The sea kayaking season here in the Prince William Sound kicked off with a bang! The first trip of the 2018 paddling season was chock full of wildlife like only the Prince William Sound can provide. I had the pleasure of leading this Gold Creek trip with a wonderful couple from Oklahoma and I’m already a little worried it will be hard to top this year but you never know!
The trip started off just like every other Gold Creek day trip and we loaded into the kayaks from our dock in the harbor and paddled out past the salmon seiners and the Stan Stephens boats. We paddled along the jagged, rocky shoreline of Blueberry Hill glimpsing seal heads and some sea otters frolicking in the water. So far so good, a pretty standard paddle along Blueberry Hill, but as we crossed Mineral Creek draining into the Port, my client saw a black bear walking along the Shoup Bay Trail! We paddled over towards it but as we got closer it spooked and ran off into the brush before we could snap a photo.
After the bear sighting, which have become rare in the sound in recent years, we continued and had the right tide to paddle in this beautiful little lagoon with a big waterfall cascading into the water.
We continued our paddle along the shore line towards the beach at Gold Creek where we hopped out of the kayaks to go for a quick walk to look at the Gold Creek Waterfalls and check out the beautiful temperate rainforest that Valdez and the Prince William Sound are famous for! While we hiked we found a porcupine kill and some huge grizzly bear tracks! (Not necessarily related but I like to think so)
After our short walk in the woods we collected some fiddleheads and headed back to the kayaks for lunch. As we walked we noticed what appeared to be fresh bear tracks following ours! We got back to the boats and as we ate we heard and saw a young humpback breathing from the beach to round off the day. Or so we thought! While we finished eating some Ugly Fruit I heard a rustling behind me and with those big brown bear tracks fresh in my mind, went to go check it out. Much to my surprise there was a brown bear ambling down the hill not 100 feet away from us! I attempted to scare it off while also getting back into our kayaks. My attempts were successful for a while and then the most amazing thing happened! The bear came out onto the beach where we had been sitting and we got to spend the next hour hanging out with what appeared to be a two year old brown bear, and apparently a really hungry one!
We paddled with the bear for the whole way back to Mineral Creek where I got the attention of Jared, Bagel, and Sami who were leading a high school Marine tech class from the local H.S. so they could enjoy the bear as well.
What a way to start the season off! A black bear, brown bear, humpback whale, tons of seals and sea otters all in a six hour paddle right from the harbor! Hopefully I didn’t use all my wildlife luck on my first trip.
Preface: Get ready for a longer blog about this unforgettable trip. Stick it out to the end to see my top two all-time favorite icebergs, and find out what finally merited busting out the emergency tequila:)
For five days in a row I awoke to the sound of two Brits giggling in their tent. That’s right. . . giggling like school children! (I don’t think they’d mind me saying so.) As I lit the stove to boil water for coffee, gazing out over the ice-filled bay in front of Columbia Glacier, I thought giddily to myself, “somewhere along the line I must’ve made a really good decision if this is what I do for my life’s work”!
I get to share with wonderful people the most beautiful places in the world using my favorite mode of transportation, sea kayaks. This trip, a five-day kayak and camping expedition starting on the south side of Glacier Island and finishing off with three amazing days exploring the recently-revealed landscape at the face of Columbia Glacier, was one of the best yet! A huge thank you and enthusiastic cheers goes out to my two clients, Rob and Anya, who just happened to squeeze in this kayak adventure amidst their lengthy motorcycle tour starting in Washington. Umm, yea. . . they’re kind of badasses on two wheels. Now they can proudly say they’re badasses with double-bladed paddles.
Greetings! I’ve recently returned from another wonderful sea kayak camping trip with amazing clients, memories and scenery. Thank you to Evan and Katie, who joined me from Fairbanks for a three-day adventure out on Prince William Sound. Experienced backpackers and campers, these two wanted to get more experience in a sea kayak.
We began our trip right from the small boat harbor in Valdez, as Evan and Katie learned how to efficiently pack a sea kayak. We experienced a bit of a headwind for the first couple of hours as we made our way to Shoup Bay. They hung in there and we made it to the Inner Shoup Bay, where a view of Shoup Glacier made our efforts well worth it!
We set up camp right in front of the glacier, then hiked up to the face to explore and take a closer look at all the cool features there. Katie had said that all she wanted was to touch the glacier. So, of course, that is what we did! Shoup used to be a tidewater glacier, meaning the face (or terminus) sat in the sea water. The glacier has since retreated onto land again, allowing us the special opportunity to walk around at the face. We found a beautiful cave with a pool of water inside of it, pouring out as a powerful waterfall from underneath the glacier.
Anadyr Adventures offers four types of trips: day trips for those with limited time in Valdez, multi-day camping trips, Mothership trips for those desiring the amenities of a support vessel, and lodge based trips offering Prince William Sound day excursions from the comfort of a remote Alaskan wilderness lodge.
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Keith Goetzman of Pioneer Press writes about life amongst Columbia Glacier's "Growlers". Read about what professional travel consultants are experiencing with Anadyr Adventures.
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