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Sunday, June 8, 2014

A 3-Hour Tour

I've lived in Washington all my life and have yet to go on a Whale Watching Tour. I decided to rectify that the other day. It was on my not-quite-yet mid-life crisis list that I will definitely explain in an upcoming post!

There was a Amazon Local deal for $44 a person at Deception Pass Tours.  Not only were they the cheapest option, but they were pretty much the only tour that I wouldn't have to first get to an island to do. It was cheap enough to where I could invite my mom to come with. I badly wanted to see Orcas. I've loved them since the day I first saw Free Willy. I did my final report in Marine Biology on them. I watched Blackfish, which I'll admit made me cry a bit, and it just cemented my need to see them in the wild.

I think Whale Watching is going to be on my spite list. More on that later.

Anacortes was a two hour drive from my place. It's up at Deception Pass, a beautiful location in its own right.

Up there, near the San Juan Islands, lives a resident Orca Pod. I think it's J Pod. But they can travel up to 100 miles in one day, so sightings weren't guaranteed even though all the tours communicate with each other when they see whales. In fact, according to the owner of the Tour, they are usually the first company out in the morning and they have no spotter planes. That made my heart sink just a little.

They are the first out because, unlike the other companies, Anacortes is still quite far from where whales like to hang out. There was a lot of driving to and from locations. At Deception Pass, on this particular day, the seas were extremely rough. Even though they have a Catamaran, which can slice through the water like butta, he changed the plans. And thank goodness too, because with almost every swell, our boat literally flew and then landed with a soft thud. Although fun and exciting like a roller coaster, it was quite the brain-jiggler.

There had apparently been some sightings of some Humpback Whales near the San Juans, and the waters were much calmer there, so we headed out. To give you an idea of how long it took, this was a 2-1/2 to 3 hour tour, and we got to see the whales for about 15 minutes.

Several things went through my head, ranging from "this is kind of cool" to "what a crock". I'm glad I didn't pay more than $44 to see the backs of a couple of Humpbacks (mother and calf, by the way.) Mom absolutely loved it. She had a blast. And I had a good time too, but it was sort of a let down. It wasn't the Tour's fault at all, but I really had my heart set on Orcas.

So, Whale Watching will be on my spite list. I will not rest until I see Orcas in the wild!

After we got done with the tour and before we drove home, we stopped in Monroe to eat at the best BBQ I ever found - a place that Mesquite smokes brisket just like in Texas. So delicious. So, there was that :P

Have you ever had your heart set on something and it turned out completely different? Let me know in the comments!


  1. At least your mom had fun! I haven't been on a whale watch in ages but might give it a try and hope I have better luck!

    1. Just being on a boat surrounded by all that beautiful scenery was great, but they're so darn expensive!! Original price on mine is $89! That's just too much for that. I'd wait and see if they offer some kind of Groupon in your area, then I'd snatch it up for sure :)