We’re regular visitors to SJI (we’re planning on retiring there soon) and have gone out with most of the whale watch outfits on the Island — Maya’s Legacy is our favorite. This trip was the best yet, with Captain Jim Maya and naturalist April on their custom-built Aspen Power Catamaran. With just 4 other clients aboard, it felt like going out with friends — who happen to also be very knowledgeable about local wildlife. Jim knew just how to place the boat for the best viewing while showing genuine respect for these amazing animals. April kept up a running commentary while snapping incredible photos that she shared with us by email — we could just immerse ourselves in the experience without having to see things through our own viewfinders. The smoothness and stability of the Aspen cat was appreciated, as we could move all around the boat in complete safety. We saw at least 8 orcas at close range, as well as a dozen bald eagles and about 100 Stellar’s sea lions on our trip. Snug Harbor on Mitchell’s Bay is a wonderful resort and has very nice facilities just a stone’s throw from Lime Kiln Point and the Haro Strait, where there’s plenty of whale traffic. One of the other Maya’s boats viewed the first sperm whale seen in the Haro Strait later the same afternoon.
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