Orca Whale Adventures in the San Juan Islands

San Juan Islands. Orca whales. Sunny summer days. 

There are few things in the world more perfect than the combination of all three. I feel lucky that my job as the VP of Marketing for Clipper Vacations affords me the opportunity to help expose fellow PNW locals as well as travelers from across the world to the majestic beauty of this area of our country.

Ahead of the start of our popular orca whale watching season, I sat down with one of our vessel captains of 20+ years, Jason Mihok, to plan out some storytelling. We immediately landed on the need for some great video footage to help convey the magic of the journey. Oh and a drone. We needed a drone. But not just an ordinary drone. We wanted to do these whales and the area justice so we brought Seattle-based director Collin Monda along with the incredible talent from Motion State (fair warning, your jaw will drop when you see their site reel) and Nick Kolias to run the show .

What unfolded was two days of picture-perfect weather with the San Juans showing off, Orcas soaking in the sun and having the opportunity to witness some of the best filmmakers in their element.

Here’s a look behind the scenes:

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Preparing to leave the city behind.
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Day 1 morning gear check.
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San Juan Clipper power up.
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Our high-speed catamaran kicking up to 25 knots.
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Away we go.
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Drone batteries charged…
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Monitors set…
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Blades out…
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Crew ready…
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Eyes ready…
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Trusty Captain’s eyes on the lookout…
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Bird in the air…
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Quick shots of seals bathing…
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THERE they are…graceful beasts in action.
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Beautiful huffs and puffs as he glides along.
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Curiosity strikes…
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Resulting in a jaw-dropping hello 15 feet away.
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Staking out the perfect sunset vertical burst over the Islands.
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Reflections on Day 1 captures before one last flight.
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Catching first light in Friday Harbor for Day 2.
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Following our WA State Ferry friends out to chase sun.
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Day 2 calibrations.
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Final checks for another day of flying.
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M-Cubed:  Man + Machine + Mountains
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Home safe n’ sound.
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Happy Captain, happy crew.

 

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