Happy summer 2018! We, at Anadyr, are so excited for this upcoming season of paddling in beautiful places with awesome people like you! The majority of our guide staff this year is returning for repeat seasons along with a few new folks joining the crew. In order to further our training in relation to sea kayaking and teaching skills, the returning guides were sent to Homer, Alaska at the beginning of May to complete a five day ACA (American Canoe Association) Level 1 and 2 Instructor Certification in Kachemak Bay across from Homer, AK. We now have five certified kayak instructors to guide on our day trips and multi-day excursions!
This course covered a variety of kayak related topics such as different rescue techniques, proper paddle stroke techniques for a variety of strokes, towing, and hazards and safety on the water. Another major focus of the course was learning how to effectively teach the skills that we are mastering to beginning paddlers (i.e. a lot of our client base). Those of us who partook in this course found the teaching skills to be some of the most valuable and certainly skills that will follow us into our everyday lives, especially as guides. Our love for this place and for accessing it via our method of kayaking is something we are all passionate about sharing with the public, which is why we are all here guiding these trips for a company who shares the same ideals and embodies that same passionate spirit. It is incredibly important then, to have the skills to effectively and easily teach others how paddle and be safe while doing it so we can move into the more exciting parts of the day with ease, leading to a much more enjoyable experience for our clients.
This may sound like we spent all of our time working while on this trip, but rest assured, we are all guides and are masters of turning our work into play. We got plenty of time to practice the techniques we were learning by putting on our dry suits and getting in the water for some fun, albeit cold (~ 45°F water) rescue practices. We started off our trip with a bit of wind hitting our beach in Kachemak Bay which led to a fun start of performing solo cowboy style rescues in the 2-3ft surf breaking by the beach. That was a great way to get reacquainted with our balance, as it was for many of us, our first times back in the kayaks since last fall. I’m sure it was quite a hilarious scene to watch. After a few struggling tries, we all regained our balance and got back into our boats. It’s officially paddling season again, and after that start, we were all ready to take on our next challenges of the course and of the season.
What a great feeling to work for a place that values the furthering of their guides training and knowledge. We are, by definition, naturalist kayak guides, which mean we are trained and equipped with the skills to lead and teach about kayaking and also about the intricacies of the areas we paddle in. We all push each other to continue learning about this wonderful place we call home on the edge of Prince William Sound. When it comes to the natural world, there is certainly no lack of learning material in this spectacular part of the globe. We hope to see you this upcoming summer season and share our home with you.