Biking to Alaska

Day 67: Kayaking

Posted by Alan on August 25th, 2007

I wake up early and walk down the street to the office of Kayak Adventures Worldwide (they do trips in Seward and Thailand, so I guess that’s “worldwide”). I had been hoping to take an overnight kayak trip with this company, but I just don’t have the time for it. We hop in the company’s van and drive down to the south end of town to unload on the beach. I’ve never kayaked before and I’m a little nervous and hoping that I like it. I’m sure this will be quite different from the whitewater kayaking I’ve seen folks do in rivers in Colorado.

Justine is the guide for our little group of five which consists of Justine’s sister Carolyn and an older couple, Dennis and Marcia from Anchorage and myself. The water is very calm this morning and the weather couldn’t be nicer. Nothing but blue skies and pretty warm weather. We begin by paddling towards an old army fort south of Seward. Along the way we spot a small dark shape heading towards us. It turns out to be a sea otter floating on its back, chewing vigorously on something. It is so engrossed in its meal that it hardly takes notice of us as we stop paddling and drift past. It’s the first sea otter I’ve seen in the wild and I couldn’t ask for a better way to see one.

IMG_1190.JPGAfter paddling for an hour or two, we arrive at our destination and beach the kayaks. We hike up a couple miles to Ft. McGilvary, which is an abandoned army fort built during WWII to defend against any potential Japanese attacks. We check out the empty tunnels and underground bunkers of the small complex before sitting down near a former artillery turret for lunch. It’s an absolute gorgeous day out and we all enjoy the views of distant mountains and glaciers through the surrounding trees. We hike back down to the kayaks on the beach and paddle back to our starting point. It’s been a great day and I’ll look forward to sea kayaking again sometime.

That evening I walk over to that nearby coffee house again. A couple women are singing tonight and I run into the woman who led my “behind the scenes” tour at the Sealife Center. She tells me I should stop by Yoly’s (the restaurant where I ate with Lindsay last week) to hear a friend of hers who is singing there later tonight. I follow her advice and decide to have dinner at Yoly’s. As I’m waiting for a table I see the couple who own Kayak Adventures Worldwide are also waiting to eat. They say ‘hi’ and invite me to join them for dinner. I join them and have a nice dinner talking about kayaking and life in Seward. After dinner I hang out to listen to the singer and who should walk in the door but Justine (my kayaking guide) and her sister Carolyn! What a small town this is, I can’t believe it. I chat with them a little while listening to the music. This will be my last night in Seward and I’ve really enjoyed my time here. I walk back to the hostel as a nearly full moon rises over the mountains across the bay.