Full steam ahead, captain! A day of kayaking near Seward, AK

by Heidi Obermeyer

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I am really excited to be writing about kayaking today because “kayaking” is a fantastic word to need to write out. The best part of this post, besides the actual experiences that inspired it? Saving all the image files as “alaskakayak.” Yeah, try and type it out ten times fast. Good luck with that. And no copy/paste! We do things the hard way on this blog. And by “we” I mean I, since this whole shindig is my little internet brain child and usually gets cranked out while I drink coffee and lounge in some kind of comfortable chair.

Here’s a list of wildlife we saw on our trip to impress you: 2 bald eagles. 1 sea otter. 1 harbor seal. Like 500 salmon. And AT LEAST 4 native Alaskans, since we’re counting Ali + family in this total. It was awesome. And nature-y. And involved paddles and teamwork like any good fraternity induction ceremony kayaking trip should. Wait, what?

We did a 2-hour afternoon delight paddle with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking. First rule of kayaking: trips aren’t called trips, they’re called paddles. Second rule of kayaking: try not to tip over. Third rule of kayaking: feel totally free to passive-aggressively run into the kids in your group who keep cutting you off. Multiple times. At speed.

The drive down to Seward was again, sadly Beluga-less, so I made do with the whimsical whales on my coffee cup at Resurrect Art Coffee House. Located in an old church and chock full of cool local art, it was a nice stop pre-adventure. We dressed warmly with hats and a few layers on top, because the only thing more miserable than being cold is being cold on open water. I also got to bring my good camera with us in a fancy dry bag, which kept my camera clean, safe and (gasp!) dry even as I got it out a few times to take pictures. It was much easier than I thought it would be which was really nice!

The most Alaskan part of our sea kayaking was paddling up the mouth of a stream where some salmon were spawning. I’ve never been so close to such big fish before, and it was fun to watch them scurry away as we moved along the stream. I didn’t realize this, but there are several different species of salmon (duhhh Heidi) and they spawn at staggered times of year, so it’s not really the rare event that nature documentaries lead you to believe it is.

In all seriousness, kayaks are really cool watercraft- if you’re doing it right, you really do glide quite soundlessly over the water. It’s very peaceful and relaxing. I highly recommend some type of boat activity if you’re ever in Alaska- I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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