an alaskan adventure - pt II

Sunday, September 27, 2015

When planning for this Alaska trip, a few of us were interested in glacier kayaking as we knew that  it would be a great way to see wildlife and we would be able to get really close to some glaciers. Two of the four of us had never kayaked before, but I think we got a little over excited and signed up for the ultimate Aialik Bay full-day guided tour, which is basically a 14-mile kayak trip where you're paddling around icebergs in the North Pacific Ocean. We don't regret doing it, not even close, but we definitely did not know what we got ourselves into.

On the morning of trip, we got up bright and early and headed to the boat harbor. We did our tour with Miller's Landing. I would recommend them if you're planning a trip there. We made our reservations super last minute (less than a week in advance), and at that time, all the tours were fully booked because they take you out to the glacier bays in water taxis and all the water taxis were full. However, because we had a group of four, they managed to charter us a fisherman's boat to take us out to Aialik Bay. That worked out really well because it ended up being like a private tour and we got to stop and take photos at our leisure.



Captain for the day!





While we were driving out to Ailik Bay, we came across a group (is school the correct plural term?) of friendly porpoises. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip! The porpoises were really playful and would swim right up next to our boat. Our captain was great and lowered down the front part of the boat so that we could lay down and see the porpoises up close. They were so adorable! Made me feel like jumping in for a swim with them lol. Check out my instagram for a video of it.




This was my first time kayaking EVER. I won't lie - at mile two I was already wondering how I was going to make it through the day. 



#kayakselfie


The amount of wildlife we saw on the trip was incredible. Sea otters and seals were swimming all around us!



We even spotted a black bear! Apparently black bears are relatively harmless. Even so, we made sure to be super quiet as we paddled around it.

See that large wall of ice in the middle of the photo? That's Aialik Glacier. We finally paddled our way to our destination. It's a lot trickier than I thought it would be, trying to navigate around all the icebergs. It seems small but then you remember that most of its mass is below the water's surface. Thoughts of capsizing crossed my mind each time our kayaked accidentally tapped on an iceberg :P

Glacier kayaking was super cool but I wouldn't recommend it for little kids. Our guide would constantly keep track of when boats were coming into the bay so that we could avoid the waves that came along with them. Also, as we paddled through shallow-er areas, we had to make sure we caught high tide as we went in and out, otherwise we could get stuck! No time for dilly-dallying here. After 8ish? hours (too tired to remember) of paddling, we made it out alive!


Would I go back to Alaska? Definitely! We were only in Seward and there are so many more places to explore and things to do. Three days was not quite enough but we got a good taste of adventure.

Credit to my friends Maxwell and Alex for almost all the photos above. I was too scared to pull out my iphone while kayaking haha.. Not to mention they are much better photographers than I am.

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