Frequently Asked Questions
These are some commonly asked questions. If you have other questions that haven't been addressed here, please give us a shout at 907.224.3960 or fun@KayakAK.com.
What do I wear?
When joining one of our paddling tours - whether it's right in the bay or further out - you'll want to come prepared. Many days are warm and sunny, and you'll want to be in a short sleeved shirt and maybe take a dip! However we are in coastal rainforest, so the possibility of rain is always looming, and we paddle rain or shine. No matter what, you'll want to avoid cotton and jeans. Once these get wet - whether on a hot day, or a cold and stormy one, they will stay wet and make you cold. Sythetics are ideal - polypro, capelene, fleece, etc. Clothing that wicks away sweat, insulates, and dries quickly is what you're looking for. Plus rain gear is always an essential item. It's better to have it and not need it, than be without! Rain pants and a good rain jacket are a must. As for your feet - that's up to you. Our guides will do their best to keep your feet dry while getting in and out of the kayaks. BUT, nothing is a guarantee, and your feet certainly might get wet. This IS a water sport, so wear something that you are willing to get wet. Socks and water sandals are a good combination (or just water sandals on hot days!), but anything will do. Hiking boots, sneakers, etc. Hats and sunscreen are good on hot days and gloves might be nice on colder days.
Will I get wet?
There is a chance you may get wet while kayaking, it is a water sport after all! The most common scenarios are that your feet may get a bit wet on launching or landing (they will definitely get wet on launching / landing on multi-day trips using fiberglass boats), and that your sleeves may get a bit wet from drips off the paddle. Otherwise, rain is the most likely factor for getting wet, or possibly splashing if it's a windy or choppy day. Please come prepared with an extra layer or two, in case you do get a bit wet or cold. Just remember synthetic layers are the best way to keep warm if you're wet - unlike cotton or jeans, which will make you cold.
Will I see wildlife?
Although, as with any natural setting, nothing is guaranteed... the chances of seeing wildlife on our tours are very good. Bald eagles, marbled murrelets, pigeon guillemonts, and other sea birds are seen most days, with very few exceptions. On day trips that stay in Resurrection Bay, there are chances of seeing sea otters, seals, sea lions, puffins, salmon, harbor porpoises, and other various marine creatures. Our trips that take you further out into the fjords offer the opportunity of spotting orcas, humpbacks, sea lions, and puffins along the way. Once in the fjords, you are away from the boat traffic and constant human presence... so the likeliness of seeing wildlife increases dramatically. Black bears are frequently spotted in both Aialik Bay and Northwestern.
Do I need experience?
No experience is necessary to go out on our trips. We have everyone paddle double kayaks, which are much more stable than singles and also allow two people to work together to make the boat move. They are decked sea kayaks, and you'll be wearing a PFD and a spray skirt at all times while on water. Our kayaks have rudders, so the person sitting in the back will steer the boat using their feet. Normally, the guide will paddle a single kayak, and clients will all be in doubles. If we have an odd number of people on the trip, though, then the guide may ride in the back of one of the doubles.
Do I need to be fit?
Paddling is a sport, and it does involve a bit of exercise. Nothing will make the boat move except for you. This is important to understand... but it's also necessary to know that it's relatively easy. It is very rare that the wind is blowing too hard to take a trip out, but if we don't think you can handle it, we won't go. Most days are quite calm, with flat water, and easy paddling. We will take our time and explore the coastline while discussing the natural history of the area and the wildlife we encounter. These trips are not a race or a fitness contest - they are an exploration of the Alaskan wilderness that anyone can take part in. But we do keep our groups close together on water, and try to assign paddling partners so that all boats will move at a similar pace.
Will I tip or go in the water?
It is very rare that a boat will capsize - and usually when it does, it's because people are joking around and acting inappropriately. Is it possible? Yes. Is it usually preventable? Yes. Does it happen often? No. The boats we use are very stable, and you will receive basic kayak instruction before getting on the water. And you do not need to be a swimmer. Everyone wears PFDs (personal floatation devices... or, life jackets). If your boat should tip, your PFD will keep you afloat, and your guide is fully trained to get you back into your boat quickly.
Can I bring a camera?
Of course! There are so many photo opportunities in Ressurection Bay and Kenai Fjords... it would be a shame to miss them! Clearly, it is a concern to keep your camera dry and protected, though. We will provide a dry bag for your camera - and you can strap that to the deck of the boat. This way, you can access your camera as you paddle - but when you're not using it, it will be safe and dry. It is also a good idea to bring disposable waterproof cameras. Then you have no concerns at all during the trip.
What's the weather like?
The weather in Seward can be wonderful - with blue skies and warm days. There are times when we're in tank tops, and nothing feels better than a dip in the fjord! But we are in the heart of coastal rainforest, so colder days and steady drizzle come our way quite frequently. It is rare for the rain to really come down hard and usually the drizzly days provide calmer waters and better wildlife viewing. We will take trips out in all weather, as long as the conditions are still safe. Please be prepared for cold and rain during your trip to Seward. Many people watch the online weather forecast carefully, and try to plan their trip around it... but honestly, that forecast is often wrong, and your best bet is to just get out and enjoy the area rain or shine!
Is gratuity included in the price?
No, gratuity is not included in the trip cost. It is an industry standard that if you feel that your guide did a good job providing an enjoyable and informative trip - you should "tip" them. Our guides spend a lot of time training so that they can provide you with the best experience possible. Their pay is based on the assumption that they will run excellent trips for clients, and that they will receive tips. So, gratuity is always appreciated!