Trip Report: Kayaking in the San Juan Islands
Trip Report: Kayaking in the San Juan Islands
Location: San Juan Islands, WA
Conditions: Sunny with a couple afternoon showers. 70-80 degree days/ 50-60 degree nights
Duration: 4 day adventure + 1 day of instruction
Difficulty: Pretty easy with the conditions we had.
Kid Friendly? yes
Pet Friendly? no
For information about how to go on one of our San Juan Islands Expeditions
The Full Report:
"During our San Juan Islands Kayak trip we develop sea kayaking skills, learn about local tides and currents, cook delicious meals, and most importantly, have fun. The trip revolves around the Western San Juan Islands launching from either Roche Harbor or San Juan County Park, San Juan Island, highlighted by a the bio-diversity found in through the Cactus Islands and the Wasp Island Archipelago near Orcas Island. To help prepare you for this adventure, the Sunday before our departure, we jump on the water to work on our paddling and rescues skills and build stability through fun and games. You don’t need to be an expert paddler, we match the trip with the collective group’s ability, but some kayaking experience is required. The Wednesday evening prior, we'll meet for snacks and logistics to answer last minute questions before departing Friday morning bright and early. We provide all camping and boat gear needed- you are responsible for your own clothing.
We met bright and early at the Next Adventure warehouse! Loaded up the van with everyone’s gear and headed for the San Juan Islands at sunrise. Our first stop was the town of Anacortes, WA. There we boarded a ferry, stood out on the deck and took in the first stunning sights of the magnificent Archipelago. The stoke was definitely rising during the hour-long cruise to Friday Harbor! Once we arrived we sat in the shade, ate our brown bag lunches and then packed up our kayaks. We had a pretty short and smooth paddle to Turn Island. Our plan was to set up camp, make dinner, relax and watch the sunset together – all in the name of regrouping our energies for an epic second day of paddling through the Islands! We laughed, played games, bonded over adult beverages and then headed to bed. Yep – the night sky was even better than the sunset!
We were awake by 8:00am! Ate some breakfast, drank coffee, packed up camp and was in our boats by 10:00am. We paddled for a couple hours and then stopped at a secluded rocky beach. Found some washed up logs we called picnic tables, made sandwiches and hung out for a bit. Once we felt rested, we got back in our boats and headed to Jones Island. It took us another couple of hours to get there. The water was pretty flat, but the wind picked up in the wider, more exposed parts of the channel. Generally, we stay tucked into the shorelines and took in the scenery and wildlife from the different islands we passed. While crossing the wider sections of the channel, we made sure to make ourselves visible to ferries and other boat traffic by keeping our boats in close proximity. We were an awesome bunch and communication was super easy. We got to Jones Island mid day, set up camp and had the rest of the day at our leisure. We all played Frisbee together! Wandered around the island and all came back together for delicious nutritious dinner. Somehow we all had the energy to play cards and stay up till midnight!
Another beautiful day on Jones Island! We all pitched in our favorite yoga poses to stretch our back that morning- ate breakfast and got ready for a quick adventure by foot around the island. We went on a hike, found some tide pools and played in the water, saw lots of wildlife – seals, deer, snake, jelly fish, crab, bright colorful starfish and so much more marine wildlife that I can’t even pretend to know the name of. We came back to camp in time for lunch and just in time to find a hideaway spot from the afternoon showers. We waited out the rain and a couple of us went for a paddle around the island in the glassy, bathtub-like waters. There were porpoises in the distance! The other half of the group decided to take another hike and once we all got back together again some braved an afternoon dip in the cool waters. After dinner the group was ready for another adventure. We waited for all light to vanish from the sky and went for a night paddle among bioluminescents! They are the most trippy and magical things I have ever seen. The water was glowing like we emptied a vat of highlighter and glitter into the water. It is something everyone should see during his or her lifetime!
Our last day on the island started early. We packed up camp and paddled to Roche Harbor - we saw a couple of bald eagles on the way! There are great showers on Roche Harbor that take quarters – bring $3 worth, it will improve the quality of your and everyone else’s trip back to town! We unpacked our boats, loaded up the van, ate lunch and left for Friday Harbor to catch the ferry to Anacortes. All in all – an awesome trip with great weather, fantastic company, and many memorable laughs!"