We stayed a second night in Port Angeles; we stayed in a little motel about 15 minutes stroll from the harbour and downtown. It was one of the budget places in town but it was very clean and the beds were comfortable and parking was easy. We stayed an extra night primarily because I wanted to go whale watching but also we wanted to explore a little more of this coastline and see some of Port Angeles. So after breakfast we drove along the Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway until we reached the little tiny town of Sekiu.
Drive Along the San Juan de Fuca Highway
We had no plan and we only stopped here because it was ‘time’ on our schedule for picnic lunch; what stared as a chance stop turned out to be a little gem. Sekiu forms part of the Clallam Bay communities and is an historic fishing village, nestled beside the Strait of Juan de Fuca on this beautiful Olympic Peninsula.
Honestly, whilst we only stopped for an hour we could have spend a day or a week here! It was such a beautiful bay and there were plenty of hikes and activities that we would have occupied ourselves and also just enjoyed looking out at that view! Instead we stopped at the ‘By the Bay’ café for coffee and then headed off to the little fishing harbour for our picnic. We sat munching sandwiches, watching the boats come in and the fishermen gut huge salmon on long tables. They would throw the carcass into the sea which at first we thought was a bit wasteful but after a few minutes the harbour was bubbling with seals, hunting down the remains and no doubt enjoying their own tasty lunch!
We could have stayed but time was marching and we had to head back to Port Angeles, however, if you find yourself in the area, allow at least another day to drive along this coast as it’s truly stunning!
We headed back to Port Angeles for our date with Puget Sound Express for an afternoon of whale watching. They say on their website that if you dont see whales you get a refund and they have hundreds of 5* reviews, so we decided that it was worth the 130$ each for the experience.
We’ve both been whale watching before, off the coast of New England and also in Maui but there is just something so very special about these magnificent creatures that compels you to watch them. We had no idea what to expect today but in my heart I hoped and wished and hoped some more that we would see Orca.
The boat left promptly and was smaller that we expected, which was a bonus as it never felt busy. There were also two marine biologists on board who provided lots of information through-out the trip. I took my go-pro but it’s not the right kind of trip so quickly decided that I’d skip the video. We were lucky with the weather, it was clear blue skies and calm waters, it was cold but oh it felt like just the perfect weather.
As the boat left the harbour we could look back over at the still snowy tops of the Olympic Mountains that we’d hiked yesterday! During our morning walk we could look down and see the Straights of San Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island and we asked ourselves then “I wonder if we’ll see these mountains tomorrow?” … we certainly could!
Orca in Puget Sound
We didn’t have to wait too long before the crew spotted two Killer Whales. They had seen them earlier in the week and determined that they were two brothers, around 15 years old. We followed them for some time, watching them dive and then surface again a few minutes later. The rules are strict in Puget Sound, the boats cannot get closer than 200m to the whales unless the whales decide to come towards us, in which case the engines come off and we have to wait until the move away again. Amazginly for us, the brothers did decide to come a bit closer and we got to watch these two beautiful Orcas up close! WOW!
After a while the crew asked if we wanted to go in search of Humpback Whales and leave the brothers to hunt. They had been told of a mother and her young spotted towards the coast of Vancouver Island. So we took off again across the sound in search of more whales. And because it must have been our lucky day we found them! We also found lots and lots of seals, taking in the last of the day’s sun on a tiny lighthouse island, well inside Canadian waters.
After watching the Whales surface and dive and touring the island it was time to head back to port. The sun was getting low and the sea looked so perfect. We had started the trip thinking it was expensive but hoped it was worth it, we ended the day absolutely thrilled with our trip and could not have wished for anything more! I’m so happy that we spent the extra night and decided to take the trip!