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Full Day Kayaking Tour

The attention to your guests is absolute and refreshing. I would recommend Crystal Seas Kayaking to anyone looking for a great, all-round, experience.
Our guide did a wonderful job and gave us a truly extraordinary experience. It was during our return that we saw a group of orca whales moving along the west coast of the island. It was a fantastic experience for us.
Lynn & Susan Patterson

Full Day Tour Summary

  • Fun, Safe & Personal... No Experience Required...
    a blast for all skill levels.
  • Small Groups with Naturalist Guides...
    relax, interact, learn and enjoy.
  • Kayak the West-Side of San Juan Island...
    the federally designated Whale habitat.
  • More Kayaking Time and Easy Kayak Dock Launch...
    keeps your feet dry, no hauling gear to the beach, and spend more time kayaking!
  • Complimentary Transportation from our Friday Harbor Office...
    we provide free shuttles for all our trips.
Please note that the vast majority of our trips follow the routes and itineraries listed on our website, but changes may occur for reasons of safety, weather, logistics and guide or administrative judgement.

Recommended to bring:

  • T-Shirt + sweatshirt + windbreaker
  • Water resistant camera
  • Water + picnic lunch
  • Comfortable footwear
  • Pants or shorts
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Lip balm
  • Hat

Helpful Travel Info

Coming just for the day? It’s easy! Just leave your car parked in Anacortes and walk on the Washington State Ferry to Friday Harbor where we will pick you up in our shuttle and take you to our private kayak docks.

Already going to be here? We are happy to meet you at our office in Friday Harbor and shuttle you to our private kayak docks at Snug Harbor.

You might see:

  • Bald Eagles
  • Shorelines
  • Sea Stars
  • Seals
  • Dall's Porpoise
  • Lighthouse
  • Orca Whales
  • Beaches
  • Madronas
  • Blue Herons
  • Bull Kelp

Meet Your Guides


(Started in 1998) - Tim just loves to mess about in boats. He is not only a sea kayaker, he is also a canoeist, a sailor, and an oars man. Tim has kayaked in 18 states including Hawaii and Alaska, 6 Mexican states, and 3 Canadian provinces. During the summer evenings you can find Tim kayaking San Juan's west side or river kayaking on the mainland. In the winter you can catch him surf kayaking in Sayulita Mexico and working on photography projects or skiing with this brother. Tim also works during the summer aboard the 'Odyssey' as a first mate and naturalist with San Juan Excursions Whale Watching and Wildlife Cruises. Tim would love to spend some time on the water with you. As Tim always says, "See you on the water".


(Started in 2006) - Sarah has lived on the sandy beaches of the Bahamas, Galapagos and Greece but she grew up in the snow-capped mountains of Colorado. Sarah spent time guiding in South East Alaska, facilitating adventure research programs in the Galapagos, leading research programs in the Bahamas and working in sea turtle conservation and monkey rehabilitation in Costa Rica. When she's not filling her time making jewelry from found objects or salsa dancing, she works as a scuba/snorkel and kayak guide; marine researcher; and teacher in astronomy, sustainability, and marine sciences. Sarah earned degrees in Political Science and Latin American History from Evergreen State College and a Master's in Education as part of the Environmental Education and Sustainability Curriculum, from the University of Washington. She is a certified Wilderness EMT and BCU safety and rescue certified.


(Started in 2006) - Operations Manager - Carrie grew up boating on the lakes, rivers and coastlines of Maine. She became a registered Maine Sea Kayaking Guide in 2004 and has since spent her time exploring coastal regions around the world. She has been sea kayaking in New Zealand, Australia, Bermuda, Costa Rica and guided tours in Mid-Coast Maine, North Carolina, the Florida Everglades and now the San Juan Islands. When Carrie is not kayaking, you could find her in the Cascades skiing, exploring New Zealand, attending a yoga class, trail running or biking around the island! Carrie is also an avid biker and has been on 2 different month long road bike trips. She is a recreation and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys sharing her love for outdoor recreation with her guests on Crystal Seas and Terra Trek Tours. Carrie and her husband, Isaac, call the San Juan Islands home.


(Started in 2007) - a 7th generation San Juan Islander, is entering his 6th Kayaking and Terra Trek Bicycle Tours and is a seasoned guide and naturalist. A student of Plastics Engineering Technology at Western Washington University, he has worked to expand his education with experiences abroad. His most recent adventure education endeavor brought him to India to study outdoor leadership in the Himalayas. When he is not studying, working or smiling/laughing, you will most often find Albert cycling around the islands, paddling the waters of the Salish Sea, or inventing some new cooking creation--he loves food and cooking! (and let's be real... he will probably be smiling/laughing all the while).


(Started in 2009) - Joe is a graduate of Colorado State University with two bachelors degrees in Spanish and Natural Resource Tourism. He's enjoyed traveling in Latin America and is always ready for a new experience. Joe guides many of the Terra Trek tours and helps keep the fleet in good working order. He's an easy going guy and when he's not on tour he enjoys staying active or just hanging out with friends.


(Started in 2010) - Sasha was born and raised on San Juan Island. It was here in Washington where he found his love for the outdoors, through his exposure to snowboarding at an early age. Sasha is also active in a variety of other pursuits including surfing and free diving. He recently graduated with BA in Writing from The University of Otago, where he spent the last three years enjoying all the cold-water surf that New Zealand's south island has to offer. He is looking forward to sprending his summer in the San Juans with all of you.


(Started in 2012)- William is an avid adventurer, kayaker, rock climber and bicyclist. He loves exploring the nooks and crannies of the San Juan Island and lives for special moments encountering killer whales. On the off season, William works as an outdoor educator at Pathfinder Ranch in Southern California. He looks forward to seeing you out on the water!


(Started in 2012) - A lifelong islander Corey has always has a great passion for the outdoors. In 2011 Corey graduated from the National Outdoor Leadership School, which included a 30 day 300 mile kayak expedition in Patagonia. In the winter months Corey can be found in the small town of Glacier Washington. Where he spends 100+ days a year backcountry snowboarding and mountaineering in the North Cascades near Mt. Baker.


(Started in 2014) - Molly spent her early years swimming in the salty surf and rowing around the craggy coasts of Maine. She graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Environmental Education focusing on Marine Ecology. She enjoys harvesting shellfish & seaweeds, kayaking in San Juan Island sunsets and discovering new flora and fauna on the Salish Sea's coast. She is also an avid cyclist and loves a good long bike ride with hills, views, and surprises abound. This will be her second summer working with Crystal Seas Kayaking and Terra Trek. She is very excited to adventure with you!


(Started in 2013) - A Missouri native, Dakota grew up water skiing and playing in the woods. Her love for the outdoors led her to a semester course with the National Outdoor Leadership School and eventually to Vermont where she pursued a bachelor of science in Adventure Education. Dakota enjoys sailing, snowboarding, and traveling. She has backpacked through Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia. The San Juan Islands continue to be one of her favorite places in the world.


(Started in 2014) - A Washington native, Maya loves the outdoors and lives for the pursuit of adventure. She spent last fall as the chef of a wooden schooner sailing from Friday Harbor to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She loves to travel, and has also lived in British Columbia, and Alaska. In the winter Maya can be found skiing both the lifts, and backcountry of the North Cascades. Maya recently transferred to Fairhaven College to pursue an interdisciplinary degree in journalism, environmental ethics, and social justice. Her other passions include kayaking, biking, backpacking, photography, and exploring the San Juan Islands.


(Started in 2014) - As a 6th generation San Juan Islander, Brett grew up kayaking, hiking and biking within the San Juan islands. He is also an avid backpacker and rock climber which makes it no surprise that the Grand Canyon is one of his favorite places to explore; other than the San Juans of course! Brett is currently studying mechanical engineering at Gonzaga University in hopes to go into human-powered alternative energies over seas after graduating. Brett's favorite parts about being a guide are the many outdoor adventures, the wildlife and the ability to meet so many incredible people and share the beauty of the San Juan Islands with them.


(Started in 2014) - Hannah grew up in rural Missouri, exploring the forests and rivers of the Ozarks. She graduated from St. Louis University with degrees in Biology and Public Health; and a love of whitewater kayaking, outdoor adventure, and teaching. Since then, she's worked with youth in the outdoors, as a kayak guide/naturalist and most recently as a crew member aboard the schooner Dirigo II on their travels to and from Baja Mexico. She is passionate about the outdoors, conservation, adventure, art, baking, running, and would love to share her knowledge and love of the San Juan Islands with you!


(Started in 2015) - Casey joined the Crystal Seas crew in 2015. He grew up living on the south end of San Juan Island and has always wanted to guide for a living. He is currently a student at Colorado Mountain College where he is obtaining his Recreation Outdoor Leadership degree. When Casey is not guiding tours in the San Juan Islands or at school, he loves to ski, rock climb, ice climb, and travel. He spent 8 months in Asia where he trekked the Himalayas in Nepal.


(Started in 2015) Max grew up in Duluth, Minnesota along the shores of Lake Superior. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in 2013 with a Bachelors degree in Geology and a minor in Swedish language. A major component of his education included hands on field courses in Montana, Utah, and Nevada with a strong focus on learning and working outside. Max spends a large amount of his time traveling around the Western U.S. exploring national parks and camping in exotic national forests. Glacier, Olympic, North Cascades, and Rocky Mountain are some of his favorite parks. He has snorkeled with sea turtles in the Yucatan Peninsula, explored the west coast and mountains of Jamaica, and played soccer in Scandinavia. He is an avid craftsman and musician. He can be found playing guitar around a campfire or selling his hand made wire-wrapped jewelry in town. Max loves to bike, fly fish, mountaineer, and snowboard when he's not kayaking. His favorite parts of working for Crystal Seas are cooking delicious meals and having new, exciting experiences every trip!


(Started in 2015) - Julian moved to San Juan Island when he was 3 years old and has called it home ever since. He has been attending Oregon State University since 2013 and is majoring in Biology, with an option in Ecology and a Chemistry minor. As a product of the Pacific Northwest, Julian's passions include kayaking, backpacking, travelling, cycling and more recently, climbing! His passion for the outdoors keeps him constantly busy seeking new adventures, and he hopes to spend at least 6 months travelling overseas after he graduates from college.


(Started in 1994) - Founder/Owner - His first time to kayak in orca waters was when he was five years old with his father along the shores of San Juan Island. He began guiding tours at the young age of nineteen. What started as a summer job, turned into a lifetime career. Today you will find Johannes planning tours for our guests or guiding a trip along the west-side of San Juan Island. You will always sense his commitment to providing our guests with the highest quality kayak and bicycling tours imaginable. Mail keeps pouring into the office addressed to Johannes, reminding us of how ‘top rate’ Crystal Seas has become. Johannes is on the San Juan Island Parks Commission, the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee and active with the San Juan Island Kayak Association.


(Started in 2002) - Office manager/Owner - Angie grew up in the San Juan Islands and loves living here because of all the wildlife she gets to see just on a simple drive to town!  She loves to explore the world and has been to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central America, Germany and Thailand.  She is the friendly face in the office at Crystal Seas in Friday Harbor. She'll help you choose which tour is best for you through e-mail and phone calls and give you advice about where to dine and stay.  She has been sea kayaking San Juan Islands west side since 1992 and is happy to help you plan a trip for your family.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Is this the best area for killer whale kayaking and when can we see them?

    The San Juan Islands offer a unique opportunity to see orcas in the wild. The area where we paddle is deep, nutrient rich water; perfect conditions for migrating salmon the orcas feed on. The Southern Resident killer whales come to the San Juans Islands to find their favorite fish; the Chinook salmon. The Southern Residents are commonly seen from June-September and J pod is often observed in the region’s waters year-round. We do not guarantee that you will see orcas on your tour, they are wild animals and can swim up to one hundred miles per day. We do kayak where they are most commonly seen, giving our guests the best opportunity for seeing an orca by kayak in Washington State.

  • How safe is sea kayaking near orca whales?

    There has never been a single incident of aggression against a kayaker or boater by an killer whale. Their diet consists mostly of salmon with an obvious preference for Chinook (King/Spring). Orcas are the largest of the dolphin family and are often seen being playful. When the orcas do get near, they will pass gracefully by. We follow the Be Whale Wise Guidelines as well as local, state and federal laws anytime we are in a kayak with orcas in the vicinity.

Full Day San Juan Island Sea Kayaking Tour Schedule:

June 12 - September 17

This schedule shows our day tour departure time and the suggested Washington State Ferry departure time from Anacortes to Friday Harbor. It also shows the first available ferry departure time back to Anacortes. Please call us with your unique questions.

Ferry leaves Anacortes Ferry arrives Friday Harbor Meet at Crystal Seas Office Tour starts at Snug Harbor Tour ends at Snug Harbor Drop off in Friday Harbor Next ferry to Anacortes Ferry arrives Anacortes
9:10am 10:15am 11:15am 11:45am 5:45pm 6:15pm 6:30pm 7:35pm

Complimentary transportation. Prices, times and tour location subject to change. Includes launching and landing fees. Does not include 8.3% Washington state sales tax or gratuity. Prices per person in US$. *Sunset Tour ending times vary depending on time of sunset.

Please contact us for custom dates and trip lengths.

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