From the top of Deception Pass Bridge, 180 feet above Deception Pass, the water looks calm. But Deception Pass is known for its strong current and turbulent waters. At peak conditions water flow reaches 8 knots, creating standing waves, eddies and whirlpools. Before the bridge was built in 1935, people who wanted to cross the pass banged a mallet against a metal lumberjack saw and the first woman ferry captain in Washington would sail over to pick you up.
We crossed through Deception Pass, under the bridge, on a jet boat with Deception Pass Tours. Deception Pass Tours is the only boat tour company I could find that offered a short sail. Their Minor Island Marine Mammal tour is 1.5-2 hours, half the time of a typical whale watching tour. Although I want to see orcas breaching more than anything, four hours on a boat is too long if A1 isn’t a fan. As we headed through the pass into open waters, the sea was rough, and A1 wanted to go home. But once we got closer to some islands, the waters were calm so the captain was able to go full speed, and we were all smiles. We ended up not being able to get to Minor Island because of the currents so instead we headed into the San Juan archipelago, watching porpoises and seals and looking for minke whales, spotted early today. We waited by some bait balls, where diving birds create a tunnel of fish, and whales steal their efforts. We didn’t see any whales, but now that we know she loves fast boats, I imagine a whale watching trip in our future.