K-Pod orcas seen from the shore; photo by Libby Baldwin

K-Pod Returns to the San Juans

Over the weekend, orca enthusiasts on the island were thrilled when several members of K-Pod were reported as inbound from an area to the north called Race Rocks. Sure enough, a couple of hours later they were seen making their way down the southern end of San Juan Island. Several whale-watching operators trailed them as […]

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Photo by Drew Harvell

Sea Stars Going Extinct?

Around these parts, the orcas and seals get a lot of attention, but they aren’t the only species of fascinating and beautiful wildlife that can be found here. Far from it, in fact. Whale-watching may be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of water activities in the San Juan Islands…unless […]

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How Would an Oil Spill Affect the San Juans?

Some environmentally conscious folks have launched a project to find out. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Georgia Straight Alliance have undertaken a research project to find out what would happen if an oil tanker began leaking into the Salish Sea, which is the collective name for the waters around southern Vancouver Island and the […]

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Need Something To Do on a Cloudy Day on SJI? Here’s 10!

The sun is starting to make its triumphant reappearance here in the San Juan Islands! Thanks to the “rainshadow effect,” we enjoy an average of 250 or more sunny days every year, and receive only about half of the rainfall that our friends to the south in Seattle receive! The “banana belt,” as our area […]

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The Blackfish Effect and San Juan Island

One of the hottest films of 2013 wasn’t about an apocalypse, a star-crossed beautiful couple, or superheroes. It was about killer whales. Blackfish, a documentary filmed directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, began as an investigation into the events leading to the death of veteran Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau in February 2010. What it has turned […]

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Why Do You Travel?

We often hear a lot about the baby boomer generation, but what we’re hearing now is that they’ve got the travel bug. According to an article from NextAvenue.org, boomers spend almost $160 million every year on travel. There are several categories of travel that are becoming increasingly popular, and most of them are related to […]

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Island Marble butterfly, once thought to be extinct

See Something Rare and Beautiful on Your Next Trip!

When it comes to wildlife and the San Juans, the first thing that generally comes to mind is the orca. Orcas are unique to this part of the country, and this area is the only one in the United States that has its own population of resident orcas. They are stunningly beautiful, highly social, and […]

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Photo Courtesy of Captain Jim Maya

Update on our Orcas w/ Captain Jim!

The summer of 2013 was the worst summer in a long time for orca sightings, with the J-Pod whales being sighted only 27 times in our area between April and August. But the winter has been excellent, with lots of orca appearances in addition to an abundance of other amazing wildlife! Captain Jim Maya of […]

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Take in a Tuesday Night Film at the Grange This Winter and Spring!

Looking for a fun new way to pass a cold winter evening as we wait for spring to return? Try checking out a provoking film at the San Juan Island Grange! Every other Tuesday at 7 p,m., through winter and spring, the folks at the Friday Harbor Film Festival will be showing a selection of […]

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Photo by Libby Baldwin for San Juan Excursions

A New Year Means a New Chance to Save our Orcas!

As you reflect back on 2013, you may remember moments of both triumph and tragedy in your life. You may think about the highs and lows of the year and use those memories to reflect on what you want to change, or what kinds of New Year’s resolutions you want to try and keep this […]

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Fire safety is so important when it comes to holiday decorations!

Keep Your Holidays Safe!

It just isn’t the holidays until you’ve trimmed the tree and strung the lights. Some just go with a simple, pre-lit tree; others choose to go all out and decorate every surface inside their homes and even yards! Whatever your amount of electric holiday spirit, this advice on fire prevention will give you peace of […]

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Juvenile bald eagle, photo by Heather Callin

Wolf Hollow Helps Keep Our Wildlife Wild!

As residents of San Juan Island, we hear plenty about the multitude of wildlife conservation efforts that are a huge part of life here – from shore-based whale-watching, to the annual Christmas Bird Count, to keeping a safe distance from our 4,000+ harbor seals. But there are so many people living here who are working […]

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Friends of the San Juans Speaker Highlights Energy Positives

Carl Zichella, Director of Western Transmission, Land & Wildlife Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, gave the keynote address at the Friends of the San Juans annual meeting. Carl is the organization’s lead staff for western U.S. Renewable energy transmission siting and serves on a nationwide team working on renewable energy development issues. In this role, […]

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San Juan Island has some great spots for enjoying year-round tide-pooling. Marine Naturalist Brittany Bowles offers tips on getting the most from your excursion.

Tide Pooling on San Juan Island

Tide Pools can be a place of endless fascination and entertainment, for young and old alike. When the sea recedes on the rocks near the shore, it leaves little puddles of water, often home to delicate creatures that survive in both wet and dry conditions. They may hide under rocks or seaweed to protect themselves […]

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Lummi Nation Totem

Kwel Hoy’ – “We Draw the Line”

The Lummi tribe has declared their strong opposition to the Coal Project and on September 15th embarks on a 1200-mile long  road trip Lummi style, a Totem Pole Journey through the sacred landscapes of the West, to unite the west in saying NO to coal export. Kwel Hoy’ means “We Draw the Line.” The House […]

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The proposed coal terminal in Longview would ship 44 million tons of coal per year, almost as much as Cherry Point in Bellingham. Courtesy of Columbia River Keeper.

Comments Open on Proposed Coal Terminal in Longview

Regulatory agencies are currently accepting comments on the scope of the Enviromental Impact Study for the proposed Longview coal terminal (Millennium Bulk Terminals.) The proposal would ship 44 million tons of coal across SR 432, 16 new trains a day, and run 730 coal ships per year through the environmentally sensitive waterways of the Columbia […]

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Vote Yes on 522

This November, Washington State voters will decide whether to label genetically engineered foods. Nationwide, the past couple of months have shown a ramp-up of support for labeling, with labeling bills passing legislatures in Connecticut, and Maine. Washington, however, is the only state sending a genetically engineered foods labeling bill to a vote of the people […]

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Coal Activists

Coal Exports – Summer 2013 Developments

We are making progress in our fight against the proposed coal exports project. As you’ve no doubt heard, there is a major proposal to strip mine coal in the Powder River Basin region of Wyoming and Montana, transport it by long, open train cars through cities and towns across the country to the west coast, […]

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Friday Harbor, San Juan Island Maps Available for I-Phones

Now you can get rid of the paper map and download it on your I-Phone. Town Graphics, the creator of the maps that we give out at the Inns, has just released two free apps, one for Friday Harbor/San Juan Island, and the other for Eastsound/Orcas Island. Go Green – download your map before you […]

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Lummi Nation Protest Coal - TreatyProtectiondotOrg

Lummi Leaders Embark on Totem Pole Journey from San Juan Islands to Protest Coal Exports

Our neighbors from the Lummi Nation are about to embark on a 1,500-mile Totem Pole Journey and you are invited to hear their story.   Lummi leaders, Jeremiah Julius and Jewell James will discuss their upcoming Totem Pole Journey and other activities related to their opposition to the proposed coal export terminal at their ancient village […]

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