Schools of whales inspire awe with their majestic size and the way they understand the lyrics to "Louie Louie." Marvel at a versatile beast with this Groupon.
During the 70- to 90-mile cruise around San Juan Islandsand sometimes the Canadian Gulf Islandsqualified naturalists focus on orca spotting with opportunities to spy gray, humpback, and minke whales. Tours begin May 19 and last six to seven hours.
Island Mariners rates vary according to age. This Groupon presents the best deal for adult tickets. Children under 3 can accompany their parents free of charge.
Since 1962, owner and U.S. Coast Guardlicensed captain Terry Buzzard has gotten to know the waters around Bellingham pretty well. Having hauled mail for the Post Office, salvaged wrecks, assisted in oil spill cleanups, and ferried passengers throughout the San Juan Islands, he has built quite a resume of seafaring. This relationship with water isn't so surprising considering he began boating at the age of 3 when he was allowed to pilot a single-horsepower boat by himself with his trained rescue dog, Rusty.
Regardless of the actual job he's performing, Terry is always drawn to whales. By 1978, this fascination lead him to chartering trips specifically for whale watching, especially toward the schools of orca that made the region their home. Looking back, he's pretty certain his boat was the only one in the area at the time dedicated to the thrill of witnessing some of the world's largest and most beautiful animals.
Today, the waters are spotted with various boats filled with passengers snapping pictures of the great aquatic beasts and shouting ululations whenever one smacks its enormous tail against the water, takes a playful leap, or belts a Mariah Carey song. Terry's boat, the 110-foot Island Caper, provides ample comfortable seating and rail space for tour-goers to spot whales, and is decked out with a 34-speaker sound system. In business for 50 years, Island Mariner Whale Watching also employs a seaplane to help spot whales and guide tours. With his chief navigatora 5-year-old airedale terrier also named RustyTerry is right out there amid the excitement, ferrying whale watchers and sharing his life-long passion.
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