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Whale Watching Within the San Juan Islands

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Whale Watching in the San Juan Islands
Updated on August 17, 2017 Bill De Giulio moreTraveling has always been considered one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures, experiences, and makes the world a greater, extra tolerant place.

Reflective Print Cotton T-Shirt in GreyContact Creator Tucked away within the northwestern nook of Washington state lies a gaggle of islands that could be a digital paradise for the adventurous soul. Dwelling to vast green forests, sparkling clear waters, and the unbridled scenery of the Pacific Northwest lies what is perhaps the most effective land based mostly location on the planet for observing orca whales. The place is Lime Kiln State Park situated on San Juan Island, the namesake of the 172-island chain that occupies this northern most portion of Washington State.

If you’ve never heard of the San Juan Islands, or if you happen to assume they have to be positioned in Puerto Rico don’t fret. I believe that except you’ve either been there earlier than or dwell within the Pacific Northwest then you’ve in all probability never heard of the place.

San Juan Island
San Juan Island is the second largest and essentially the most populous of the San Juan Islands. Its important inhabitants heart can also be the only included city on the island, Friday Harbor.

There is far to do on San Juan Island. You can rent a kayak and explore its coast. You can carry your bike over on the ferry or rent one and explore the island on two wheels. There are quite a few hiking trails, a whale museum, a lavender farm and even an alpaca farm to discover.

But what brings most visitors to this island is the chance to see the eighty plus orcas that make their summer season dwelling here. And one of the best spot to see these majestic creatures from land is to head to Lime Kiln State Park, otherwise know as “Whale Watch Park”. June by means of September is the prime whale-watching season here as the orcas patrol the waters of Haro Strait that separates the west coast of San Juan Island from Vancouver Island.

Lavender Farm
Getting to San Juan Island
Just getting to San Juan Island may be an journey and is actually part of the enjoyable. The commonest method to get here is to take the scenic experience on a Washington State Ferry from Anacortes. Anacortes is about a 90-minute ride north from Seattle and is the hub for ferry’s heading throughout the San Juan Island chain. Guests can take their automobiles or bikes onto the ferry if they choose and this eliminates the problem of easy methods to get around once on the island.

There is also a summer season passenger solely ferry, the Victoria Clipper that provides service from downtown Seattle. To get to Lime Kiln State Park from Friday Harbor it is best when you have a car, bike or moped as the park is located on the far western side of the island approximately nine miles from Friday harbor and the ferry terminal. An alternative choice for getting across the island is the San Juan Transit shuttle bus that can get you just about anyplace on the island.

Washington State Dept of Transportation Ferry Information and Schedules
WSDOT – Ferries – Schedule

San Juan Transit Bus
San Juan Transit – Transportation in the San Juan Islands
San Juan Transit offers transportation from Friday Harbor to all points of interest round San Juan Island. An awesome way to see the island!
Video taken from Lime Kiln State Park
About the Whales
Many of the whales around San Juan Island are orcas but there are other species here as effectively including minke, grey and humpback whales. In addition to the whales it is usually doable to see porpoises, seals, seal lions, otters, bald eagles and quite a few different seabirds.

The three pods that account for the eighty plus orcas here belong to what is known as the “Southern Resident Whales”. This group of orcas is referred to as “resident” because they spend a big time interval annually in a single location, right here within the waters of Puget Sound round San Juan Island. The Southern Resident Whales can often be seen patrolling the waters of Haro Strait and Puget Sound from mid-April by October but the most effective time to see them is June by September.

Apparently, little or no is thought in regards to the winter vary and motion of the Southern Resident Whales. The three pods are identified as the J-pod, Ok-pod and L-pod. The completely different pods characterize groups of whales that share a standard maternal ancestor. To fulfill the whales up close and private take a look at their internet site.

The Southern Resident Whales are at the moment thought of endangered and as such are protected under the Endangered Species Act. This group is considered one of only two groups of orcas at the moment afforded protection below federal legislation. This status is predicated on current declines of their population numbers and to threats that they face in the decline of their primary food source, Chinock salmon. Current theories stone island badge replacement also point to high toxicity ranges within the whales because of their position at the top of the food chain.

Lime Kiln State Park
Spending a day at Lime Kiln Sate Park and having an opportunity to see a pod of orcas could be an amazing experience. The park has trails for hiking, picnic tables, a lighthouse, and normally a naturalist nearby to answer any questions you might have. So convey along that picnic basket, be certain you may have your digicam, and even convey the canine so long as they remain on a leash.

The lighthouse has a reader board where you may examine to see when the whales were last in the area or simply ask the naturalist. They will usually know the place the whales are positioned and what course they are heading in. When the whales do arrive you may be amazed at how shut they come to the shore, it really is a sight to behold. They are so close that you may actually hear them as they floor to breathe by means of their blowhole.

The park can also be an amazing location for spotting bald eagles so be on the look out and bring your binoculars. Just a short hike south of Lime Kiln Park is a place called Dead Man’s Bay, which has a fantastic little cove with a pebble stone seashore and tide pools. This is a good place if your traveling here with kids and exploring the tide pools can be great fun.

As there are no guarantees that the whales shall be proper the place you want them to be whereas you’re visiting Lime Kiln State park be certain to speak with the naturalist while you’re here to see if the whales are expected. If they are not, perhaps the naturalist can direct you to their current location across the island however through the summer months that is where they spend a superb deal of their time so be patient.

The park is a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon be it watching the whales, exploring the tide pools, taking a hike, or just having a picnic in a gorgeous location.

You may always opt for a whale watching boat tour while on San Juan Island if you desire. Whereas that is certainly an option keep in thoughts that it’ll come at a value. For me there may be nothing like figuring out that the pod of whales is heading toward Lime Kiln Park and experiencing the anticipation and excitement of their arrival.

We’ve made the journey to Lime Kiln State Park on two events. Our routine has been the identical; pack a lunch, drive to Anacortes, put the automotive on the ferry and head to Friday Harbor. We noticed the whales on certainly one of our visits and it was the highlight of our stone island badge replacement trip to Washington State. Hopefully the Whale Gods are smiling on you as you head to the San Juan Islands for an opportunity to see one among nature’s biggest exhibits.

San Juan Islands
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show route and directionshide route and directionsShow driving directionswalking directionsbicycling directions with distances in mileskilometers

San Juan Island, WA – San Juan Islands, Washington, USA get instructions
Anacortes, WA – Anacortes, WA, USA get directions

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present route and directionshide route and directionsShow driving directionswalking directionsbicycling directions with distances in mileskilometers

Friday Harbor, WA – Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA get directions
Lime Kiln State Park, WA – Lime Kiln Point State Park, 1567 West Aspect Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA get directions

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sendingAuthorBill De Giulio 5 years in the past from Massachusetts

Thank you Suzie. Very much admire you reading and commenting. It was amazing seeing them in their natural habitat. Washington state and the San Juan Islands in particular are just lovely. Have an awesome day.

Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years in the past from Dublin, Eire
Another gem!! Very good all the best way, great photos, content and lots of really attention-grabbing details.I’d like to see the orca’s “au pure” and this space seems to be stunning. Wonderful stunning creatures, congrats once more, Sharing, voting up and all the Stone Island Uk remaining!!!

Thanks Mike, I know exactly what you mean. The day we noticed the Orcas swim by we simply sat there for hours watching them, it was wonderful. Thanks for the votes. Have an incredible day.

molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom
What an awesome hub on whale watching. I have never been within the san juan islands, however I did see lots when I used to be in Cape City. I sat the entire day one time and simply forgot about time altogether. Love the video’s.

Voted up and four/5 buttons
Thanks Anne. Glad you enjoyed it. It’s a phenomenal space and seeing the whales is the icing on the cake. Thanks for stopping by.

Anne Pettit 5 years in the past from North Carolina
An ideal hub that is an efficient read for anyone before whale watching within the San Juan islands.

AuthorBill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

Thanks sgbrown width:300px;height:250px” information-ad-client=”ca-pub-7547369567510288″ information-page-url=”//” knowledge-advert-slot=”1186173963″>

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