$46 for a 3.5-Hour Orca-Whale-Watching Tour from Orcas Island Eclipse Charters ($78 Value)Saturday, June 26, 2010 23:57
While most are amazed by the sublime, majestic nature of whales, a small, paranoid minority wonders what would happen to mankind if whales had legs. Worship or worry as you see fit with today's Groupon: for $46, you get a 3.5-hour Orca-whale-watching tour from Orcas Island Eclipse Charters (a $78 value that includes the port and tax fees). Eclipse's 56-foot Orcas Express—an airy, spacious comfort cruiser with a heated cabin—has a limited supply of raincoats and binoculars on board at all times, so cetacean lovers are encouraged to bring their own cameras, binoculars, and warm clothing.
After boarding the Eclipse at the ferry landing at Orcas Island, you'll get to immerse yourself in the wild waters around the San Juan Islands, either from the ship's airy open deck or the tables of its comfy heated cabin. In addition to spotting the island's famed "killer" whales, you're liable to spot Minke whales, harbor seals, harbor porpoises, and a host of oceangoing birds such as eagles, ospreys, cormorants, and herons. As you swing by Spieden Island, you might even spot rare European and Japanese deer imported years ago for hunting. Your captain will get you as close as he can within the limits of whale-watching law and sea etiquette to the whales and their sundry sea-bros. Because Eclipse has a professional naturalist on each trip, you're almost sure to spot some scintillatingly nude dorsal fins.
United States Coast Guard–licensed master captain Dan Wilk and his wife, Denise, have more than 29 years of experience in the waters around the San Juan Islands. This pair of full-time aquatic mammals experienced a brief but intense affair with fame when they portrayed members of a Coast Guard marine patrol for the film Free Willy 2, though they were never offered another Hollywood role after they sent an Orca to accept their Academy Awards. Since then, they've dedicated themselves to providing the best possible Orca-viewing experience in the Northwest. Spend a warm, sunny day in the company of freed Willies with today's Groupon to Orcas Island Eclipse Charters.
Tours are subject to availability. Twenty-four-hour advance reservations required.
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