Rewind: Orcas!

Remember when I said the spring/early summer wasn’t all bad? Well, one of the highlights was having my dad come to visit.  My dad is my rock- he is my best friend.  And lucky for us, he loves to travel.  I hinted to him that I really wanted him to come visit for Labor day and well he took the bait hook line and sinker.  🙂

When we started to talk about what we would do when he was here he had one request- OCRAS!  I’ve lived here damn near 8 years, yet I had never been on a whale watching cruise.  I did a little research and booked us for a little Orca adventure.

Dad arrived on a Thursday- we picked him up at the airport and hit up Via Tribunali in Georgetown (the awesome neighborhood where our wedding reception was located) for some authentic Neapolitan Pizza. Friday, he took the bus downtown while Matt and I worked.  I took the bus to meet him around 1 for lunch and we had a nice afternoon exploring the library and other sites around downtown.

Saturday was ORCA day!


Unfortunately, Matt had to work on Saturday so Dad and I drove up to Anacortes- From there we hopped a ferry to the San Juan islands (walk on/Walk off) and got there in time to have breakfast on the island.

We met up with our Orca Tour at San Juan Safaris around 11.whale4-imp

We were so lucky to have some very close encounters with a transient pod of Orcas. Transients meaning the do not call Puget Sound their home. I also learned that the diet of transient orcas is different from the pods that call the sound their home. whale3-imp

It was quite cool on the water, but dad and I enjoyed the sun none the less.

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What I really liked about the whale watch is that they had conservationists on the boat.  The lady above helped us try to figure out what pod we were seeing.  Because one of our fellow boat-mates saw a notched dorsal fin we could narrow down the transient pods to a specific one.  Let me tell you that was really cool.  It was a crystal clear day and we enjoyed views of Mount Baker (an active volcano) as you can see above.
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Orca’s weren’t the only things we saw- we also came across dolphins and the harbor seals sunning themselves on the rocks below.747dash8 082-imp

While we waited for the ferry home, i enjoyed a most unique combination of ice cream- Peppermint (top) and coconut (bottom)- strange as it was it was amazing!747dash8 084-imp
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Back at the homestead, on Sunday we celebrated Memorial Day in our traditional fashion- with Maine Lobsters!  My mom came over to help with the festivities. As any good New Englander would- we started the day with “Steamers”.
747dash8 073-imp On the west coast, manilla clams are the closest we could get. Below you can see our set up- Turkey fryer (or lobster boiler) on the patio. Memorial Day lobster boils are a tradition my Mom and I started 7 years ago.


I should note that my Mom and my Dad really enjoy each others company after being divorced.  They have so much fun around each other and I am so lucky for that! I have dreams of them living out retirement in adjoining duplex.  I actually think it would work very well. 🙂

747dash8 075-impAfter the steamers it was time for LOBSTER! We got four 1.25 lbs lobsters and then a 2.5 lbs giant to cook for leftovers.  Normal sized ‘ster on the left- giant ‘ster on the right.

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One of these kids is not like the others….

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Hello there mister… what a big claw you have.747dash8 085-imp
Matt displays the giant lobster in all his glory.  And then he is cooked.  Sorry Charlie!whale7-imp

Lobster and corn on the cobb -color me happy.747dash8 070-imp

So, I always thought I looked like my dad…. Who was I kidding- I am my mom’s mini-me. 747dash8 069-impStill have dad’s upper lip though.

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We nom’ed on the 1.25 lbs-ers and the next morning I cleaned all the bodies and the giant 2.5 lb beast.  Why?  To make lobster rolls, why of course!

whale8-impYeah, that claw was as big as my hand.

On Monday we had to work off all that lobster that we ate, so we took an urban hike in West Seattle.


The West Seattle neighborhood is much closer to where I work than where Matt works- but its beach bum vibe almost had him convinced to move there!


And seriously, you can’t beat those views!

So, if you learned anything from this post you learned that you should come visit me on Memorial day weekend so you can take part in our memorial day  lobster festivities!



Filed under Daily Life

4 responses to “Rewind: Orcas!

  1. Laura S.

    Looks lovely!!!

  2. STEAM-AHS!! LOBST-AHS!!! Yum 🙂 Also – It never dawned on me that a whale watching trip would be different depending on which coast you’re on.

  3. Shondra

    Beautiful photos! Seeing orcas is still on my bucket list.

    I’d love to feature this post on our Northwest-based site. Email me for details!

    shondra (at) dwellable (dot) com


  4. OMG! How WONDERFUL!!!!! 🙂 I love whale watching and I absolutely love seafood. What a lovely time. 🙂

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