It takes about an hour to go from Whidbey Island to San Juan Island on the ferry (Anacortes to Friday Harbor). The ferry has cozy areas to sit and liquify while gazing out the window. Would be a most awesome commute though it's expensive -- $45 for a roundtrip ferry pass!
Dan about to get into the boat. We chose Maya's Whale Watching because we like the more personalized experience of a smaller boat and also because of the great feeling I got when talking to the captain, Jim Maya. He was excellent, could spot eagles and wildlife from afar and was a very warm and interesting person.
The water was silky smooth and the temperature a gentle (for this time of year) 50 degrees, a beautiful day to look for cetaceans.
We spotted a minke whale (which looked like a distant blip on my tiny point-n-shoot so I didn't bother) but also ran across a pod of Dall's porpoises.
Inside the boat, a fellow traveler eyes a whale ID sheet while captain Jim Maya keeps an eagle eye out on ripples and other signs of underwater activity.
Video! (20 seconds)
And another (1 minute):