If you’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for any amount of time, you should probably know that whale watching is an activity that you must do at some point in time. Nothing can really match the unbelievable sight of a few humpbacks or orcas cresting above the ocean’s surface. It’s a moment of appreciation of nature that you won’t ever forget.
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But before you go on a whale watching adventure with a company like our friends over at White Rock Sea Tours, there are some things that you should know about what to bring, etiquette, what to expect, and more. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 5 things you must know before you go whale watching. This will definitely help you be more prepared for when you decide to go on this must-experience adventure!
Dress Warm and in Layers
It may be over 30 degrees celsius the day that you decide to go whale watching, but dressing in layers is an absolute must! You have to remember that out on the open sea, it gets really windy and there will certainly be a significant wind chill. Couple that together with the speed that you’ll be moving to get to the whale hotspots, and you’ll definitely see why dressing warm is a must. In the summer, we highly recommend bringing something light that still covers a majority of your skin such as a windbreaker or a light sweater. Obviously this depends on the daily temperature and wind speed, so use your best judgement!
Prepare for the Sun
Out on the ocean, there’s no shade, so you’re going to be exposed to the sun. This means that sunscreen and sunglasses are absolute musts. Sunscreen will obviously make sure that you don’t come back with a bad sunburn, and should be a top priority. Make sure you put some on right before you embark. Sunglasses will help you see a lot better (which is obviously important!), so you won’t have to squint the whole time you’re on the boat.
Go in the Morning for a Smoother Sail
If you easily get motion and/or sea sickness, then going whale watching in the morning is an absolute must. Avid boaters definitely know that generally you’ll come across much smoother seas in the morning until waves start picking up towards the afternoon. The earlier the better is definitely true in this case. If you can’t avoid going on an afternoon trip, then taking some sea sickness pills beforehand can be just as important.
Should You Take the Kids Whale Watching?
With White Rock Sea Tours’ whale watching trips to the Gulf and San Juan islands spanning up to 5 hours long, you have to remember that the kids might get bored. Although it sounds like a cool activity for them, it might be a better idea to leave them at home. You’ll definitely want to make sure your kids know what’s ahead of them if you want them to come. We know nobody would want to hear hours of nagging kids on any sort of trip!
Put Down the Camera!
We’re not saying to avoid taking any photos while you’re out whale watching, because that’s obviously some of the fun. However, you must remember that even though you can revisit photos, it won’t be nearly the same experience as seeing the whales with your own two eyes. We definitely recommend to take a few nice photos of the whales, and spend 90% of your time with the whales camera-free. You’ll definitely be able to appreciate their natural beauty so much more.
Win a trip for two to go Whale Watching!