The San Juan Islands are probably the Salish Sea’s best kept secret, but the word is getting out as evidenced by its increasing popularity as one of the top destinations for sailing and whale watching. Why, you might ask? Due to its privileged location in the Pacific Northwest, the San Juan Islands and Salish Sea are home to breathtaking wildlife which includes otter, seal, sea lions, porpoise, and the majestic orca whale, among other sea life.
San Juan Island charters are equipped to treat you to an adventure to enjoy the sea’s natural wonders. The following are just some of the marvels to be enjoyed under sail on the Salish.
Not only are the San Juan Islands home to the largest population of bald eagles in the United States, they are also the home of three pods of Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW), also known as orcas. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has listed the orca as an endangered population, and so the charter services are carefully regulated to protect the whale population.
The Islands are also home to black-tailed deer, red fox and myriad birds that include great blue herons, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles. So, if you’re a wildlife enthusiast, this might be your perfect destination. Charters can take you to various islands of the archipelago to enjoy the marvels of local fauna.
Sailing is one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the San Juan Islands and the surrounding Salish Sea, which is a world-renowned destination for this activity. There are even one or two sailing charter services that can show you the scenic bays and inlets that make up the archipelago from the deck of ah historic wooden schooner. You can choose different adventures, ranging from a couple of hours to several days, depending on what you want to see.
One of the most exciting activities available in the San Juan Islands is, without a doubt, whale watching. The San Juan Islands are home to three pods of orcas, which can be most likely seen from spring through fall. Tourists from all over the country head to the archipelago for a chance to see these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. A sailing charter can take you whale watching from a distance safe for both you and the whales. It is not usual to see an orca breach (leap into the air and splash on its side), shoot a spout of water vapor into the air, stick their head above water to look around in an activity referred to as “spy hopping”. In any case, it is an opportunity to see one of the most majestic animals of the sea world and one you can’t miss.
The San Juan Islands offer something for everybody, whether you’re a nature lover or a sailing enthusiast. It is a vacation destination no one should miss.
Washington’s San Juan Islands: an Ideal Tour, Travelandleisure.com
Killer Whale (Orcinus orca), Ecos.fws.gov