Markus' Travel and International Living Blog

Markus is an enthusiastic traveler, who lives in Houston, TX (USA) most of the time, but also spends some time in Saalfelden, near Salzburg (Austria). He is fascinated by travel and also by his experiences gathered by living in two different countries and continents.

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Friday, October 17, 2008
Kayaking in Ketchikan

After an OK, but somewhat lower key day in Juneau, our next stop on the Alaska cruise was Ketchikan, the supposed rain capitol of the world. To everyone’s surprise, it was a cloudless day and reasonably warm. The locals told us they hadn’t had such a nice day in 6 months. Awesome!

Unfortunately, we didn’t see much of Ketchikan since we went off on a bus to get to our kayaking adventure. From what I saw about it, I think it is probably the nicest town we went to. A little less touristy, and it seems to have a nice character. On a future trip, I would def. make a point in stopping and making sure I’d have some time in town.

As things were however, kayaking was one of the main things we wanted to do on our trip, and I am glad we did, since this turned out to have been one of my favorite things. After riding the bus, we went on a boat that took us off-shore to an island. There would have been other options as well where one would kayak from the main land or even out of the port, but I am glad we went on the longer tour, because ending up out in the middle of nowhere was one of the things I liked best.

But first things first: The boat trip to the island was a pretty exciting mixture of a fast-thrill-ride and looking at wildlife and nature. We saw tons of eagles and some marine mammals. The water was crystal-clear and just looking down from the boat, we were able to see lots of marine life, such as starfish.

Once we arrived at the island, it became pretty clear how isolated the place was. It is pretty rare these days to be somewhere where one can’t see or hear anything man made. There was just nature, wilderness, and awesome blue skies as far as the eye could see. In short: It was incredible.

Kayaking at these excursions is mostly done in 2-person kayaks. (For experienced kayakers, singles are available as well). It is pretty easy to do, and – in case you worry – it is almost impossible to flip them over. (Although if you did, the water is cold and it wouldn’t be fun. Apparently the typical demographic for people who flip their kayaks is "brothers"… :-)).

Pictures probably say more than words in this case, and it is really hard to describe the experience of actually doing this. We were paddling along this awesome scenery, with eagles soaring overhead, and seals swimming along. If you are lucky, you might even see a whale. All I can say: If you ever have the chance to do this, then you absolutely must! We are now considering going back to Alaska just to kayak.

So here are a few photos:

The group of kayakers in the distance…

The author paddling hard… :-) 

This was one of those things that ended all too quickly and we had to head back to the cruise ship, while some of the guides actually decided to spend the night on the island, just for fun. Pretty cool, and apparently the bears around the costal regions like to eat fish better than people… :-)

This post belongs to a series of posts describing our cruise in Alaska (June 2008). The following is a list of all 6 posts in this series:

Posted @ 12:00 AM by Egger, Markus ( -
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