Welcome to Aquatic Research and Monitoring


The Marine Mammal Monitoring division of:

Mystic Sea Charters and Island Mariner Cruises

Our two companies are not only whale watching companies, but are also dedicated marine mammal monitors for various State, Federal and Private entities.

We take pride in being able to accomplish jobs in a timely manner and supply a safe environment and monitoring system for all marine mammals and other wildlife.

While working within industry standards, Aquatic Research and Monitoring offers a wide range of services including protection and enhancement of marine mammals and other wildlife in the ecosystem.

Recently, our companies were awarded the Marine Mammal Detection and Monitoring Contract, NO. UCB-1016 from the Washington State Department of Transportation. This contract is for Marine Mammal Monitoring while ferry dock pilings are being driven.  The 100ft. M/V Mystic Sea and the 110ft. M/V Island Caper were used in this case as a floating platform monitoring station.  On both boats we used acoustic underwater hydrophone equipment in conjunction with optical observation of the area.  

Our Captain and Crew onboard each vessel have over 50 years of combined Marine Mammal Observation experience.  In addition to our fleet of boats and our plane, we have highly skilled and professionally trained land-based Observers/Naturalists. We are monitoring and on the lookout for Orca whales, Humpback whales, Steller Sea Lions and endangered birds. If any of these species get within the specified danger range, the Captain and the Marine Biologist will make the decision to stop the pile driving operation until these endangered species are clear of the area.

Our two large vessels, the 100ft. M/V Mystic Sea and the 110ft. M/V Island Caper, both sit high off the water, which make them perfect for visual observation, and are capable of handling weather and observation up to a Beaufort 5 sea state. Our organization also has two smaller vessels available for the smaller jobs as well as a 180 Cessna on floats.  Our plane is high wing and is excellent for optical remote sensing while sweeping potential areas.  The benefit to using the plane for Marine Mammal Monitoring is that it's able to cover a designated area in an hour that it would take a day for a boat to cover, thereby enabling information to be more-quickly gathered and shared with all onsite vessels and work crews.

 ARM General Information Sheet

The classic 100ft. Mystic Sea and the 110ft. Island Caper have overnight accomodations for crew, staff and biologist, with range capabilities of 1200 miles without stopping.  Both vessels have extensive electronic packages and are diesel powered, twin and triple screw engines.

For remote locations, both the Mystic Sea and the Island Caper have the following features: onboard overnight accommodations, capabilities of preparing meals and seating for up to 65 people, providing 110/220 auxiliary power, and capabilities of fuel transfer.  Our vessels and crew are experienced and trained for operations from Mexico to Alaska and include fuel, Captain/Observer and Deckhand/Naturalist.  Our 2 smaller boats are trailer-able, have electronic packages (except for radar), and also come with fuel, Captain, and Observer/Naturalist.  Our 180 Cessna comes with fuel, Pilot and Observer, and has direct radio communication to and from all of our vessels.

Our land-based Observers/Naturalists are completely mobile and can travel wherever needed.  When required, ARM has a 32' Fifth Wheel and an ATV which can be used by Crew/Naturalist and Marine Biologist for remote locations as well.  The primary operations location of ARM is the Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands area. 

Whether by land, sea, or air, if your next job requires Marine Mammal experts, give us a call to discuss your needs and to learn more about the services that ARM offers.

Upon request, a more detailed specification sheet and rate sheet is available for each vessel and float plane.

Captain Monte Hughes
Mystic Sea Charters
Cell: 360-941-3378
Captain Terry Buzzard
Island Mariner Cruises
Cell: 360-739-8864


Check-In, Tickets and Boarding


GRAY WHALES CHECK-IN - March 7 - May 10, 2015

Directions: Langley, WA
228 Wharf St.
Langley, WA 98260
Google Map



ORCA WHALES CHECK-IN - May 15 - October 4, 2015

Directions: Anacortes, WA
Cap Sante Marina A Dock
710 Seafarers Way
Anacortes, WA 98221
Google Map


Office Location
819 Commercial Ave.
Anacortes, WA 98221

book online


Or call 1.800.308.9387 or 360.588.8000


Gray Whale Facts

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Orca Whale Facts

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Whale Watching Cruises

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Corporate Charters

The 100 Foot
Mystic Sea

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