on top of that, he spent time with my husband and I, fine-tuning our kayaking skills, sharing inspirational stories of other kayakers, and even demonstrating a self-rescue. As I've come to expect, he was fun to chat with and adjusted the itinerary based on our energy levels and the weather. Guides can't control the weather, but a top-notch guide will be able to read your energy levels & risk tolerance, and make changes based on those. I was particularly impressed with the afternoon of our second day; we'd spent the whole day fighting current when the wind picked up. Whereas I might have leaped into the chop that morning, by the afternoon, I just couldn't summon the energy and excitement; Nate knew this, and called an early stop. The result? We were sitting in camp a scant 45 mins later, I saw my favourite sunset of the trip, and we started fresh & energized for our third day (my favourite day, incidentally).

The San Juans are a great place to kayak, and I wholeheartedly recommend Discovery Seak Kayaks based on the quality of the guides, the gear, (the food!!), and the knowledge/training. In fact, for future trips I am unwilling to consider any other company but them.

Date of experience: June 2013
Thank zombie_shark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

We experienced a wonderful Kayaking trip with Discovery and our guide Donnell was the best. The two of us were given exclusive attention by him and although the Orca's were not around, the sunset was spectacular from the water. The equipment was good and the Sea Kayak was extremely stable in the water.

Date of experience: August 2013
Thank TimothyP_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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