Favorite place in the world: Eastern Prince William Sound (specifically, Valdez Glacier, Glacier Island, and Columbia and Heather Bays)
Favorite things to photograph: Icebergs (specifically coming off of Columbia Glacier). I’m also a self-proclaimed professional jump-shot photographer. I will enthusiastically satisfy your jump-shot photo needs.
Favorite bird sound: The Loon, Black Oystercatcher and Bald Eagle
Favorite sitcom: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
My roots: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (“In West Philadelphia born and raised. . . .”)
Where else have I sea kayak guided: Guna Yala, Panama and Patagonia, Chile
Favorite place to sea kayak guide: Eastern Prince William Sound, naturally
Where did I receive my guide’s certification: British Columbia, Canada. I’m a certified sea kayak guide through the Sea Kayak Guide’s Alliance of British Columbia, and attended a two-year Adventure Guide Diploma Program through Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, B.C. Awesome program!
Most impressive bird: The Arctic Tern (a true sun-worshipper, it makes the longest migration of any animal in the world)
One of my favorite sea kayak trips: A three-week expedition along the coast of Haida Gwaii (off the coast of B.C., Canada), which is the home of the Haida, one of Canada’s First Nation groups.
Number of seasons guiding for Anadyr Adventures: This is my fifth
Favorite food: Popcorn
Why I love sea kayaking: With everything I need packed into a boat for an expedition, I can silently propel myself through the water, observing the incredible beauty and complexity of my surroundings. It’s my passion to share that with as many people as I can (this includes you)!
Favorite flavors: Ginger, garlic and Vermont maple syrup
Hobbies: Eating popcorn, writing letters to my grandmothers, and avoiding living anywhere for longer than 6 months
Other cool jobs I’ve had: Event staff at the Marlboro Music Festival (a summer-long chamber music festival Vermont), Housecleaner at a remote work camp in Sechelt, B.C., Canada, Office manger/dishwasher/baker at Deadhorse Camp in Deadhorse, Alaska, apple-packer/cider-maker/apple-deliverer at The Scott Farm Apple Orchard in Vermont, and Mac-O-Back Mama at Farm & Wilderness summer camps in Vermont (you’ll have to come on a trip with me this summer to find out what a Mac-O-Back Mama does).
Having lived on the sandy gulf beaches of Florida and up in the mountains of western North Carolina, I went on a quest to find the perfect combination of land and sea and Valdez definitely fits the bill.
I spent the last six months exploring and paddling in Chilean Patagonia. It was there where my passion for paddling and exploring the natural world grew to a point where I could do nothing to subdue my desire for more adventures and so I drove northwest to the most beautiful place I could imagine.
I am ecstatic to get to show you the breathtaking coastline of Prince William Sound and take you closer to things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience in quite the same way without a kayak.
Many of us, as humans, have lost our depth of connection to the natural world all around us and I hope that on your trip with us, you can rekindle this instinctual connection and feel a bit more at peace and also more aware of this planet we call home.
My name is Kc Blair and I’m a wandering gypsy from the beautiful Green Mountains
of Vermont. I received a degree in Graphic Design and Outdoor Education. After
graduation, I started searching for the next big adventure and have been traveling ever since. I’ve rode the swells of Cali, skied in Alaska and kayaked down the rapids of Utah. I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list. Come find your adventure in Valdez!
Growing up in the concrete jungle of New York City, Aidan caught the Alaskan bug in 2009 when he had the opportunity to backpack in the Gates of the Arctic NP and canoe down the Noatak River. Since then he has gotten a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Sciences and Outdoor Education from the University of Stirling in Scotland, his Wilderness EMT, whitewater and rock rescue certifications and is a Leave No Trace master educator. After 6 years of looking for a way back to Alaska, he has joined us for his first season at Anadyr.
I grew up in Kansas, and moved to Colorado at 18. I fell in love with the mountains, but after spending a few years in Colorado I had heard rumors of Alaska and the almighty Chugach. I moved to Valdez and my mind was blown. After a few years of pursuing my dream of becoming a backcountry ski guide, I wanted to see what Valdez has to offer in the summer time. It turns out that I love Kayaking just as much as skiing, and am very grateful to be apart of the Anadyr crew this summer
I’ve lived on the tropical beaches of Maui, run through the Hudson river valley, climbed the Sierra Nevada and visited the temple in Jerusalem. But I have finally found the holy of holies here in Valdez. My journey began 3 and 27 years ago in Oakland CA. Through the public school and transit systems I learned to navigate harsh environments and find connections with people in unexpected places. As my hair and beard have grown I’ve taken these skills from the concrete jungle into the wild places of North America. I enjoy reading the landscapes for deep history and meaning. Here in Valdez I am lucky enough to be able to take fellow wandering souls out to the glaciers and bays of PWS to observe the awesome power of mother nature in her raw and pure form.
I grew up on the banks of the great lake of Okeechobee. Surrounded by swamps filled with hanging spanish moss, cypress knolls, and disguised alligators. Being in the water was second nature for me. Whether it was a lake, a pool, or the wild ocean it always felt like home. Later in life I moved out west towards the Pacific and discovered the mountains of California. I fell in love with the valleys, peaks, and rivers carved out of solid stone. From that moment on I set out to explore every valley, and climb every peak I could. To see the world from the top of as many mountain ranges as I could. I had heard rumors of Valdez, the place where the mountains meet the sea, and had to come see for myself this paradise of adventure. Now I don’t want to be anywhere else.
Mark has never been to Milwaukee, he hasn’t tried poutine, and he’s never ridden a wildebeest across the Serengeti. He HAS conducted world-leading research on an intertidal sea cucumber in Costa Rica, single-handedly saved a drowning child from the Pacific Ocean, and after only three tries, received a visa to live in Kazakhstan. Ask him about these and other amazing adventures while he leads you around his 18th favorite place in the world – Prince William Sound!
Edit: On 4/24/17, Mark had his first poutine. It was good but not transcendent.
Samantha (Sami) Schafer
Originally hailing from Emmaus, Pa, Sami is a rock-loving, outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from Bloomsburg University with a BS in Geology. She also spent nine years as a river guide in the Poconos of Pennsylvania until she began travelling the US. She worked in Vail, Colorado and the next summer landed in Valdez. Her love of exploring beautiful places and bubbly personality will certainly entertain you.