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OUTER ISLAND EXCURSIONS offers high-quality, unforgettable marine experiences in the San Juan Islands of Washington State. We have been in business for over ten years and we boast the best ratings in the region. Read below about our vessels, our enthusiastic crew, and our high ratings.

We look forward to meeting you!

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We are the only Whale Watching Company on Orcas Island, WA to offer a guarantee of encountering whales. We are so confident that we will find you whales that if you don’t see a whale you can come again for free. We are able to do this because for the past 5 years we’ve had over a 98% sighting success.

The numbers speak for themselves: We saw whales on every trip (over 1400 tours) in the summer and fall of 2015!

This year we are proud to extend our guarantee to apply to ALL regularly scheduled tours. If you do not encounter whales on a tour with us we will issue you a voucher to come again and ride for free. The voucher never expires and it is valid for use by the original recipient only. The voucher entitles the recipient to standby loading for any currently scheduled whale watch tour with availability. You may also use your voucher for a discount for priority loading, a private charter, or other tour. To use your voucher you must register your intent of use with our office.

100% sightings


We are proud of the high ratings we receive.

We are named #1 THING TO DO IN EASTSOUND, WA by TripAdvisor and were given their Certificate of Excellence.

We have 4.5 star reviews on both TripAdvisor & Yelp.

Here are our reviews from the public:


At Outer Island Excursions we are excited about our fleet of new, high-speed, and fuel efficient thrilling vessels. With smaller, faster boats we offer an adventure where passengers can have a personal experience with more one-on-one time with your Captain and Naturalist. For regular tours we only put 30 people on our largest boat even though it could hold up to 40. Or if you would like a private charter, you can have complete control over your trip’s itinerary- choose your favorite vessel below and call us to schedule your custom expedition! Enjoy endless possibilities of whale watching, fishing, island hopping, lighthouse viewing, birdwatching, or even fine dining by stopping at Roche Harbor or the Willows Inn- or catch Dungeness crab and have us prepare them for you on a remote beach.

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“The Blackfish II”

38ft Aluminum Catamaran

The Blackfish II is custom designed for whale watching, with an incredible blend of comfort and thrill. This vessel carries up to 30 passengers, with TWO decks and a fantastic view from the roof. With a top speed of 42 knots (that is almost 50 mph) the Blackfish II is easily twice as fast as the average whale watching boat and the Blackfish Fleet are the fastest whale watching boats in the San Juans! You will find seating for everyone inside and out as well as a full restroom. Powered by the most fuel-efficient engines on the water in the San Juans, at an idle they are whisper-quiet to minimize impact on the whales and environment. At only three years old, the Blackfish II is great for whale watching and custom charters.


“The Blackfish III”

38ft Aluminum Catamaran

We loved the design of the Blackfish II so much, we built another! The Blackfish III is brand new for 2015, with a few subtle modifications. We worked closely with the Orcas Island Fire Department to make the Blackfish III the first Marine Ambulance in Washington State! An incredible blend of comfort and thrill, this vessel carries up to 30 passengers with TWO decks and a fantastic view from the roof. With a top speed of 42 knots (that is almost 50 mph) the Blackfish fleet vessels are easily twice as fast as the average whale watching boat and the fastest whale watching boats in the San Juans! You will find seating for everyone inside and out as well as a full restroom. Powered by the most fuel-efficient engines on the water in the San Juans, at an idle they are whisper-quiet to minimize impact on the whales and environment. Our primary vessel moored in Anacortes, the Blackfish III is great for whale watching and custom charters.


“The Blackfish Express

38ft Aluminum Catamaran

The Blackfish Express is the ultimate thrill ride as the fastest passenger boat in the San Juan Islands! Feel the rush of the fresh Pacific Northwest air on our only totally open deck boat. But don’t worry: we are happy to provide coats just in case. Complete with a wide wind break, full restroom, and plenty of cushioned seating. You would never guess it has top speeds  over 50 mph because it has such a smooth, comfortable ride- until you watch as we fly by all the other boats! With the same twin outboard engines as the Blackfish II and the Blackfish III but half the weight, the Blackfish Express is very fuel-efficient yet whisper-quiet when we slow down to an idle to watch wildlife.   For the truly adventurous, the Blackfish Express is the ideal boat for getting to the whales fast! This boat is the perfect vessel to make your private charter into the adventure of a lifetime.


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“The Triton”

32ft Aluminum Chamber Boat

The Triton is the toughest, safest, and one of the fastest of its kind. This boat was designed primarily for military applications and was built locally in Bellingham, WA. With seats for up to 13 people, heated cabin and full restroom making this an ideal boat for any experience. Top speed is 50 MPH with a 35 MPH cruising speed. The Triton has an open back deck, front deck, and a large comfortable cabin with large windows making viewing whales easy no matter where you are on the boat! Our most popular vessel for private whale watching charters, early reservations are strongly recommended for July and August.


“The Loki” & “The Blackmouth”

26 ft Catamarans

The Loki and the Blackmouth are the perfect combination of speed and comfort, ideal for a small group or private charter. A great choice for family outings with an enclosed area and bathroom, they are ideal for fishing as well as whale watching. The catamaran hull provides a stable fishing platform and great viewing area. Both vessels have full electronics and can cruise at 30 mph with a top speed of 45 mph. These vessels have a maximum of 6 people plus crew.  Our most popular vessels for fishing, these boats are both certified for salmon fishing so you can bring up to 12 people and fish together! Early reservations are strongly recommended for July and August.

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“The Sun Runner”

23ft Fiberglass Skiff

The Sun Runner is a very fast and smooth riding boat making it ideal for small groups to fish, whale watch or a combination of both. With a full electronic package and an emergency head she cruises along at 30 mph and tops out at about 40 mph. This vessel is ideal for small groups interested in bottom fishing, island hopping, lighthouse tours, birdwatching, and water taxis. Maximum of 6 passengers.


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Captain Beau Brandow

Beau Brandow, owner and operator of Outer Island Excursions, resides here on Orcas Island. He grew up sailing amongst and exploring the many islands of the San Juans. Beau has spent much of his adult life as a steward of publicly owned lands. He has worked to protect and improve recreational access to public lands throughout Washington. Most of his career has been spent protecting and maintaining the very parks he grew up exploring. Today Beau takes pride in providing visitors with access to an intimate experience of these remote islands and the wildlife that inhabits them. He enjoys nothing more than sharing his knowledge of the waterways, wildlife and his favorite fishing spots with those adventurous souls who have a desire to experience the unique and rugged beauty of the San Juan archipelago.


Captain Matt Stolmeier

Captain Matt grew up on Orcas Island and has been boating and exploring the local waters from the age of five.   As a graduate of the University of Hawaii with a degree in Sustainable Eco-Tourism he has previously worked within the boating industry as a First Officer on a whale watching and snorkel cruise in Hawaii as well as a kayak and raft guide in Southeast Alaska.  From exploring tide pools on field trips as a child, to being a lifelong volunteer at the local salmon hatchery, Matt has always had a particular interest in the local marine ecosystem, and is eager to share the natural wealth of the Salish Sea with its visitors.


Captain Paul Weatherford

Captain Paul moved to the San Juans to pursue a career managing Washington State Parks. He’s quick to realize it is much more fun to show off the area to visitors rather than telling them all about the rules and collecting money for campsites. He logged 1000’s of hours on the water while with the State Parks and has been a Captain with us since 2010. You will find he knows all the well hidden spots!

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Captain Sky

Captain Sky Weaver grew up in San Clemente, California surfing and top water fishing. He spent his youth surfing competitively and professionally until his mid twenties. Sky has been on Orcas Island for the past 10 years with his wife and two children taking advantage of fishing and crabbing. Sky has been a captain in the San Juan Islands for 5 years. Being on the water is his second nature, like breathing. With a life long passion for the ocean he has built extensive knowledge of tides, currents, whales, fish, and other wildlife and how best to enjoy them. Sky is a certified naturalist with the Whale Museum, and working at Outer Island is the perfect fit. With a wealth of experience and knowledge of the surrounding area he always keeps safety his top priority – along with fun!

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Captain Greg

Captain Greg devotes his summers to fishing in the San Juan Islands. He has always been passionate about being on the water experiencing the wildlife that is right in front of you. Exposing people to such an incredible experience makes his job worthwhile. A family man he is a dedicated husband and father with a two and a half year old daughter at home. When he isn’t fishing, Greg stays occupied during the winter with woodworking and carpentry.

Captain Steve

Captain Steven Jacobson

Captain Steven Jacobson has been on and off the San Juan Islands for almost twenty years. His first job when he arrived was a kayak guide for a small outfit working out the north shore. A passion for the water, he quickly learned to take advantage and respect the beauty of the Salish Sea. The majority of his summers were spent on the water either guiding or just taking in the sights. He continues to work part time as a commercial diver and is looking forward to his third season with Outer island Expeditions.


Captain Bryce

As a life-long resident of Washington, Bryce has a great knowledge and appreciation of the islands and wildlife in the Puget Sound. He first visited the San Juan Islands on a boat-camping trip with his family at 10 years old and has been drawn to this area ever since. In 1998, he moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University and graduated with his Bachelors Degree in 2001. During his studies, he spent many weekends and summers exploring the islands by boating, hiking, biking and has been doing so ever since. Bryce is currently a professional Firefighter/Paramedic and during his time off enjoys sharing his love for these islands as a part-time Captain. Bryce’s latest adventure has been into the realm of parenthood; he and his wife Jen welcomed their daughter, Keira, in December of 2014. Bryce is excited to explore the Pacific Northwest with his family and loves to share his enthusiasm and love for nature with people on his tours.

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Captain Jon

Jon is a Bellingham local who grew up hiking, paddling, and exploring all the northwest has to offer. From a young age he had an affinity for the water- weeks long kayaking trips to Barkley sound, or Bowron lakes were a welcome get away from city life. Jon is an eagle scout, and PADI certified diver, and marine technician. When he’s not captaining a charter boat you may find him sailing his own 36’ sailboat, or climbing down in a bilge making sure everything is working as it should. Jon has been a kayak guide and captain for Outer Island since 2011.

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Captain Demi Gary

When Demi isn’t wrestling bears or rehabilitating monkeys in the tropics, she finds her home here on Orcas island where she claims to “rehabilitate human primates” by sharing her love for nature on her tours. Demi is a transplant from Michigan where she graduated from Alma College with her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and has studied everything from turtles to orangutans. Although she still travels the world frequently, Demi considers the Pacific Northwest to be her home since she arrived in 2012 and has been hiking, kayaking, and exploring the area ever since. Demi enjoys working for Outer Island Excursions because the types of tours we offer allow people of all ages and from all backgrounds to connect with a sznd appreciate the biodiversity and unique ecosystem of our area.

Demi is also the executive director of Orcas W.I.L.D., the new interpretive center in downtown Eastsound. Be sure to stop in and check it out!

217 Main Street
Eastsound, WA 98245

Join Our Team!

We accept applications for Captains and Naturalists through December 15th. We hire people each year for our peak season of mid-April through early October. We are also accepting volunteers to help operate our museum Orcas W.I.L.D. in Eastsound during the summer. Find out more here.