Winter kayaking in the San Juan Islands can be a great experience. It is true that it rains more during the winter and the temperatures get a bit chilly. But the scenery is just as beautiful and there is usually plenty of wildlife to view. The added bonus is there is few kayakers on the water or other boat traffic. If you have been here during the summer months you know that the waterways are full of motor boast and the coast line teaming with kayakers.
The main caution during the winter months is the quick changing weather that lead to strong winds. Winds tend to be the most common reason for Discovery Sea Kayaks to cancel tours, though cancellations are rare. Kayaking San Juan Island in the rain is its own experience in itself. Discovery Sea Kayaks provides you with rain gear and dry bags to keep you personal things nice and dry. Sometimes to have little adventure in your life you have to step out into the elements and just accept what you get and have fun. Because if you get over the idea of rain as being miserable, then you will start having fun. It is the Pacific Northwest, so if you live here I am sure you are use to it. If you do not live here, you will get the full experience of the region. Foggy days are common in the winter. Kayaking along the shore in the fog is amazing. One of my favorite times to be on the water. It is usually calm and still when the fog is in the area. It as a different dimension to the adventure.
There are other opportunities for fun while you are here for a visit. There are two National Historic Parks that you can visit and enjoy nice small hikes with stunning views from American Camp. Take a nice walk up Young Hill and have demanding view towards the west with views of Vancouver Island. Visit the San Juan Island Trails Committee website and look over the various options to get on local trails. Beach-combing along South Beach can be a wonderful time. Bundle up and head out for a walk with views of the Olympic Mountains. You will practically have the beach to yourself this time of year.
If you are a birder you can drive to nice location to view a mix of sea birds wintering in the San Juan Island. Go to Cattle Pass at the southern tip of San Juan Island and look for Mergansers (Commons, Red Breasted and Hooded), Scooters, Buffleheads Golden Eyes, Grebes and the list keeps going. Don’t forget to scan the tree tops for the many Bald Eagles that enjoy life here in the San Juan’s.
You can even contact Captain Jim if you want to go on a boat ride. Check out Stellar Sea Lions hauled out on rocky islands. Pass along the islands taking in the scenery.
Dine out at some of our great restaurants. Breakfast at Rocky Bay Cafe. Start the day where all the locals like to sit and enjoy traditional eggs and pancake breakfast. Sip coffee and enjoy the slow pace of the island.
Find lodging at Juniper Lane Guest House. This is a fun and quite place to stay. During the winter months the Guest House is quiet. Relax after dinner and cozy in for the night. Enjoy the art throughout the Guest House.
So if you are thinking of a getaway this winter. Check out San Juan Island, though we are a small town. We offer everything you need for a relaxing slow paced vacation.
Contact Discovery Sea Kayaks today to set up your winter kayak adventure on San Juan Island.
January 2009 and Sunny!