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Old 18 Jun 20, 03:48 PM  
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katiebaz
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Pacific Northwest Aug 2019 - Day 16 Whale Watching Trip at Port Townsend

We were up early today as we needed to check out of our Air B&B and had a quite a long drive to reach Port Townsend where we had a whale watching trip booked for that afternoon. We enjoyed another lovely breakfast of fresh eggs, toast and fruit before cleaning and packing up. This had been our first Air B&B experience and we would highly recommend this apartment and the Queen Anne area of Seattle.



The drive to Port Townsend was around 3 hours and although the distance is not huge there were lots of bridges and bodies of water to cross. As we drove the towns got smaller and the landscape larger with a definite feeling of being at the edge of a frontier. We stopped at a Subway to grab lunch and made our way to Old Fort Townsend state park for a picnic lunch before our trip. The park is right on the waterfront and it was nice to eat our lunch overlooking the sea and go for a walk along the shoreline.



We then drove into Port Townsend itself and looked as nice place with some quaint streets and shops. We then hit a bit of an issue as the instructions of where to park we had been sent by the Whale watching company became totally irrelevant as there was a music festival going on and lots of old people in hi vis wouldn’t let us park where we had been told to and offered no help with alternative suggestions. After driving round the parking areas which were hugely busy and sharing some terse words in the car, we ended up finding a space of sorts which was quite difficult to maneuverer into and I dreaded trying to back out of if none of the other cars moved before we got back.

Finally we reached Puget Sound Express check-in for our tour and waited for the embarkation to begin. We mooched around the shop which had some lovely souvenirs and made a note to call in after our trip - sadly the shop was shut when we arrived back and we missed out on an Orca shaped Christmas decoration.

The boat itself was really lovely and each group had been allocated their own table. It was fairly low key, friendly and the crew knowledgeable. They assured us that they would do their best to find whales but as these were wild animals they couldn’t always guarantee it. As we departed, Captain Colleen, served us lovely hot chocolates and a slice Sherri’s Blueberry Buckle. Each day this is baked on board, and served warm soon after departure and we were pleased to have pre-ordered it as it was delicious.





After about a couple of hours, we eventually were treated to the site of a humpback whale and despite waiting quite some time, we didn’t get to see it breach. By this time were quite far away from where we had started and were now officially in Canadian waters, as we had not been to Canada before we found this mildly exciting! On the way back to Port Townsend the captain got word that there were Orcas nearby and we diverted and managed to see one swimming about. It was really quite hard to get good photos though as we didn’t have a good enough camera, so we ended up not trying to bother and just enjoyed watching it through the binoculars which the company provided. As we made our way back to Port Townsend we passed the San Juan Islands and also rocky outcrops which were home to hundreds of Sea lions, who were fabulous to watch.



We finally arrived back into Port Townsend at around 7.30pm, which was an hour later than expected but worth it to see the Orca. I had expected to see the whales much closer but were delighted to see these amazing creatures in the wild all the same. My apologies for the lack of photos but the ones I got on my phone were rubbish!

Back on land we had a 45 minute drive to our stop for the night, a small and unremarkable town called Sequim. Accommodation in this part of Washington State was few and far between, so we had to take what we could get at a reasonable price. Our motel for the night was the Olympic View Inn and it was ok, which was about all you could say about it. As it was so late we got a Dominos delivered to our room – which we devoured as we were so hungry then watched another episode of the Big Bang Theory - which always seems to be the only programme on TV whenever we are in a US hotel room - before falling asleep.
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Old 19 Jun 20, 07:50 AM  
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CrispyA
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The whale watching trip sounds nice, even if you didn’t get to pet them! The snacks look really good too
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Old 20 Jun 20, 11:27 AM  
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katiebaz
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Originally Posted by CrispyA View Post
The whale watching trip sounds nice, even if you didn’t get to pet them! The snacks look really good too
It was great to see the whales in their natural habitat and blueberry buckle was a bit like crumble and very tasty
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Old 30 Jun 20, 11:16 AM  
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smithlane
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Fantastic that you got to see an Orca. I was totally in awe of seeing Humpbacks on our Whale Watching trip last year in Monterey, you're right in that they're very hard to photograph on your phone!
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Old 30 Jun 20, 04:38 PM  
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katiebaz
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Originally Posted by smithlane View Post
Fantastic that you got to see an Orca. I was totally in awe of seeing Humpbacks on our Whale Watching trip last year in Monterey, you're right in that they're very hard to photograph on your phone!
We felt very lucky but agree photographing them is not easy and I am certainly not going to win any wildlife photography awards! :
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Old 1 Jul 20, 01:13 PM  
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What an incredible whale watching trip, so brilliant that you managed to see an Orca, the blueberry bucks looks delicious too. You can’t beat watching the Big Bang Theory on holidays!
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Old 17 Sep 20, 07:26 PM  
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Yes, you definitely need the San Juan islands next time. My Orca pictures from my trips there are incredible
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Old 18 Sep 20, 11:53 AM  
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The San Juan islands look great and definitely one for next time we go
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