The tenure of US Coast Guard?certified Captain Brett as captain of the Island Whaler began as a dream. In the course of nine months, he had a recurring dream about an unusual flatbed boat, which replaced his normal dreams about beating up Napoleon with Horatio Hornblower. More than a year after the visions stopped, Brett discovered his fantasy boat sitting in a parking lot in Anacortes. He now owns that boat and pilots the open-topped Island Whaler through picturesque waters to view the multitudinous wildlife found in and around Deception Pass.
The open deck and low-slung cabin of the seafaring sloop grants easy, panoramic views of the steep, rocky landscape. Captain Brett chimes in against the breeze with educational details about the pass's historical significance, structures, and ecology. Throughout the tours, spritely fauna with unevolved senses of stage fright perform lively, natural ballets as visitors potentially lock eyes with bald eagles, seals, porpoises, gray whales, and Pacific Northwest giant squid.
The veteran athletes at Peregrine Expeditions nurture their already intimate relationships with Mother Nature during skiing and climbing excursions into the icy peaks of Mount Baker or jagged rock faces of Mount Erie. Backcountry skiing courses hone snow-skimming techniques, and intense skiing tours toe the border between the United States and Canada on two-day treks that embark each morning from a hut at base camp. Adrenaline junkies foray into Forbidden Peak for two or three days, conquering the ins and outs of navigating ice, performing mountaintop rescues, and backpacking in challenging conditions. Kid-specific expeditions tone tiny muscles and teach bird calls used to ask eagles the way to the nearest latrine as youngsters grouped by age engage in courses that span one to five days.
Outer Island Expeditions' fleet of kayaks and boats safely cruises at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour through frothy crests ebbing amid the striking sights and wildlife of the San Juan islands. Venturing as far as 50 miles into Canadian waters, whale-watching excursions foster personal rapport between patrons and boat-side orcas, gray whales, or humpback whales trying to learn human etiquette for future espionage missions. Tours of Stuart Island's Turn Point lighthouse begin aboard a 22-foot Kodiak skiff, which buoys patrons through 16 miles of waters inhabited by sea lions and porpoises before they disembark and hike to the lighthouse's historical museum. Fishing charters set sail in search of ocean creatures and potable salt water from all of Outer Island Expeditions' four launch points: Smuggler's Villa Resort, Semiahmoo Resort, Lopez Island, and The Willows on Lummi Island.
Visitors beware: a dinosaur lurks on the rooftop of Imagine Children’s Museum. Luckily, it's only a skeleton presiding over a dig site where kids can forage for fossils.
The simulacra don't end at the rooftop. Throughout the three-floor museum, kids might stumble upon life-size fire engines, pretend airplanes in need of a pilot, or a ferry where youngsters can splash about in a water area. Hands-on activities get their own areas as well. An art studio supplies the raw material for crafting origami and painting masterpieces, while a music station offers the opportunity to make up one's own tunes. Kids that prefer to act like adults, however, can nurse toy animals to health at a wildlife clinic, milk a toy cow at a farm, or explain their prissy coffee order to the doll at the coffee shop.
Throughout the year, the museum arranges a variety of activities and events. Day camps are built around themes such as rocks, insects, and music. Budding builders, meanwhile, master the basic concepts of construction during i-engineers.
A non-profit foundation dedicated to inspiring an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, the Future of Flight Foundation spreads cheer while raising funds with its Wine & Wings events. During these, a selection of 20 wineries pour their red and white creations, which guests pair with the offerings that local chefs cook up. Thanks to events like these, the foundation is able to reach under-served and under-represented middle school and elementary students with their "Flight of Innovation" education program, an informal six-week STEM program in schools throughout Snohomish, King, and Island Counties. Proceeds benefit the Future of Flight Foundation.
For more than 30 years, the non-profit, volunteer-driven Canadian Museum of Flight has educated aviation enthusiasts about British Columbia's flying-machine history with a comprehensive, well-preserved collection of aircraft and aviation artifacts. Among its flock of winged warriors, visitors will find replicas of WW1 aircrafts, a Waco biplane from 1930, a Douglas DC-3 transport from 1940, and a 1942 Hampden bomber, which was used in World War II and is the last craft of its type in existence. Hand-plucked jets include a de Havilland Vampire fighter, the all-Canadian designed and built CF-100, and the needle-nosed Lockheed Starfighter. While some of these crafts, like a third eye, are just for show, many of the fleet-footed fleet regularly take to the skies at airshows and events during the warmer months. Groupon users also receive a 15% discount off anything in the aviation gift shop.