A whale of a trip – kayak the san juan islands

A Whale of a Trip – Kayak the San Juan Islands

Deep within the Puget Sound, between Seattle and Vancouver, right next to Victoria, lays a rural archipelago known as the San Juan Islands. Technically associated with Washington State, these islands actually straddle the Washington-British Columbia border, and include several hundred islands, reefs, and rocks. Due to the massive amount of rainfall dumped onto the area by the “rainshadow” of the Olympia Mountains, the San Juan Islands enjoy one of the most interesting ecosystems on the planet. In an area where you can see a wide variety of animals, you can also enjoy plants that are normally only seen in the rainforest, and plants that are native to the desert growing side by side.

Every summer, in addition to tourists looking the islands, you will also find another visitor. From May through October, three pods of Orca whales, also known as killer whales, roam about the Haro Strait, feasting on the migrating salmon. It is in this area that visitors have the opportunity to experience seeing these amazing creatures close up. Kayaking tours offered by a number of companies are a great way to enjoy the serenity of nature, without disrupting it. Sitting low to the water in a kayak, you tend to feel at one with the water, and realize just how small you really are in comparison to these astounding mammals. Orca whales are extremely intelligent; never has a human been attacked by an unprovoked whale in the wild. Two of the most intense kayaking experiences are the pre-dawn paddle to watch the sunrise, and the special night paddle to view the bioluminescence. In addition to the whales there are thousands of tide pools filled with interesting creatures, tons of bald eagle nests, and thousands of harbor seals.

On land, San Juan Island has plenty that you can explore. For those who wish to see the whales, but aren’t too sure about the kayaking, San Juan is home to the only National Park dedicated to whale watching. From shore you can see Orca and Minke whales, Dall’s porpoise, harbor seals, and bald eagles. This is a great place for the whole family to explore and enjoy a picnic lunch; just make sure to bring a pair of binoculars! The Whale Museum in downtown Friday Harbor helps visitors to appreciate these magnificent creatures. The island is best explored on bicycles, which can be rented at a number of locations. Whether you do it on foot, on bike, or in a kayak, the San Juan Islands are a thing of beauty to be enjoyed to the full.

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Опубликовано 18 Dec 2010 в 3:58 pm. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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