Monday, July 25, 2011

Vacation Update: Whale Watching in the San Juans

I grew up in Washington State and lived there until I got an Engineering job in New Mexico and moved away (with the exception of a couple summers in Alaska and college in Idaho).  Until a few years ago when my parents went with my aunt and uncle whale watching I had never thought about going out myself.  But since then I couldn't wait till I had an opportunity to go myself.  This lead to the perfect idea when planning this trip to WA - go whale watching!  My mom loved the idea and immediately went online to book us our trip.  She also talked my brother and his wife in to going who then got us a couple of nights in my sister in law's aunt's cabin on Whidbey Island.  It was planning out to be a great family trip!

When my parents went the first time they were able to see all three of the residential Orca pods that summer in the San Juan Islands (Residential for Orcas doesn't mean "local" but that they eat fish as opposed to sea mammals - just a little something I learned.  I thought all Orcas ate sea mammals but it isn't so.)  Because of their luck we decided to use the same company, Island Adventures, who they had went with before and who guarantees whales.  Despite all the Debbie Downers telling me about how they went out and didn't see a single whale I was optimistic... They did have a guarantee after all.  We had to go up in to Canadian water to meet the whales but we caught up with them on the south side of Saturna Island and they were in the mood to show off for us.  We saw two pods, J & K, which is about 45 whales all of which were busy jumping and slapping for our ohs and ahs.

Besides the Whale Watching we also got to explore and enjoy Whidbey Island, which is fantastic!  I had never been to the San Juan Islands before and I totally want to go back and it would be even better to have a cabin like the one we stayed in.  Plus, there are all sorts of Lighthouses which my mom just dies to go visit.  We went to Fort Casey on Whidbey Island and barely missed being able to tour the inside of the lighthouse... mom was very sad.  We also explored the quaint little town of Coupeville which had quite the ecclectic street of shoppes... and I busted my butt on the street.  One minute I was on my feet the next I wasn't and I had tears in my eyes... it really hurt.

Here are some pics from our trip to the San Juan Islands and Whale Watching.  Between Adam and I we took about 2000 pictures and after editing had about 200 good photos.  I HIGHLY recommend, if you are in WA, to head up to Anacortes and get on an Island Adventures boat to find some whales because it is an amazing experience!
Adam and I at Mukilteo Lighthouse Park killing time before getting in the Ferry Queue.
Map of Fort Casey State Park
I <3 Washington State Ferries
The lighthouse at Fort Casey
Fort Casey fortifications
The family on the deck at the cabin.  It faces Admiralty Straight.
View from the deck (above) of Admiralty Straight. 
Bubbles had an infected paw from a piece of Cheat Grass (EVIL STUFF) that had him confined to the cone.
Our theme song all day long: "I'm on a Boat!"
There is a Bald Eagle in the tree... my camera was set to Small pictures and I didn't catch it till Upload.  Oops.
Saturna Island in the background.

Me and my souvenirs.
Okay, there are more Vacation Updates coming including Huckleberry Picking at the Thorp Falls and visiting our Alma Maters... and of course the evil return trip back.

1 comment:

Bitchy Army Wife said...

I grew up in Oregon. Man I miss the PNW. Anyway my sister used to live on Whidbey Island. It's a lovely place.
Whale watching is fun. I love to do it. I just wish it was a little cheaper.