by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
August 19, 2001
It opened in 1979 and both the outside and interior of the building are decorated with murals of whales.
The museum isn't real large and the gift shop takes up the whole first floor. Here, you can buy jewellery, clothing, videos, books, toys, paintings, etc. relating to whales and other marine life. As well as entertaining, the items are also educational because the museum is dedicated to whales in their natural habitat instead of in captivity at aquariums.
On the 2nd floor there are skeletons, models and artifacts of whales, dolphins and other marine life, as well as a real fetus of a whale and of a porpoise and also a whale's brain. I learned that the whales' diet is 93% salmon (not just any old fish for these guys) and there was an half hour contintually running video showing whales at play and the birth of a baby whale. You can check out the family tree that details the pods of orcas that live in the waters around the San Juan Islands. There is also an exhibit on the Coast Salish people who first lived in the area.
The museum also runs an Interpretive Program at Lime Kiln State Park which is the world's first established whale watch park.
Overall, I enjoyed the museum. Although there weren't a lot of displays, what was there was very interesting and informative and would appeal to people of all ages.
Admission is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for children 5 - 18 years of age and free for those under 5.
Hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
From journal Exploring San Juan Island