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“Maya's Westside Charters- The Best Whale Watching Experience!”

Maya's Legacy Whale Watching
Ranked #1 of 25 Tours in Friday Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching provides small group whale watching & wildlife tours from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, the best location to experience Orca whales in the wild. Recreational, engaging and informative, we offer memorable experiences with a passionate crew and the most innovative boats. We offer two convenient departure locations on San Juan Island.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Nederland, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Maya's Westside Charters- The Best Whale Watching Experience!”
Reviewed October 13, 2012

I went on a whale watching tour (along with my sister and her husband) on Maya's Charters, out of Snug Harbor, on Oct. 8, 2012. It was awesome! Very comfortable boat, very knowledgeable captain and nice! and he had Jeanne with us ( a naturalist ) who explained to us all about the different Orca whale pods. I had the time of my life! Wonderful experience and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to have a fantastic time. We watched the whales for hours and then Captain Jim took us to see the harbor seals. Absolutely did not feel rushed at anytime. There were 5 of us, plus the Captain and Jeanne. Tons of space to move around. Learned so much about the whales. Go! You won't be sorry.

Visited October 2012
Thank MarielleVGerard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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942 reviews from our community

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English first
Bend, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The Best Whale Watching in the San Juans”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

We have gone whale watching a number of times in the San Juans and they were all great. But going out with Captain Jim and Jeanne Hyde was a trip we had looked forward to for years. Captain Jim knew I am a professional photographer and texted me at 10pm the night before to encourage us to be on the boat the next day. Meeting up with a Super Pod, we were not disappointed. Jeanne shared their names and their stories and told us about Granny, the 100+ year old Orca, who playing with her fellow Orcas, didn't look a day over 80. Unfortunately we didn't have much opportunity to explore the other wildlife, as the trip was filled with whale after whale, seemingly dancing in celebration of the salmon bounty from the nearby Fraser River. We continue to follow Jeanne's blog even though we are back home in Central Oregon.

Visited September 2012
Thank Bryan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Renton, Washington, United States
1 review
Reviewed October 9, 2012

My husband planned a 1st anniversary getaway wknd in the San Juan Islands which included a whale watching tour!!! OMG...Captain Jim made our anniversary something we will never forget!! We watched about 70 whales and photographed them for about an hour!! It was an amazing experience!! He was full of tales with so much knowledge! I would recommend him to anyone wanting to go out whale watching! He made our trip fun with LOTS of conversation and when the tour was over....WE FELT LIKE WE KNEW HIM!! Thanks so much Captain Jim for making wonderful memories with us!!! Lynn and Brooks.....October 7, 2012

Visited October 2012
Thank Lynn R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Running Springs, California
1 review
“Looking to go whale watching? Look no further!”
Reviewed October 8, 2012

My wife and I traveled to San Juan Island for our honeymoon, and our bed and breakfast host told us one day that Captain Jim had an opening to take us whale watching. We jumped on it because we thought whale watching season was over, and we are so glad we went.

Captain Jim's boat holds him, Jeanne (the naturalist), and no more than 6 passengers. Jim called us earlier on the day we were to leave and asked if we could leave a little sooner because he and Jeanne actually listen to the radio to hear exactly where the whales are. We went right out to them, and stayed for as long as we wanted to watching the whales come up! It was fantastic! The best part was that his boat only carried the 8 of us, so we could all just do exactly what we wanted to do. We could see about a half-dozen other tour boats that were just way too big to really make the experience as personal as it was. At the end of the trip, we went out to find some Dall's porpoises and my wife and I had an unforgettable time. The naturalist Jeanne is obviously gleefully obsessed with the wildlife of the region (she sleeps next to a hydrophone), and her insights while watching the whales and other wildlife enhanced the experience more than I could have imagined. She really wants you to learn about the wildlife you're seeing, and we appreciated her educated insights and benefited from her and Captain Jim's decades of experience.

I wish I could hang out at Friday Harbor just to tell people that are coming onto the island that they should go see Captain Jim and Jeanne for an experience they'll remember for their whole lives. Thank you, Captain Jim and Jeanne!

Visited October 2012
Thank MathCorey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Whales and Dolphins”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Legacy Charters whale watching cruise proved to be more exciting than we anticipated. We were lucky to see a pod of Orca whales breaching and playing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. But a rare sighting of Pacific White Side Dolphins proved to be the highlight of the trip. 4 to 6 dolphins chased our boat swimming just off the bow, jumping the wake and putting on quite an exciting show.

The captain of our boat, Spencer, was very knowledgeable about sea life and graciously answered our many questions. He has spent most of his life in and around the San Juan Islands and his respect for the animals and their habitat is apparent.

When you book a whale/wildlife watching tour you have to make a decision of whether you want to go on a large tour boat (30 people) or a smaller (6 people) tour boat. We chose the smaller water craft. There were 5 adults plus Spencer on our boat. We were able to move about the boat to see the whales and dolphins without having to share our space with a large crowd of people. Our smaller boat gave us the ability to "play " with the dolphins, which would not have been possible on a large boat. Also having Spencer's undivided attention made our trip quite educational and like we were hanging out with a friend.

Legacy Charters also offers guided fishing trips. Next time we visit the San Juan Islands we will definitely plan a fishing/nature viewing trip with them.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank Kitsy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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