Sea Kayaking in the San Juan Islands

Ahh, the San Juan Islands. So what if it is always raining up there. The weather is boring in California. We vacationed in the San Juan Islands so we could see some real weather. The people, the animals, and the scenery were all a nice bonus. (We actually had two days of rain and one day of mostly sunny. But it was October and we knew we were pushing our luck.)

Dan and Deena Wolens joined us for a long weekend. We were lead by Martine Springer and Sea Quest Expeditions. They provided the guide, the boats, and the instruction. We were on our own in the weather.

But we had fun! Starting at San Juan County Park (on San Juan Island) we paddled north through Haro Strait past the west side of Henry Island (on the Canadian border). Our first night was spent on a small one acre island called Posey Island. The second day we explored the shores of Speiden, Stuart and Gossip Islands, and camped on the eastern end of Speiden. On the third day we paddled Mosquito Pass between San Juan and Henry Islands back to our van.

The People

The companionship was wonderful. Dan and Deena met us in Seattle for fives days of exploring. The first three days were spent in the San Juan Islands. The last two days were spent at North Cascades National Park. Dan Wolens Dan Wolens Deena Wolens Deena Wolens

Deena Wolens and Michele C. Michele (Bud) C. Michele C. Deena and Dan prepare for the water Martine Springer, Michele, Dan and Deena

The Animals

The animals were a surprise. We're on the sea, except for the fish, what is there to see? Wow! The birds were numerous. We never thought it was possible to get tired of seeing Great Blue Herons, or Bald Eagles. Jellyfish were everywhere. We even saw a mink, and a Minke Whale. Great Blue Heron, resting on the kelp bed One of the many Bald Eagles we saw Japanese Sika Deer on the shores of Speiden Island A jellyfish on the shore A Great Blue Heron watches over an island full of Harbor Seals.

The Land

Land was only part of our focus. We camped on land and ate our meals on land. But it was the interface between the land and the water that was the most interesting. View from Posey Island A Bay on Stuart Island

We camped on the Eastern end of Speiden Island. From the top of the hill we have a wonderful view of all the surrounding area. Watching the sun set from here was wonderful.

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The Water

Of course, there was plenty of water. Every direction we looked. Often it seemed a long way from land, but it was never the same. South side of Stuart Island A Harbor Seal watches us approach Gossip Island The open water of Speiden Channel

The Sun

End of the day, we're tired from the paddling. Dinner is almost ready. It's time to enjoy the last of the light. Posey Island Speiden Island and Boat Speiden Island and Deer Speiden Island, last light


We're ready to go back! It's wonderful up there. Sea kayaking was a great way to see the area and the wildlife was amazing.
All images copyright (c) 1995 by Malcolm Slaney. Send comments or suggestions to Malcolm Slaney