I think for my whole entire life I have wanted to see a whale. Living in Arizona its not all that likely that I’d get the chance, but I have spent a lot of my life on the ocean. Growing up my family would go to Mexico several times a year. My dad has a boat down there and we do a lot of diving and fishing. Most of the trip we are on the water. I’ve always hoped and prayed I would see a whale, but I never had. We have seen some pretty awesome things. Huge pods of dolphins, that have dozens and dozens of dolphins in them. They swim right up with the boat and you can almost touch them they are so close! We have seen a huge group of manta rays feeding where they leap out of the water all around you. I’ve seen huge jelly fish, I’ve seen octopus. I really have seen a lot of really cool things and I am so grateful for that. Sadly I had yet to see a whale which is my biggest dream of all!
I told Chris this summer I was going to see a whale! Living in Seattle there is a lot more opportunities to see whales. Heck I could be at one of our parks and see one! (Although that is pretty rare!) I wasn’t going to leave it to chance though, I booked our family on a whale watching trip!
I browsed Groupon because why pay full price when you can use a coupon? With our Groupon we had to book reservation for all of us first. The boats only let a certain amount of vouchers on each boat so we had to book one a few weeks out that had enough seats for us, but that was no problem! We went with Blackfish Tours, Outer Island Expeditions. They have several locations (most in the San Juan Islands) and we chose to go to the one in Anacortes. Its the closest one to us and we wouldn’t have to take a ferry. I was so excited! The kids were excited because I was so excited. They knew I had always wanted to go whale watching and they were so happy that I was going to get to see a whale. (They really are the sweetest kids!) Chris was a good sport and mostly went just because I wanted to go. (Hes really the sweetest husband.)
We happened to be on the evening cruise. I wasn’t sure how it would be, but the people who scheduled our trip assured me we would see lots of whales and it would be a beautiful trip! Since it was the evening cruise we didn’t have to leave until later in the afternoon so in the morning we did a quick kayak trip on Lake Union. It was a really fun trip and we were able to see several seaplanes take off. The kids thought that was so cool! After kayaking we got lunch and headed for Anacortes!
We made it to Anacortes early and just hung around the office of where the tour started and got our stretches out before we boarded the boat. Finally it was time! The boat was really nice, it even had a bathroom! It had a lot of seats inside with standing spaces on the outside. Inside had huge windows so it was still easy to see the whales and other scenery from inside. Since it can be chilly outside we decided we’d stay inside. We were off and we were driving for awhile we came upon a small island that had seals, sea lions, and all sorts of birds. Most of the animals we had seen before, but it was still fun to get to see them. Soon we were off again and a couple minutes later we came upon a pod of Orca Whales! I was so excited! We were fairly far away from them, but we could still see them. We stayed and watched them for awhile, then the captain of the boat said we were going to keep going and look for more whales…but then all of a sudden the whales came up right next to our boat. The pod had two big whales, one medium whale, and one small whale. I loved hearing them come up for a breath and seeing them right there. They would swim right next to the boat and they would be just under water belly up. The kids loved it and they were so excited.
After we stayed with the whales for a while it was time to move on. We drove by an island that back in the 1970s was stocked with deer from Africa for hunting. Now its illegal to hunt there, but the deer are still there. We could see several species of deer standing on the hill feeding on grass. In the water, just under the hill where the deer were standing, we saw some sea lions swimming. Its not often you see sea lions and deer right next to each other! (And on the same trip you just saw Orca Whales.) It was awesome! We also saw about 5 bald eagles while we were out!
The boat ride alone was so pretty and doing the evening cruise turned out great! We were able to see the sun start to set over the ocean. The kids did better than both Chris and I thought they would. We all had a great time (even Chris). I would go again and again and again! I really loved it! I’m trying to convince Chris to buy a boat so we can go out there as much as we want! We’ll see! If not I’m planning on going whale watching again next summer!