It really could have gone wither way. Back in 2010, I flew to Seattle, drove 3 hrs to Anacortes and took a 2 hour ferry to the San Juan islands, all with the goal of kayaking with orcas. It is a beautiful part of the world and I'm so glad I got to see it and would go so far as to call the trip a rousing success but for one noteworthy fact. We saw zero orcas. Not a one- ok, well, maybe one if you count the one we saw on the ferry back to Anacortes but that was not the point. Afterwards, I continued to exchange emails with the owner of Seaquest, the kayaking outfit we used and eventually learned that ours was the only trip all season that saw no orcas.
My fortunes improved the next year when I flew to Cancun, drove 3 hours to Chiquila and took a 30 minute ferry to Holbox in the hope of swimming with whale sharks. This one was a slam dunk. I was able to swim with 3 whale sharks, saw countless others from the boat and enjoyed three days of stress-free island living at its best.