In order to explore Kenaii Fjords National Park you need to take to the water. Last time I was in Seward I took a tour boat around the glaciers and this time I wanted to try a different experience- Sea Kayaks!
Neither of us had been in a real, legit sea kayak in quite some time and were pretty happy to be reintroduced to just how comfy they are compared to the Southern California sit on top messes you end up renting in La Jolla.
It turns out that we had the trip to ourselves, just Zack and I and a very nice guide. They run a pretty neat operation out of Seward and no one laughed when we showed up in full foul weather gear. We then added to our ensembles some lovely spray skirts, life jackets and my new favorite- pogies for your hands!
We hopped aboard a water taxi with a set up similar to a WW2 landing craft and our guide and water taxi driver loaded the kayaks onto the deck. On the way out we stopped to watch a small Humpback feeding in the area and got a nice tour of the bay and harbor.
Our first stop was Kayakers Cove, 100% somewhere we need to return to. The little ‘village’ was a cross between a hobbit town, camp, and luxury B&B. We poked our heads into one of the little cabins to find a 4 poster bed & wood stove. Loved hearing the Varied Thrush in the woods. Kayaking the area was gorgeous- some mist and light rain but that was the trade-off for the flat calm glassy water. The only real challenge was that Zack and I shared a double kayak ( I am happy to say we are still married). Initially I was not so happy about letting him control the rudder but then I realized the benefits of being in front- I was the photographer and it was within my job title to stop paddling and take pictures whenever I needed to.
Then across the bay to Fox Island for lunch. Fox Island has a luxury type resort on it but we explored the other, less hospitable side. Our guide shared with us that Rockwell Kent (with ties of course to the Cape & Tarrytown) was sneakily sent out to this island by the locals in Seward who had had enough of him. Picnic lunch brought by our guide was awesome, including tea. Then we did some beach combing- even found a skull ( maybe juvenile sea lion or sea otter?)
On the way back the tide started to drop and we found we could explore the tide line of the shear rock cliffs- tidepooling by kayak! The color pattern of the rockweed is just something you don’t see anywhere else with chitons, seastars and limpets- oh my! We even stumbled across a mini buffadora cave where water flowed in to create a thunderous noise. Just a magical place to be.
Reluctantly, we returned to Kayaker’s cove just as the rain picked up. On the way in we passed a few pairs of murrelets with their calls to each other and synchronized dives.
On the way back to Seward on the water taxi the most magnificent thing happened- we found a sea otter! Of course this was to be a similar experience to the Bald Eagles but the first one we saw was so exciting.