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FIRST SEA KAYAK CAMPING TRIP OF THE SEASON IN PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND, ALASKA

What do you do when Alaska throws almost every type of weather at you during a four-day camping trip? Let me tell you. . . You see the beauty in both the driving rain with gusts of wind, and the blue skies dappled with sunshine. You maintain a cheerful attitude, hunker down and discuss the great books you’ve read, eat delicious hot meals, drink a lot of tea, and laugh a lot!

A huge thanks goes out to Siobhan (pictured above, leaping for joy for a much-deserved sunny day in Columbia Bay), who travelled all the way from Melbourne, Australia, to join me on a sea kayak adventure. She was everything that a guide wishes for in a client and paddling partner; helpful, cheerful, funny, adventuresome, and with a “ready to rally” attitude.

Approaching the face of Shoup Glacier

Paddling past the Black-Legged Kittiwake rookery in Shoup Bay

With a less-than-ideal weather forecast for the first day of our trip, we altered the itinerary to include a night at Shoup Glacier, what we called our “bonus glacier”. We endured a bit of rain that day as we paddled to the face of this beautiful blue glacier, then enjoyed a lovely evening as the skies cleared to reveal new snow on the mountaintops.

Beautiful blue face of Shoup Glacier

Clearing skies in Shoup Bay

The previous year a young whale had washed ashore in Shoup Bay, which now offers us a unique opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the carcass of this massive creature.

Day two we awoke to blue skies, sunshine, and a gorgeous reflection. Shoup Glacier sure does look pretty with these pleasing conditions.

What a gift of a day! We continued on to the magical south side of Glacier Island, where calm seas and light winds allowed us to explore sea caves and enjoy time at the Sea Lion haul-out, where hundreds of these gregarious animals hang out and approach our boat in playful curiosity.

Bald Eagle

We pushed on and made a four-mile crossing from Glacier Island to the south end of Heather Bay, which is right next to Columbia Bay. Tired from an exciting and full day we set up camp and enjoyed the last bit of no precipitation for a little while, as the next day we endured the brunt of a windy rainstorm. Hey, this is coastal Alaska after all!

I don’t have any photo evidence from this wet day, however Siobhan and I still rallied, put on lots of warm clothing, stuffed ourselves with hot food and drinks, and set out into the wind and rain to check out the icebergs in Columbia Bay. We paddled up Heather Bay, seeking shelter in Heather Islands’ protected coves. It took a couple of hours, but we finally managed to land on the moraine, which divides Heather and Columbia Bays. This long stretch of land is the deposit of rock, gravel, and sand left over from when this largest of tidewater glaciers in Prince William Sound (tidewater meaning the face of the glacier is sitting in the ocean) had pushed its’ face (or terminus) to this point in the bay. The glacier has since retreated off of the moraine, leaving a great place for walking, as icebergs often ground themselves in the shallows here.

Lots of ice grounded on the moraine (on a sunny day)

We returned to our camp, dried out, filled up with halibut fish tacos, and endured a bit more rainy weather from inside of our dry tents. It’s a great thing we both had good books! Having experienced all of that rain, we were overjoyed to wake up the last morning to clearing skies, which turned into a glorious sunny day. We had the rest of this beautiful day to return to Columbia Bay and paddle amongst the towering icebergs.

Siobhan is one of the lucky ones to get to see ice in both grey and sunny skies. There is a unique, dramatic blue to the ice with a grey background. And with sunny skies. . . Well, it’s simply magnificent. We must have repeated a hundred times how lucky we felt for this day.

Iceberg reflected in Columbia Bay

What a trip, filled with so many highlights. I look forward to sharing more camping trip experiences with you, as well as lots of other Alaskan adventures. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more on the blog. Don’t forget to check out all of the wonderful trip opportunities that Anadyr has to offer. Give us a call and we’ll make your Alaskan dreams come true!

Your guide!

 

VALDEZ GLACIER ICE EXPLORATION

Valdez Glacier kayak tours are a unique opportunity to explore glacier ice, paddle around massive icebergs and have a lot of fun on top of the glacier. No experience necessary on this short day tour. Check out what the Valdez Glacier looks like currently, as the ice features can change quite dramatically in a short amount of time.

We had a fun group from Thailand (with one from Jordan and one from Oregon) on the Valdez Glacier yesterday. Even though it was a rainy day, that certainly didn’t stop us from getting groovy on the glacier.

An iceberg ice cave. Look how blue the ice is!

The view from inside the iceberg ice cave

Glacier yoga

Blue ice features on the glacier

Give us a call to book this amazing tour for a unique glacier experience with professional guides.

ANADYR ADVENTURES EXCITING NEW SEA KAYAKING & CAMPING TRIPS

Hello everybody! This is Ilene, senior kayak guide for Anadyr here in beautiful Valdez, Alaska. I’ve been enjoying a sunny spring, delighting in watching the days grow longer and warmer. Before we know it the snow will be gone in town, flowers will be blooming and heaps of visitors will be arriving to explore and discover all that the area has to offer. I finally got into a sea kayak the other day and felt happy to be paddling once again in Prince William Sound, greeting the Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals and Sea Otters. Back for my 6th season with Anadyr Adventures I continue to be amazed and inspired by the beauty and wildness of this place.

Lunch with a view of Columbia Bay

Do I ever tire of returning to the same places with different guests season after season? No, absolutely not! That’s why I keep coming back. The wildlife, the mountains, the glaciers, the icebergs, the sky, and the water offer the chance to tune in and discover the subtle yet constant changes that occur in this dynamic marine environment. Just like no two icebergs are the same, no camping trips will ever be the same either. Anadyr offers a variety of camping trips for all experience levels, time frames and trip goals. We are excited to be expanding our camping trip offerings, highlighting the awe-inspiring environment of eastern Prince William Sound, one of the most spectacular places for sea kayaking! Check out these two new and unique camping trip itineraries.

The Chugach Mountains offer an awe-inspiring backdrop to Columbia Glacier

Glacier Island to Columbia Glacier Discovery Trip 5-Day ($1625/person Fully Guided)

Diverse wildlife, boreal forest, rugged coastline, sea caves, towering icebergs, serene bays and coves, cascading waterfalls, pristine beaches, glacial moraine, and the dramatic recently-revealed landscape from the retreat of the largest tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound. This unique trip is Alaska at its’ best!

Glacier Island, with its’ rugged coastline and sea caves, is home to numerous bird and marine mammal species, including Horned and Tufted Puffins, Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals, Sea Otters, and the chance to view bear, Humpback Whales and Orcas. A highlight is paddling amongst Steller Sea Lions, as the island hosts a large haul-out for these playful and active animals. It’s a dream-come-true for wildlife enthusiasts.

A rowdy crew of Steller Sea Lions adds a thrill to paddling Glacier Island

Nothing like seeing a whale tail from the seat of a kayak

This trip takes us into Columbia Bay, one of the most breathtaking and dynamic bays in the area, ringed by the majestic and snowy glaciated peaks of the Chugach Mountains. We will explore the popular bird-nesting site and often ice-dotted glacial moraine, where Columbia Glacier sat until the start of its’ retreat in the early 1980’s. The peaceful boreal rainforest and distinct coves of this bay and its neighbor, Heather Bay, are home to a delightful diversity of birds, ducks and mammals, including Arctic Terns, Loons, Bald Eagles, Harbor Seals, and Sea Otters. At certain times we can observe salmon returning to their natal streams. If conditions allow, we will paddle the recently-exposed shoreline all the way to the face of this impressive glacier, as it calves icebergs into the water, an unforgettable and powerful experience for all to witness.

This wilderness trip-of-a-lifetime will allow you the feeling that you are experiencing the best of Alaska’s dramatic and awe-inspiring environment.

Navigating through icebergs in Columbia Bay

Columbia Glacier to Long Bay Exploratory Trip 6-Day ($1900/person Fully Guided)  

Diverse wildlife, boreal forest, towering icebergs, serene bays and coves, cascading waterfalls, pristine beaches, glacial moraine, rarely visited glacial lakes, and the dramatic recently-revealed landscape from the retreat of the largest tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound. This exciting wilderness trip allows you to discover one of Alaska’s most breathtaking and dynamic areas.

Enjoy the tranquility of Long Bay

With the majestic and snowy glaciated peaks of the Chugach Mountains as the backdrop, Columbia Glacier towers above sea level, frequently calving large icebergs into the water. We will paddle amongst these glistening ice sculptures as we cross Columbia Bay, discovering lakes and ice left over by the glacier. The popular bird-nesting site and often ice-dotted glacial moraine left over after Columbia Glacier started its’ retreat in the early 1980’s offers a unique landscape to explore. We will have many opportunities to view a diversity of birds and ducks, possibly bears and Mountain Goats, as well as paddle amongst Harbor Seals and Sea Otters that frequently haul out onto the ice.

We will enter Long Bay, a glorious gem of a bay, surrounded by boreal rainforest, cascading waterfalls, muskeg meadows, and towering rock cliffs. Wildlife viewing opportunities include Humpback Whales, Orcas, bears, Bald Eagles and other birds and ducks, Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, and salmon returning to their natal streams.

This trip will leave you feeling inspired and amazed at the best of what Alaska has to offer.

Bald Eagle

Sea Otter on an iceberg in Columbia Bay

Life is good with ice around

Happy paddlers in front of the face of Columbia Glacier

I hope this has you as excited as I am about Anadyr camping trips! I encourage you to peruse other blog posts for previous camping trip descriptions and photos, as well as read client testimonials to see the wonderful things that former Anadyr guests have to say about us. Contact us for more information. We love hearing from you and hope that you’ll join us for a trip-of-a-lifetime in the great wilderness of Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

Mama Harbor Seal with her newborn pup on Glacier Island

Sea Kayaking & Camping Adventure, 4-Day Glacier Island to Columbia Glacier

Life couldn't be better! On the north side of Glacier Island, looking into Columbia Bay

Life couldn’t be better! On the north side of Glacier Island, looking into Columbia Bay

Hello again adventurers! This is Ilene and I’m back with another post from our second camping trip of the season, a four-day journey from Columbia Bay to Glacier Island. I have to give a grateful shout-out to my wonderful expedition mates, Elaine and Dennis from Long Island, and Susanne and Matthias from Switzerland! What wonderful people to paddle with in paradise.

We began our trip in peaceful Heather Bay, where we enjoyed an afternoon of paddling around lots of ice in Columbia Bay. We saw a lot of Sea Otters, Harbor Seals and many birds and ducks.

Columbia Bay

Columbia Bay

Doesn't get much cuter than this, Columbia Bay

Doesn’t get much cuter than this, Sea Otter in Columbia Bay

Look at that blue ice! There’s nothing else like it in the world!

Enjoying the ice in Columbia Bay

Enjoying the ice in Columbia Bay

Gorgeous view of Columbia Bay

Gorgeous view of Columbia Bay

Beautiful iceberg

Beautiful icebergsP5160546

Anyone who has witnessed the beauty of Columbia ice will tell you that the photos and videos don’t do the scenery justice. You really have to come out here to experience it! Paddling around ice is one of my favorite things to do, so I can’t help myself to post lots of photos of icebergs. They’re all so uniquely mesmerizing.

P5170556

From Heather and Columbia Bays we paddled south to the north side of Glacier Island, where we spent a peaceful night, looking back at Columbia Bay and the Chugach Mountains beyond. We also witnessed many Humpback whales fluking. It got to the point where I heard someone say, “Oh, it’s just another whales’ tail.” I could watch that all day long and never get bored.

In the morning just before bidding farewell to Susanne and Matthias (who had to return a day earlier than the rest of us) we woke up to a blue-bird sky and decided to take the opportunitiy for a lovely hike up the hillside. We were gifted with this magnificant view, where we could see both to the north (into Columbia Bay) and the south. We had a photo shoot at the top and spent an hour basking in the stillness and tranquility of our surroundings.

View from our hike on Glacier Island

View from our hike on Glacier Island

Dennis, Elaine and I continued around to the south side of Glacier Island, a rugged and exposed coastline with steep vertical rockfaces, caves and an expansive view of Prince William Sound.

South side of Glacier Island

South side of Glacier Island

Caves on the south side of Glacier Island

Caves on the south side of Glacier Island

Oh and did I mention hundreds of Sea Lions. .  The south side of Glacier Island is full of them.

Sea Lion, Glacier Island

Sea Lion, Glacier Island

Sea Lions at their haul-out

Sea Lions at their haul-out

That night we enjoyed a fire on the beach, as Sea Lions cruised by repeatedly to ensure we were staying out of trouble.

Sunset on the south side of Glacier Island

Sunset on the south side of Glacier Island

A curious Sea Lion checking up on us

A curious Sea Lion checking up on us

On pick-up day we completed our journey of the entire south side of Glacier Island, and rounded the point back to the north side. We enjoyed one final extremely close encounter with a mother Harbor Seal and her newborn pup. Paddling out of Jackson Cove we just happened to be in the right place at the right time and witnessed this mother nursing her newborn. We watched in silent awe this special moment, which none of us will soon forget.

Mother Harbor Seal nursing her newborn pup

Mother Harbor Seal nursing her newborn pup

I will leave you with that incredible image to inspire you to make your Alaska trip-of-a-lifetime a reality! The wildlife, ice and breathtaking scenery awaits you. I’m waiting for you also:) Check out all of our camping trip and day trip options. Give us a call or an email and book a trip today! We’ll see you soon.

 

 

Sea Kayaking & Camping Adventure: Sawmill Bay to Shoup Glacier, Prince William Sound, Alaska

Checking out the beautiful coastline

Checking out the beautiful coastline

Hello adventurers! This is Ilene, back for my fifth summer of sea kayak guiding for Anadyr Adventures. I love this place so much! That’s why I keep coming back. Take a look at our photos and videos and you’ll see why. Then book a trip with us and experience the magic for yourself!

This post is from our first camping trip of the 2016 season. May is such a lovely time to paddle here. A huge thank you to Aaron and Amelia for being out there with me, experiencing the tranquility and beauty of Prince William Sound.

The beauty of Sawmill Bay

The beauty of Sawmill Bay

This camping trip takes you out for three days of exploration and paddling along the coastline between peaceful Sawmill Bay, into Shoup Bay State Marine Park, where you can paddle up to the face of Shoup Glacier, and then back into the port of Valdez.

Aaron and Amelia enjoying a waterfall

Aaron and Amelia enjoying a waterfall

The hike from our campsite to the tranquility of Devish Lake

The hike from our campsite to the tranquility of Devish Lake

Sawmill Bay

Sawmill Bay

Port of Valdez

Port of Valdez

Any time on the water here offers you the opportunity to get up close and personal with marine wildlife, such as Sea Otters, Harbor Seals and Whales! We were fortunate enough to spend some time with the latter. Here is a cool video of a Humpback Whale that we followed for about 1.5 hours in the Port of Valdez. It’s not every day that you get to say that! (click on the words “Humpback Whale” to see our close encounter with this whale.)

A Sea Star holding on the rocks

A Sea Star holding onto the rocks

For most, our trips will be the first time that people paddle up to the face of a large glacier, such as Shoup Glacier.

The face of Shoup Glacier

The face of Shoup Glacier

Shoup Bay is home to a large Black-Legged Kittiwake (a small Seagull) rookery, which offers you an up-close glimpse into the exciting life of this active bird. There are many other types of birds and ducks that you can see, including Bald Eagles, Loons and Black Oystercatchers.

Paddling alongside a large Black-Legged Kittiwake Rookery in Shoup Bay

Paddling alongside a large Black-Legged Kittiwake Rookery in Shoup Bay

Contact Anadyr Adventures (and stop in to visit us if you’re in Valdez) for more information on our exciting camping trips and day trips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ode to the Fall

Fall is in the air in Valdez, Alaska. Devil club leaves are turning burnt orange, the mornings are crisp, and the blueberries are everywhere. Though the commercial fishing boats are trudging into the harbor, there is still a plethura of salmon in all of the streams. A new guide favorite seems to be pulling into these salmon streams, getting out of the kayaks, and seeing who can catch the slippery salmon in their hands. Our winner this past week was an eight year old boy who caught two! It also seems that with less commercial fishing boats in Valdez Port and Valdez Narrows, the whale sightings are a more common occurance again (like they were in the Spring). Yesterday the boat coming back from the Columbia Glacier trip saw a pod of Orcas hunting Doll Porpoise. Though not witnessed, a frothy pool of blood seemed to indicate a successful kill for the Orcas.   With the seasons change comes these new sights, adventures, and appreciations. Cheers to the stars that are once again appearing in the sky, the guides who are putting a new season of guiding knowledge under their belts, and the brand new T-shirts that we just received a shipment of.

Cheers,

Kira

Hey Friends!

Hello All,

Well the summer is in full swing here in Alaska. The salmon boats are cluttering the bay, the harbor is a hub of activity. The proccessors are hard at work. The poppies have gone by, but the fireweed has set the hills ablaze. We here at Anadyr are also hard at work, creating the best once in a lifetime kayak experiences available! From the office to the field we seek to provide excellent customer service and 100% satisfaction. If you have a question or comment that you would like have answered or addressed please be sure to send us an email at anadyradventures@gmail.com!

We currently have lots of space available for August and September! We look forward to seeing you on your next great adventure!

From the office,

Cal at Anadyr

Seven days Lodging in Prince William Sound

One of the many trips we offer is kayaking everyday while staying in comfort at Prince William Sound Lodge. This is the trip that two wonderful Aussies signed up for, and I was lucky enough to join them as their guide. Seven days seems long , but time passes quick when you’re having fun!  Here’s how we spent each day:

View from our third day on Sunny Cove

View from our third day on Sunny Cove

Day 1-Glacier Island:  Picked up Sharon and Philip from the airport.  They were a bit groggy from an early morning but we remedied that by loading them onto our water taxi and heading out to Glacier Island.  After our paddle and safety talk, we paddled alongside the rocky shore.  The tide was low making it a prime viewing time for colorful star fish, sun stars, anemone, and other wonders.  A group of sea lions challenged the two for a ‘race’ and we quickly learned that sea lions are hard to keep up with.  Lunch was served on Whale Rider Beach and then we headed off again.  This time we spotted  a humpback ahead of us, so we rafted close together for good viewing.  It led us to the sea lion haul out where hundreds of steller sea lions battle for the best spot to hang on the rocks.  If  you think you’re singing is bad, wait till you hear these guys!  We got dropped off at PWS lodge where we met our lovely host Chris that night.  He has a flare for cooking delicious, healthy meals and had clearly put a lot of love into everything we ate there.  It was an early night in a clean place with comfortable beds.

View from PWS Lodge deck at low tide

View from PWS Lodge deck at low tide

Wild Iris's were EVERYWHERE

Wild Iris’s were EVERYWHERE

Day 2-Tatitlek Village: Woke up to  fresh fruit, oats, a beautiful view, and a morning run with Philip on back roads!  With ample sunlight in our favor, we took our time this morning and enjoyed good tea and each others company.  We left the lodge around 11:00am and headed 2 miles South to the native village of Tatitlek. Unfortunately a permit is required to get out of the boats here, but it was lovely to paddle past this remote town that had just renovated its Russian Orthodox Church.  We rounded the corner for a view of Copper Mountains epic peak, then crossed over behind a couple island for lunch.  Lucky to have dry skies and wood, we decided to have a fire with lunch (this trend lasted all week!)  We then hiked up a meadow of wildflowers and found a calm pond filled with lily pads.  After re-creating a few of the spin scenes from Sound of Music we hiked down and paddled on-into a little creek and then past a raft of sleeping otters to our home base and a Salmon dinner.

 

Calm lily pad pond at the top of a small hike

Calm lily pad pond at the top of a small hike

Lunch around a cozy fire on the beach

Lunch around a cozy fire on the beach

Day 3-Sunny Cove:  We got picked up by Lee (our water taxi captain) who took us to the  calm waters of Sunny Cove.  The only sign of human life here was an abandoned float home.  We paddled around the cove in the AM, admiring distant mountain peaks and long waterfalls.  Chris’s lunches of delicious sandwiches and salads filled our belly around the fire and then we paddled into the back marshes.  As the tide was now coming in and getting into the pockets of air from low tide we were amazed at how many bubbles surrounded us!  It sounded like snap crackle pop, and we floated here for a long time while counting 15 eagles.  Once out of the bubbles we had a brown bear sighting!  It was a ways away so we felt safe, and were grateful for our binoculars as we stared long and hard at the magnificent creature.  Happy Solstice!

Kayaking the placid waters of Sunny Cove

Kayaking the placid waters of Sunny Cove

Day 4-West Bay: Paddled West of PWS Lodge and found ourselves in a large bay with views that made us feel so tiny compared to the rest of the world!  Philip did some fly fishing while Sharon and I made some beach art.  We climbed a hill to get a good look of our cabin and had fun watching the artic turns chase the seagulls around.  The paddle back was on water that was a spectacular shade of silver.  We saw a few loons, cormorants, and lots of otters.

Sea Otters on our paddle back!

Sea Otters on our paddle back!

Sunset on the beach from the lodge

Sunset on the beach from the lodge

Day 5-Galena Bay:  Galena bay was one of my favorites with its clear waters, a skinny paddle through, and secret lagoon.  Unfortunately the three of us like to sing loudly and poorly, which we believe may have scared off a lone wolf that we saw in the distance.  A rare sighting in this area.  This back lagoon had a magical feeling and our slow strokes were perfect for how long we spent just staring every which way.  Came back to Chris’s for an appetizer of mussels that we had harvested on the beach the previous day, another amazing meal (halibut, roasted veggies, fresh garden salad) was served followed by some well deserved R and R.

One of the hundreds of starfish we paddled alongside this day.  We even found a paddle through in this area!

One of the hundreds of starfish we paddled alongside this day. We even found a paddle through in this area!

Clear, clear waters of Galena Bay

Goofing off with insect masks on Galena bays clear waters.

Day 6-Landlocked Bay:  Chris, the owner of PWS Lodge, was kind enough to bring us out to landlocked bay this day!  We got a great ride in his old wooden boat and trudged along to a black sand beach for smokies over the fire.  Today was HOT so I went for a swim, but no one else seemed keen to jump into the Pacific’s refreshing waters.  Too cold?  Paddling onwards we saw pale blue spots in the water.  We soon found out these areas had thousands of Moon Jelly fish in them.  It was beautiful gliding over top of them as they stretched down to the oceans floor beneath us.  Chris showed us a secret passage to another secret lagoon.  Paddling back to his boat we witnessed hundreds of Dog/Chum Salmon swimming up a nearby stream.  This was a wonderful day, though it was a bit sad spending our last night all together!

Paddling through the old dock at Ellemar-dodging bird poop

Paddling through the old dock at Ellemar-dodging bird poop

Smoked Sausage over the fire at black sand beach overlooking Chris's boat

Smoked Sausage over the fire at black sand beach overlooking Chris’s boat

Day 7-Columbia Glacier:  Lee picked us up for our last day at Columbia Glacier.  The icebergs were out in full force this morning and we saw some really great shapes in them:  whales, lobsters, witches hats etc.    We ate lunch on the moraine staring at the specks of blue ice dotting the ocean to the terminus of the glacier and then paddled to a magical waterfall for our final send off.  The day ended too fast.  Arriving back in Valdez we transferred all of their bags into the van and I dropped them off at the airport amidst hugs and promises of future adventures.

 

Have fun in Vegas Sharon and Phillip, aka CC Otter and DJ Lipz, until our next adventure together!  xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Kira D-Spins