Whitney from Whale Scout
Measuring Out Our Whales
It felt like we were in the ocean along side these beautiful beasts! One of the most intriguing things we learned was how humpbacks use a feeding technique called bubble netting. See what our kids had to say about the IMAX film on our Kidblog.
TONS of thanks to our chaperones:
Whale Watching Field Trip Information
What time do I need to bring my child to school and when will they return?
Due to the nature of the trip, the tour company would like to leave from Anacortes as close to 9:00am as possible. Keeping in mind that traffic could be an issue, we would like to have all second graders and chaperones at QAE by 7:00am. We will be leaving QAE no later than 7:15am, no exceptions.
As far as the return, we are hoping to be back at QAE between 5:00pm and 5:30pm. Teachers will be setting up a phone tree with room parents to let parent know more specifically what time we are expected to return to QAE. We appreciate your flexibility as we negotiate driving distance, possible traffic, hungry kids and bathroom breaks. We will do our best to keep you up to date as to the arrival time.
What is the name of the company providing the tour?
Island Adventures Inc. based out of Anacortes is providing the tour for our second grade students. Their tour boat seats 110 guests. QAE students, teachers and parents will be the only guests on this boat. For more information on this company, please visit their website:
How long is the tour?
Our tour is scheduled to last between 5 and 6 hours. This is the length of time needed to travel out to areas in the San Juan Islands where whales can be seen. There will be times when the boat is driving out to locations known for whales, as well as times when the boat is anchored to observe whales and other marine life
What can students do while on the boat?
While on the boat, students will have a chance to interact with the naturalists on board and hear some facts and history about whales and the surrounding area. Students may also want to take notes on their observations, or draw pictures of what they see.
What can my child bring?
Because the tour will last for quite a while, students can bring any of the following:
· A book to read
· A notebook or journal to make observations
· Card games or Mad Lib style games (paper versions)
· Binoculars (please no highly valuable ones)
Students should NOT bring:
· Electronic devices (Kindles, Nooks, iPads, iPods, electronic games)
· Cameras (parents and teachers will take photos of the trip)
What about food?
This will be a long day for most kids. Please pack a lunch for your child as there will NOT be food available for purchase on the boat. Students should bring a water bottle labeled with their name. We would also suggest packing two snacks for your child to have available during the day.
What should my child wear?
Please dress your child in layers. Even sunny days on the open water near the San Juan Islands can be very cool. Sweatshirts, t-shirts, comfortable shoes and pants are all great clothing choices. Although there are bathrooms on board the ship, students will not be permitted to change clothes while on the tour.
Has the tour company ever done a trip like this before?
Yes! Island Adventures, Inc. works closely with the Anacortes School District. Each year, second graders from Anacortes go on a similar trip with Island Adventures, Inc. to identify marine life in the area. This is also the company that last year’s 2nd graders used for their amazing whale watching adventure. The company is comfortable working with children.
What are the guidelines the tour boat will follow with regard to space around the whales?
Island Adventures, Inc. follows the global standard of keeping vessels a safe distance (100 feet) away from whales. Once a boat is “parked” to allow for observations, whales may choose to swim closer to the boat, but the boat may not initiate closer contact.
Are there life jackets on board of the boat?
Yes. Island Adventures, Inc. has assured us that although the boat holds 110 passengers they have over 135 life jackets on board. We specifically asked about child sized life jackets and they have again assured us that they have enough to accommodate our group.
My child gets motion sickness while in the car or on a boat, what should we do?
Check with your doctor for some over the counter motion sickness medications if you are very concerned. You will need to either give your child the medicine before departure or you’ll need to have a doctor’s note allowing another adult (i.e. your child’s teacher) to give the medicine. As with all field trips, if your child has any other medications at school (epi-pen or inhaler) your teacher will bring those.
My child uses a booster seat in a car, what do I do?
Send in your child’s booster with him/her on the day of the trip. You may want to label your booster seat so we can insure that you have the correct seat returned to you.