We were a group of four women from Florida. Kayaking with Orcas and salmon fishing were the two big draws for the area. We did have higher than average expectations of possibly seeing an Orca based on the website. I know they can't control wild orcas, but we were hoping and the pictures were exciting on the website.
The van arrived on time at the elm tree just outside the ferry terminal. The van was very crowded and they crammed the max number in for the ride to the bay. As most of us know, when it says it is a 14 passenger van - they mean very tiny, thin people. Uncomfortable, I might suggest a couple less people per van. Ten would have been do-able.
Our guide was very talkative, not about whales, but about his life. I am sure it was fascinating but I really wanted to focus on the rich environment that we had come so far to learn about and experience. We tried to stay ahead or behind to enjoy the peace and quiet of the beautiful waters. Great scenery!!! We saw harbor seals and harbor porpoise.
We would ask our guide which direction we would be heading. He would give us a mark on the shore and then he would do something else. We ended up paddling a lot further just to re-orient each time. Not sure what that was about, but it was fine with me - I love paddling.
Our lunch stop was infested with yellow jackets. Might suggest a different spot for the stop. Be sure to bring everything you might want to eat or drink. The kayaks have a very nice large dry storage and nothing is provided, so bring lunch or snack and small soft sided cooler with drinks.
We had asked for t-shirts on our reservation but when we got back to town after the trip we remembered that we didn't get them. I called and they said "you have to ask for them." Apparently they were in the van the whole time, but we were too late.
To end on a positive note, the boats were very nice and they were thorough on the safety talk.
I would definitely recommend kayaking in the islands. Just expect to enjoy a beautiful paddle and anything else is gravy!
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