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“Beautiful Scenery - even without the orcas”
Review of Outdoor Odysseys

Outdoor Odysseys
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Since 1987, Outdoor Odysseys has been offering quality guided sea kayaking and whale watch tours in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. Our tours feature an opportunity to search for Orca whales and eagles while paddling. We offer great camp cuisine including Dutch oven cookery and naturalist guides that are extremely knowledgable about the biological, geological and natural history of the area. We have been selected by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the "200 best outfitters" in the world.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 23 November 2011

Let's just start by saying that it was a real bummer not to see the stars of the show - there were no orcas to be found while we were out. However - what a FANTASTIC trip!
The service was great, our tour guide was great, and the scenery was to die for. It was a beautiful day to be in the San Juans, and there is so much to see and enjoy, even without the orca.
This was my first time in a kayak, but the instruction provided was adequate and the kayaks were reasonably easy to maneuver.
I would recommend this adventure to anyone.

Thank toriluvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (260)
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185 - 189 of 260 reviews

Reviewed 4 November 2011

In August 2011, my husband and I signed up for the Outdoor Odysseys four-day "Eagles and Orcsa" kayaking trip through the San Juan Islands. We had a fantastic time! After a day of paddling, and sometimes hiking, we were treated to amazing meals that Sarah, our "guide extraordinaire" cooked on a small gas grill and a dutch oven. Outdoor Odyssesys doesn't skimp on the ingredients for our meals. We had lots of fresh produce, great pasta, good quality coffee, eggs, desserts like fresh-baked brownies and apple crisp - and excellent wine.

Our groups was small - four women, our female guide and the two of us. We started out from a harbor on the west side of San Island, and paddled towards Stuart Island, a small island with forests, open hillside meadows with spectacular views of the ocean, a lighthouse, and even a one-room schoolhouse (there is a small number of permanent residents on the island. You can only get to Stuart with a private boat.) That night, we enjoyed a dinner of smoked salmon pasta and salad, and warm apple crisp for dessert. The wildlife was spectacular. While we were paddling, we saw lots of harbor seals, some otters, bald eagles and golden eagles, and all sort of other birds.

We camped on Stuart Island for two nights, and did some hiking and "day trip" kayaking that day. The next morning, we broke camp and headed for Jones Island. That day, something very special happened. A pair of dolphins -- a mother and her baby swam within 15' - 20' of our boats! Our guide, Sarah, said that it was very unusual for dolphins to swim so close to any boats. We set up camp a a wonderful, forested campground. That evening, I saw one of the most gorgeous sunsets that I've ever seen in my life - the entire sky turned a beautiful crimson-rose. While watching the sunset, I could also hear some distant dolphins or seals "snorting." It was very cool.

On Day # 4, we slowly paddled our way back to the east side of San Juan Island. that day, we got a close-up view of the incredible pale purple and lavendar starfishes that are as large as dinner plates - the creatures were plastered all over the rocky shore in one area that we passed. Around mid-afternoon, we pulled our kayaks out of the water, and had a celebratory picnic lunch.

We returned home with lots of fond memories, and photos that don't do justice to the beauty of the San Juan Islands. I do plan to sign up for another Outdoor Odysseys trip in the future - it was great fun!

Thank MontanaMo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 October 2011

We went on the “Eagles and Orcas” day trip and LOVED it. For only $99 you spend a whole day kayaking around San Juan Island-which is gorgeous! Scott, our guide, was full of knowledge about the islands and the wildlife, and he was also hilarious. We didn’t end up seeing any orcas (we did see several seals) but would absolutely do it again. Next time we’d love to try some one of their longer kayak trips.

Thank SusandChlo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2011

The staff in the office was helpful when we were arranging the trip. Our guide was the best! She was friendly and knew a ton about the wildlife. We saw seals, porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, giant purple sea stars and a more underwater goodies. The food was the best I've eaten on vacation. The company uses quality ingredients and our guide prepared amazing meals that started with appetizers and wine, and was followed by a delicious entree and then homemade dessert. The trip was perfectly paced. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. I would go on this trip again.

Thank patty m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2011

My husband and I went on the 3 day kayaking trip with Outdoor Odysseys on September 27-29 and it was AMAZING!!

About us: We are in our early 30s and I am in decent shape. I am not super extreme like my husband but we do have our own recreational kayaks in Columbus, Ohio. I wasn’t sure how I would do but I did fine. I was tired at the end of the day, but it was worth it!

Our group: Two guys in their mid 30s, one of their dads, a 62 year old woman, and us. And of course…. our awesome guide, Tom! He was great!! He has a degree in Biology so he was very informative about the flora and fauna. He was very passionate and excited about everything we saw. He really made our trip memorable.

Paddling: We paddled for about 6 hours each of the first 2 days and about 3-4 hours on the last day. It is a relaxed pace and you can take a paddling break in the kayak if you need it and you get out once or twice during the day. The night paddle is definitely worth it. Bioluminescence is a very neat phenomenon and you should go for the night paddle even if you are tired!

Food: Awesome!!! Tons of FRESH fruits and vegetables! I was very surprised. Egg frittata for breakfast, Greek pitas for lunch, goat cheese and wine after paddling, penne pasta with salmon for dinner! YUMMO!! I drink my fair share of wine and there was plenty for all of us. I even drank wine on the last day with my lunch! (We had finished paddling then had lunch so I poured some wine in my Nalgene bottle and rewarded myself for a great trip!)

Wildlife: We saw close to 100 seals/sea lions, Dall’s porpoises, eagles, starfish, sea cucumbers, and even an octopus!!! Tom has been a guide for 10 years and has never seen an octopus!

Gear: Our tents and sleeping bags did not seem very old and were in good condition. The large and small dry bags held all of our personal items. Spray skirts were provided to keep you dry (and therefore warmer!)

I would definitely recommend doing this trip! I was unsure if I could handle it, but I am so glad that we did it! It was so beautiful, so peaceful, and a great experience!!!! Feel free to ask me any questions!

This is not a part of the Outdoor Odysseys company but I wanted to share how we got to the San Juan Islands. We took the Airporter Shuttle (www.airporter.com) from the Seattle Convention Center (also available from SEATAC) to the Anacortes Ferry Terminal and then took the Washington State Ferry to Friday Harbor. We spent the night at Bird Rock Hotel (www.birdrockhotel.com) the night before our trip and at Earthbox Motel (www.earthboxmotel.com) the night we finished. Both were nice, but I liked the bed and breakfast feel of Bird Rock better. It was nice to take a shower right after we were done instead of hopping right back on the ferry and shuttle to Seattle.

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

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