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“Our Annual San Juan Trip”

Outer Island Expeditions
Ranked #2 of 10 Tours in Eastsound
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: 30 and 12 Passenger Orca Whale and Wildlife Trips. Our Small Fast Boats get you up-close and personal with the region's famous Orca Whales! We see whales on about 97% of our tours! Join us for a group trip or you can customize your own private charter and add fishing, kayaking, island hopping, and more.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed 28 July 2008

I’ve lived in Washington State for 29 years and I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. I’ve traveled to several locations around the world and am yet to find a place as beautiful, lush, and diverse in its terrain and natural treasures. I believe the San Juan Islands are one of Washington’s most valued destinations. My family and I also believe that Outer Island Expeditions is the single greatest way to see this jewel of Puget Sound. I have ventured to the San Juan’s dozens of times but have never experienced it quite like this. Last June we attended our second adventure with Outer Island Expeditions and look forward to booking again next year for our third trip.

Our first trip was booked last summer with 2 other couples, my wife, and myself. All of us were staying on the islands as a summer getaway. Outer Island Expeditions came highly recommended by our good friends who live in Seattle, and by our hotel. Based on these recommendations, I had very high expectations. We had a great trip and my expectations were far exceeded. We were very fortunate to see whales, porpoise, seals, eagles, and hike the beautiful park trails. We finished our trip with a delicious Northwest style dinner with seafood and steak that our Captain prepared for us right on the island.

Our second trip was this summer on their new vessel. My brother was married at beautiful Roche Harbor resort on San Juan Island. My brother, his groomsman, and myself went on a fishing excursion before the wedding. All of us caught fish, including large Cod and had plenty of fish to barbeque throughout the weekend. Our Captain, Beau, was very educated on local fishing hot spots and we had an incredible time.

I wrote this review because my family believes that everyone visiting the San Juan’s should give one of these incredible excursions a try. Outer Island Expeditions is an experience not to be missed.

Bryce Hamilton

Thank JandBHamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"whale watching"
in 85 reviews
"sea lions"
in 41 reviews
"saw orcas"
in 19 reviews
"great trip"
in 35 reviews
"captain paul"
in 15 reviews
"transient orcas"
in 14 reviews
"point doughty"
in 16 reviews
"see whales"
in 17 reviews
"these guys"
in 22 reviews
"pods of orcas"
in 10 reviews
"killer whales"
in 12 reviews
"boat ride"
in 12 reviews
"fish"
in 33 reviews
"knew where"
in 8 reviews
"amazing experience"
in 13 reviews
"smaller boat"
in 9 reviews
"great job"
in 18 reviews
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837 - 841 of 841 reviews

Reviewed 27 July 2008

It was a day I would recommend to enyone. The skippper was very knowledgeable about the area past and present. There was a variety of sights to see. There were books onboard the boat for the birds and binoculars for everyone. We had a good time fishing. I felt the skipper was friendly and professional the entire day.

1  Thank OlympiaWashingtonDon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2008

After re-reading the previous reviews, we are wondering, were we on the same trip? We signed up for the seated evening tour and were looking forward to the same experience expressed by the previous reviewers, one who has the same name as the owner and posted trip pictures identical to the brochure's. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not..

My wife, myself and another couple boarded and were immediately told the whales had moved south and were not in the immediate vicinity. The captain/owner pulled out some charts and pointed to the area he was talking about. Beau said he could get us out to the whales, but since they were quite a bit south he would have to take on more fuel, and head straight to where they were last seen. He told us he would not make any money on the voyage but would do it because he promised us whales.
Now I am not a navigator, but I am a 22 year Navy veteran and when Beau showed us the charts, the area he pointed to did not seem that far away, but I chalked it up to my not being familiar with the area. After some more discussion and being made to feel sorry for him and a tad guilty, we voted to simply tour the islands, see some seals, dolphins, and eagles and have a great dinner. He did offer us the chance to re-schedule, but that was not going to fit in with our vacation plans or the other couples. I was pretty disappointed.

First stop was crab pots, which Beau seemed to have some trouble finding, but after an hour or so of circling we found them and had some pretty nice crabs to cook later on. Next we headed out to Soucia Island to be dropped off for our "tour" of the fossil beds. This consisted of walking along with his buddy while he poked at some limestone and showed us some rather poor examples of fossils; meanwhile, Beau and his boat left for about 30-40 minutes, seeming to have another agenda. Perhaps the Sucia Ferry? Or one of his other enterprises?
After he returned we headed out for 3 hours of seal gawking. We sighted quite a few, which was pretty neat, but after the third group it grew old. We also were dropped off at Matia Island and pointed towards a trail we could walk along if we wanted to - unguided. It was nice, but not nearly $200 a person nice. By this time, my wife and I were hungry and thirsty, wondering if we were ever going to be fed anything. We looked in one of the coolers that doubled as the seating areas and found a few warm sodas, rolling around. At long last we pulled back up to Soucia island for our "gourmet" meal. The first question Beau asked was "Did anybody bring any wine" we looked at each other and said "no" whereupon he scooped the winglasses into a bin and said something about having a few drinks. These rinkls consisted of 1 bottle of water with the label peeled off, 1 Guava nectar, 1 other nectar of some sort ,a Sprite and a diet Coke, all very warm. Beau did do a decent job of cooking our crab, steaks and salmon, but it was more backyard cookout than a special secluded island getaway, especially considering we were set up near a campground where everyone and their dogs (literaly) walked by and said hi! When the clouds of mosquitos attacked (since we were set up under the pines and it was now nearly dark) I was just wanting to get back to our B&B and forget the whole dismal affair. Do I feel ripped off? YEP!!! I feel that I would have done better to have taken four $100 bills and tossed them in the ocean and had the lovely wine and snacks our hosts at the B&B offered every afternoon. A final note to those who are safety minded, there were no personal flotation devices present that we could see, there was no safety brief and Beau nearly ran into two moored yachts during the trip. Great idea Outer Island, poor, poor, execution.

14  Thank zephyr14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Capt-Beau, owner at Outer Island Expeditions, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2010

We do our very best to ensure the all our trips are fun and safe. This group was notified that the whales were very far out in heavy seas and that it would be a very long and rough trip to see the. We gave them the choice of not going out, of rescheduling or of going out on a localized wildlife trip and still having dinner. We went out and catch numberous dungeness crab, found lots of wildlife including seals, eagles and porpoise. We also had a very nice dinner at beautiful Sucia Island. We fix your choice of steak or Salmon along with the fresh caught crab along with pasta prima vera, grilled veggies and grilled garlic bread. We don't have a liquor license so you have to bring your own alcohal. We do provide a wide assortment of soda, bottle water, and juice to enjoy with dinner. The trip lasts about six hours. We often do a fossil hunt or allow you to kayak while we set up for dinner. The fossils are 65 million year old calms, oysters and invertabrate which most poepl find to be quite interesting. Kayaking on this outing was not possible due to the wind and waves. These individuals never mentioned any dislike for the tour while on the outing. If we have complaint which is rare we do evrything possible to meet your needs. We specialize in custom tailored adventure and pride ourselves on customer satifaction.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2008

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 November 2007

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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