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Glaciers & Ice Flows
Who in their right mind would think about going sea kayaking immediately after paddling 3300kms down the Yukon River? Surely it was time to relax. For me though I just had to be on the move. How could I leave Alaska without checking out some of the incredible coastline?
After a couple of days in Anchorage I was soon taking a bus along one of the most scenic roads in the world, heading to one of the most beautiful coastlines and National Parks (Kenai Fjords) in the world. I was in search for something stunning and my bus journey ended at Seaward, south of Anchorage.
Shouldering a heavy backpack I walked around the small town and about 1km from the bus stop I found a kayak rental company, 'Kayak Adventures Worldwide'. They were a young enthusiastic lot, located in a house in downtown Seaward. Before I could rent a kayak though, I had to answer a few questions relating to my kayaking experience and safety issues. It was strange having to prove that I knew what I was doing especially after all my experience, having clocked thousands of kilometres on the ocean and having written a book on the subject. When my assessment was complete I breathed a sign of relief, what if I had failed!
Within the hour I had hired all the gear and was told the best places to check out. To get to the stunning places in the time that I had, it was necessary for me to rent a water taxi and to be taken closer to the hot spots. Kayak Adventures Worldwide didn’t have their own water taxi going out that day, so they booked me on Millers Landing water taxi instead. The cost of renting a kayak seemed quite reasonable but it was the added expenses that hurt. I had to rent flares, a marine radio, a bear drum, buy the maps, get a permit but the biggest expense was the water taxi. When I reached my destination along the coast, it was soon evident that it was money well spent.
The water taxi, carrying two single guys, a couple and myself, left Millers Landing at 6.30 a.m. before Alaska was awake. We were being taken to Aialik Bay about 85 kilometres away. On the way there they asked us where we wanted to be dropped off and picked up in the following days. When I told them the skipper told me that I couldn’t be dropped off at the point I wanted and that I couldn’t be picked up at the point I wanted unless I paid a double fare. I was a little shocked, I had arranged my plans with their office the previous day and I was told my plans were okay. Wow, my trip had started badly. After some debate and compromise, the skipper, who just happened to be the owner of the company agreed to pick me up at my choice, but it had to be in the morning instead of it being in the afternoon of that day. She was accepting no arguments, so with disappointment I had no choice but to change my plans. With the trip now shortened it meant that I would have to paddle more miles in a shorter time to cover my intended route, I was not a happy paddler!