top of page



Have you ever thought of becoming a Marine Scientist, dreamed of being at sea, or of spending beautiful summer evenings watching whales  with great friends, if so we’ve got your summer plans!


Participation in our program makes you eligible for Marine Science credits from Everett Community College and your completed research is a great way to meet the requirements for your Culminating Senior Project. 


JUNE 23 - JULY 6, 2024


JULY 21 - AUGUST 10, 2024


AUGUST 25 -31, 2024

To apply for a program and scholarship fill out the form at the link below and return to



Apply OnlineDownload Application



Apply OnlineDownload Application

SUMMER 2024 and COVID -19

Deep Green Wilderness is committed to safely voyaging this summer and is establishing protocols that will allow us to get safely off the dock and underway.


We continue to monitor CDC guidelines and the state of Covid regionally and nationally. We ask that all our participants and applicants remain flexible with us as we institute and modify protocol to allow for a safe and healthy sailing season.

Orca Project
Northern Resident Blackfish Sound Photo_ Elizabeth Robinson


Spend two weeks cruising the San Juan Islands in search of orcas!

Age: 15-18

Tuition: $1,650

Application Period: December 1st - April 30th

  • Dates: June 23 - July 6

  • Credits: 2

  • Onboard: Orion 

  • Destination: The San Juan Islands 

  • Departs From: Seattle

  • Returns To: Seattle 

  • Research: Southern Resident and Transient Killer Whales 

  • Shipmates: Other teenagers from Washington and all over the country 

  • Sailing: Advanced Keelboat Sailing

  • Activities: Hiking, Swimming, Stand-up paddle boarding 

  • Will Write Home About: Your epic sunset sails with the Orcas 

  • Research Project Ideas: Do Orcas change their behavior as ship traffic increases? Can Orca vocalizations predict their behavior? What are the plankton concentration levels in areas where Orcas are present? 

The San Juan Islands are the summer home for two eco-types of orca whales. Transient killer whales face many challenges and the Southern Resident Killer Whales were listed as endangered in 2005. Since then a number of regulations have gone into effect to protect the whales. We will take a close look at the whales themselves, their environment and current efforts to protect them to form our own opinions about their place and ours in the Salish Sea. Living aboard Orion, you’ll learn to sail and navigate, as well as execute all shipboard operations, from standing watch to cooking for your shipmates. 


As we use Orion to follow the whales around the San Juan Islands, we will learn what makes these Orcas so unique. You will become a whale biologist as you do your own independent research or art project. Along the way we will meet with different researchers and “stakeholders” who provide insights into this ecologically and culturally dynamic environment. Throughout the cruise there will be a discussion of the different environmental policies that affect the lives of the whales and at the end of the cruise you will be tasked with making your own policy recommendations based on the findings of your research.  Along the way we will encounter many other marine mammals as well.  Sea lions, porpoise, sea birds and with luck a humpback whale.  Emphasis is always put on observing this critters from a respectful distance and learning from our fellow Salish Sea residents. 


This two-week trip starts and ends in Seattle, Washington. During the cruise we will explore some of our favorite anchorages in the San Juan Islands and along the Straits of Georgia. We will also make a few ports of call; due to weather, whales and tide it is hard to predict where these will be but Friday Harbor, Anacortes and Port Townsend are some of our favorites.

Wild Whales
Desolation Sound Humpback Photo_ Elizabeth Robinson


Sailing and snorkeling adventure in the wilderness of the inside passage 

Ages: 15-18

Tuition: $2,150

Application Period: December 1st - April 30th

  • Dates: July 21 - August 10

  • Credits: 3

  • Onboard: Orion 

  • Destination: Salish Sea and Johnstone Straits

  • Departs From: Seattle

  • Returns To: Seattle

  • Research: Cetaceans 

  • Shipmates: Other teenagers from Washington and all over the country

  • Sailing: Basic & Advanced Keelboat Sailing 

  • Activities: Snorkeling, Hiking, Swimming, Stand-up paddle boarding

  • Will Write Home About: Piloting Orion past a waterfall

  • Research Project Ideas: Do Harbor Porpoise prefer a certain water depth when foraging? Do Humpback Whales vocalize in the Salish Sea?

Orcas, Humpbacks and Minke Whales along with Dall’s Porpoise, Harbor Porpoise and Pacific White Sided Dolphins all call the Salish Sea home. Wild Whales is a three-week voyage into the wilderness of British Columbia to study what it means to be a whale in the wild. We will take an up-close look at these cetaceans and their environment. Along the way, we will be joined by researchers who are working in the wild to learn more about cetacean ecology. 


Cetaceans living in the Salish Sea face many challenges and are subject of a number of regulations from Canada and the US. All onboard will join in the conversation about the whales’ place in our environment as we learn what is or is not being done to protect them.    

Experience life aboard a sailing ship from standing watch and cooking for your shipmates to trimming the main sheet and starry nights at anchor. As we voyage north you will become a sailor as you learn the skills vital for sailing Orion. This part of the Salish Sea is home to some of the most scenic anchorages and sailing destinations in the world. We will spend our days seeking out whales and wildlife, sailing, hiking, snorkeling and taking full advantage of our time underway. You will become a whale biologist as you do your own independent research or art project.

FullSizeRender 80.jpg


Keystone Voyage

Spend a week sailing through the San Jaun Islands in search of whales 

Ages: 15-18

Tuition: $950

Application Period: open until filled

  • Dates: August 25th - 31st

  • Onboard: Orion 

  • Destination: San Juan Islands and Straits of Juan De Fuca

  • Departs From: Seattle

  • Returns To: Seattle

  • Research: Cetaceans 

  • Shipmates: Other teenagers from Washington and all over the country

  • Sailing: Basic & Advanced Keelboat Sailing 

  • Activities: Nature Watching, Hiking, Art, Island Exploring

  • Will Write Home About: Sailing with groups of humpback whales in the Straits of  Juan De Fuca and the coll researchers we meet. 

The Salish Sea is considered an epicenter of marine mammal research.  Many groundbreaking discoveries have occurred since the first killer whales census 50 years ago.  Join us onboard as we learn from the past half-century of whale observations.  This voyage is an overview of whales and marine mammals in the Salish Sea. We will learn about their natural history, how they have influenced art and cultural and what strategies we use to help protect them.


Join us onboard Orion as we follow the wind, whales and tide on this seven-day voyage deep into the heart of the Salish Sea.  Learn about the marine mammals that call this place home and how they have influenced our culture and how we influence theirs.  We will spend time learning about the natural history of some of our favorite species from harbor seals to humpback whales as we build sailing and navigation skills.   And orcas, we will learn a lot about orcas! 


Meet with experts to learn about work that is happening to strengthen the populations of these animals and improve the health of the Salish Sea.   We will also spend time exploring some of our favorite islands in the San Juans.

bottom of page