Olympic Kayak Tours with seal logo

Olympic Kayak Tours' Unguided Rentals

Exploring Beautiful Kilisut Harbor

Frequently Asked Questions

What's up with your crazy hours?

Our area (like most of the Salish Sea) is subject to strong tidal and tidal current variations. We are only open for rentals when it's safe and appropriate. Because of the fluctuations of the moonphase, every other week we can only be open for a short period each day, and every other week we can be open for longer shifts. We would like to have regular hours for rentals, but we prioritize safety and are only open for rentals when currents are 2 knots or less. If we have winds greater than 15 knots in our area (Kilisuit Harbor), we will close and, if necessary, refund participants.

What wildlife am I likely to see?

The abundant wildlife in Kilisuit Harbor varies with the seasons. Marrowstone and Indian Islands represent excellent habitats with healthy eelgrass beds, salt marshes, and unarmored beaches. Harbor Seals abound and raise their pups in the harbor in the summer, there are ample Bald Eagles which also raise young, and, although they can be shy, there are healthy populations of marine River Otter. Charming Pigeon Guillemots raise their young in nest holes made in sandy bluffs surrounding the harbor, and in the Spring and the Fall there are countless migratory birds, especially sandpiper species. Since the recent habitat restoration at the harbor's southern end, various Salmon species are migrating through the harbor again, and keen eyes can find interesting marine invertebrates like sand dollars and sea cucumbers.  Will you see Orcas, Porpoises, or other members of the whale family? Alas, no. These species prefer the more open, rougher waters, so if you want a chance to see these species, you can join a guided tour!

How experienced do I need to be?

We do our best to set you up for success by making sure we only rent when the currents are gentle, monitoring weather conditions, and keeping all our unguided renters in a relatively sheltered and safe area. Nonetheless, if you're going on an unguided rental you ought to have some experience and comfort kayaking. If you're totally new or nervous we recommend you book one of our guided tours. We require at least one cell phone per party and will provide a floating case on a lanyard. If you get in trouble out on the water, you should first call 911 and then call us to see if we can help.