Gateway: Living

Gig Harbor couple combine experience to launch tour company

Ken and Gaylene (Gay) McCray have started their Gig Harbor boating tour business, On Time Tours & Charters. The couple provide a guided boat tour for up to six people. Their knowledge of the history and interesting facts about the Gig Harbor and Puget Sound offer fun for all. Whale spotting is also a major aspect of the business.
Ken and Gaylene (Gay) McCray have started their Gig Harbor boating tour business, On Time Tours & Charters. The couple provide a guided boat tour for up to six people. Their knowledge of the history and interesting facts about the Gig Harbor and Puget Sound offer fun for all. Whale spotting is also a major aspect of the business. lgiles@gateline.com

With 11 years of boating experience, husband and wife team of Gaylene and Ken McCray decided to share their expertise and founded a Gig Harbor-based tour company in October.

On Time Tours & Charters combines the eight years of experience Gaylene (Gay) McCray has from giving kayak tours of Gig Harbor with Gig Harbor Rent-A-Boat and the boating experience of Ken McCray, who has earned his captain’s license after 11 years of safe boating.

“We know the waters,” Gay said of the couple’s experience.

On Time Tours was officially started as a business in October, but the McCrays say that spring of 2016 is when their business will really set sail.

Gay saw the need for a more personalized tour during her time working at Gig Harbor Rent-A-Boat, when she would see people waiting on the dock as she left to guide a tour.

“There were people who either couldn’t — or wouldn’t — get into a kayak,” she said. “It just became clear to us this would be a good thing to do.”

The McCray’s vessel is almost 25 feet in length and can seat up to six passengers, plus the McCrays.

On Time Tours offers three standard narrated tours:

▪ A one-hour exploration of the harbor including the lighthouse and old ferry landing

▪ A two-hour trip around the harbor, underneath the Narrows Bridge and out to Salmon Beach

▪ A three-hour ride that includes the harbor tour, the ride under the Narrows Bridge and extends out to Wollochet Bay and around Tanglewood Island and the Fox Island Bridge

Prices range from $200 to $400 and a current special offers a half-price discount on all tours purchased before Christmas.

Included in the tours are sparkling apple cider and gourmet cupcakes, earning them the nickname the “cupcake tours.”

The couple also offer custom tours for customers looking for a specific experience, view or those celebrating a memorable occasion.

“You gotta do the custom,” Gay said. “People don’t think outside of the box.”

These tours can take the McCrays as far as Seattle or Olympia, wherever their customers want to go, and every trip brings something new.

“Every time we go out we see something different,” Ken said.

The couple have spotted orcas, a humpback whale and a white sided porpoise. Other common visitors on the tour are harbor seals, otters, great blue herons and resident bald eagles. With her years of experience touring the harbor, Gay provides information on Gig Harbor ranging from historical tidbits to the trivia on the city’s most famous residents.

Ken is a retired driver for UPS after 25 years of safe driving for the company. The couple moved to Gig Harbor from Southern California in 2005.

Their boat’s name — “On Time” — came as a joke from a friend and also from Ken’s personal motto.

“I’m never late for anything,” Ken said while his wife laughed.

While the couple’s website is under construction, the company’s Facebook page — On Time Tours & Charters — remains updated with the most current information and rates.

Gaylene is always on the lookout for more information to add to her tours, but the locations the couple visit could not be better for a tour boat.

“There’s a lot to see in the water in Gig Harbor,” she said. “To go by boat is the journey, not the destination. But we have good destinations here.”

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

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