San Juan Island Kayaking and Orca Whale Adventure

In early July, Kingsley and I did a two night guided kayaking adventure with Outdoor odyssey
With our competent guide Nikkin, we spent two glorious days sea kayaking on Haro Strait which is the body of water that separates San Juan Island from Vancouver Island.  This area is considered one of the world’s best orca whale watching sites.  Resident orca's in this area are organized into stable, highly social matrilineal family groups called “pods” and labeled alphabetically as the J, K, and L pod. Known collectively as the “Southern Residents” they return regularly to the west side of San Juan Island during the summer months to take advantage of strong currents and optimal fishing for their favorite food source the Chinook salmon.

We were a bit nervous about our odds of seeing the orcas as our guide explained that no orcas had been spotted yet that summer which was highly unusual as this is typically the peak time to see them. The theory is that the salmon levels are very low this year which could be why the orcas haven't been around. I was also a bit nervous when our guide Nikkin informed me that my husband had chosen the "divorce" kayak as our kayak for the weekend!  Evidently, the kayak he chose always tends to carry couples who fight with each other the ENTIRE time.  Our last kayaking trip was a disaster in Vietnam where the rudder was "not broken, just not working" which led to- not our finest hour-  as a married couple.  So I was a bit concerned as we began this adventure, however, thankfully we managed to break the divorce boat curse and had a lovely time together in the San Juans without a single marital mishap.

Nikkin was such an excellent guide for the weekend trip.  We saw lots of seals and seal pups, bald eagles and tons of other sea life.  Through Nikkin we learned all about the San Juans and the biodiversity in its waters.  We also were fortunate to see orcas whales both days of our trip.  The highlight being the second day when we had a close encounter with one of the pods.  Such a magical experience.  Nikki also made the most AMAZING meals in our campsite dutch oven and even creatively catered to our fussy gluten free palettes. 


San Juans 2016 from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

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