A whale plays up for the camera — Photo courtesy of Stolz Gary M, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
We've all seen pictures of majestic Orca whales breaching in the air, but how many have actually seen them up close and in person? A trip to the San Juans will give you the opportunity to see these beauties and other wildlife in action. Orcas aren't the only animals that call this place home and on one of these tours you may see Minke whales, porpoises, seals, Bald eagles and other sea birds frolicking about. Orcas don't stay in the area year round and the best time to see these aguys in action is from May through September, sometimes stretching into mid October.
There are a number of tour operators in the area that provide knowledgeable tours, and depending on the type of experience you're after, it may dictate which tour operator you choose. Some offer smaller boats that are more intimate and are great for few people. For large groups or those that prefer being on a sizable boat, there are plenty of companies that can accommodate.
When you get onto the boat, your guide will provide you with plenty of insight and take you to the areas where Orcas frequent. These guys and gals are out on the waters on a regular basis, so they know the routes and paths these whales take. However, wild animals are not always predictable and they may show up in places where they're least expected. When you do stumble across a pod, the experience is so powerful you may just find yourself in awe for a few moments before you start taking pictures. Seeing them on television will never be the same again.