The Orca Experience In The San Juan Islands Of Washington


After flying into Seattle, we rented a car and took the ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

We drove the rental car onto the ferry so we could have a car once we got to the island.

After parking the car, we were able to go up to the other decks of the ferry and take in the beautiful views of the Straits of San Juan de Fuca.

Friday Harbor is the largest town in the San Juan Islands.

They have seaplanes that fly out of the harbor too.

We drove up to Roche Harbor after we checked into our hotel.  It is located on the northern side of the island.

This is an old lime kiln in Roche Harbor.  Roche Harbor was the largest producer of industrial lime west of the Mississippi back in the days.

Here is a good picture of the harbor in Roche Harbor.

This is one of the buildings that were part of the English Camp on San Juan Island.  During the 1800s, these islands were disputed between the US and England so there were troops from both sides stationed on the island until the situation was resolved.

The English Camp was located on the Northern side of the island.  Eventually, it was agreed upon that the US would get the San Juan Islands.

I went on a whale watching trip the next day abroad the Odyssey.  This area is known for having resident orca communities.

There is an orca whale towards the back of this picture.  Look for what looks like steam rising from the water.

The tour company took pictures too and emailed them to us.  Here is a better picture of an orca whale that they were able to take.

This is a cool view from the Southern part of San Juan Island.

I thought this was a cool barn on the island.

We saw some cool jellyfish in the water off Friday Harbor.

I got to see my Rangers play the Mariners the next day in Seattle after we left the island.  Unfortunately, we lost that game.

My fraternity brother from college and I went to the game while my fiancee and his wife went to downtown Seattle.

We went to Quinalt Rain Forest In Olympic National Park on our last day in Washington for this trip.

Quinalt Rain Forest is a temperate rain forest.  Temperate Rain Forests are usually found in the Pacific Northwest.

We visited the Washington State Capitol also in Olympia on our last day in Washington.

I took Joy to the famous glass museum bridge too which features lots of cool works of art in Tacoma on the way back to the airport.

I think this is a good picture of Mt. Rainer that I took from the plane shortly after taking off from Sea-Tac.

   Joy and I decided to go see the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington in the Straits of San Juan de Fuca for Labor Day in 2016.  We also have good friends who live up there so we got to visit with them also.  On Friday, we departed Sacramento for Seattle on Southwest Airlines.  After staying overnight at our friend's place in Kent, Washington, we drove to Anacortes where we took the Washington State Ferry to Friday Harbor.  The ferry crossing allows one to take their car on the ship too.  The crossing takes about an hour, and we were able to take in majestic views of the islands off the coast of Washington from the boat as well as have some Ivar's Famous Chowder for lunch.

    After arriving into Friday Harbor, we drove to the Orca Inn to check in.  Then, we drove north to check out Roche Harbor.  Roche Harbor is another small settlement on the island, and it was once the largest producer of industrrial lime west of the Mississippi.  San Juan County is comprised of islands, and the largest islands are San Juan and Orcas, but most of the population lives on San Juan Island.  Roche Harbor had lots of nice yachts too.  Afterwards, we drove down to English Camp.  During the 1800s, these islands were disputed between the United Kingdom and the US.  So, both countries had troops stationed on the islands until the matter was resolved by a third party.  The third part ruled in favor of the US, and the British withdrew their forces from the island.  The British troops occupied the northern side of the island whereas the American forces were in the southern part of the island.  For the most part, both sides got a long well.  That night, we had a great seafood dinner in Friday Harbor called Friday's Crabhouse.

    The next day, I had my whale watching trip at 9:00 AM.  Joy did not want to go since she can get sea sick.  I took the Odyssey from Friday Harbor to the Western side of the island where the resident orca whales are often spotted.  The best times to view the whales from usually from May until September.  We were in luck!  I saw a lot of orca whales in the wild.  It was so cool!  After getting back to shore, Joy and I had lunch at another famous restaurant on the island called the Hungry Clam.  Then, we drove south to the Cattle Point Lighthouse.  The views of the other islands from there were spectacular.  Then, we checked out the American Camp, where the US soldiers were stationed in the 1800s during the conflict over the island with the British.

    Joy and I went to Lime Kiln State Park on the western shore afterwards to see more orcas.  We were able to see quite a few orcas from the shore.  It was so neat to see these whales in the wild.  Afterwards, we took the ferry back to Anacortes.

    I saw the Texas Rangers play the Mariners the next day with my friend while Joy and my friend's wife and daugther went to see downtown Seattle including Pike's Market.  My Rangers were in first place in the AL West, and we had the best record in the AL.  I got to see our stars like Beltre, Beltran, Andrus, and Lucroy.  Our pitcher Cole Hamels struggled however, and we had a long reliever take over for him.  Unforutnately, we lost the game, but we were so far ahead of our AL West rivals that it did not matter.  Afterwards, we had dinner at a nice Indian restaurant with my friend and his family before Joy and I took off for Olympia for the night.

    The Doubletree in Olympia upgraded us to one of their large 1 bedroom suites due to my HHonors Diamond Status.  We decided to stay in Olympia that night since we were going to visit Quinalt Rain Forest in Olympic National Park the next day.  The state capital of Washington, Olympia, is closer to Quinalt.  We got our customary Doubletree cookies upon check in also.  In the morning, we had the complimentary breakfast buffet for HHonors Diamond members before taking off for Quinalt Rain Forest.  It was raining off and on that day, but it was a scenic drive to the temperate rain forest.  There was a large lake over there as well.  We did a small hike in Quinalt Rain Forest before leaving for Olympia again.

    In Olympia, we toured the State Capitol grounds before taking off for Tacoma.  I remembered seeing a cool bridge with lots of nice glass sculptures in Tacoma so I took Joy there.  Afterwards, we found a cool cupcake shop so we had to stop in for some tasty treats before heading for the airport.  At the airport, we feasted on Ivar's before departing Seattle.  We both love Ivar's Seafood.  Another fun trip with Joy was in the books, and we enjoyed seeing our friends also.

Last Updated:  September 8, 2016 9:07 PM