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Ketchikan Alaska

What to Wear on Your Alaskan Cruise

We’re not super stylish, but we’ve been sharing the fun and beauty of kayaking in Ketchikan with visitors for over 20 years. Here’s our local’s guide to how to dress for outdoor adventures in Southeast Alaska. Southeast Alaska is home to the world’s largest temperate rainforest which means there’s a good chance that it will rain at some point on your Inside Passage Cruise. Here in Ketchikan we average 160 inches (or approximately 13.5 feet) of rain a year. As you might imagine, locals never let the weather get them down – we just dress for it. There are quite a few Alaska vacation packing lists available, but most of them include outfits that are way more stylish than we could put together and many seemed geared more towards the arctic than rainy, temperate Southeast Alaska. So, while you’re on your…

Snow Day in Ketchikan, Alaska

  Snow and ice are the first things many people think of when they hear the word “Alaska,” but snow is a rare treat in Ketchikan because we are located in Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest. It’s been a long time since the kids of Ketchikan got a real snow day, but when 4 inches of snow fell on the first day of winter break, we had to get out and capture the moment before the rain washed it all away. Ketchikan’s red bridge and the brightly colored houses of the former red light district.  It’s quiet in downtown Ketchikan after the cruise season but local businesses like Soho Coho, The Hive and Parnassus Books remain open through the winter months.  The Ketchikan Creek runs through the heart of downtown Whale Park on Mission Street. According to locals, Whale Park is so…

Kayaking with Kids in Alaska

Kids love adventures! Kayaking is a great way to spend quality family time outdoors. When Can Our Kids Start Kayaking? I’m of the opinion that the only thing better than doing something that you love is doing that thing with kids. When the twins, who are now almost ten, were born there were just two important questions. What will we name them? And when can we take them kayaking? Since then our outdoors loving friends and neighbors have often asked us the same question, when can we get our kids into kayaks? When you can begin kayaking with kids depends on the child; what type of kayaks you have available; and where you will be paddling. It’s going to be a lot easier and safer to get kids out on the water in Florida or Hawaii than it is in…

Meet the 2015 Southeast Sea Kayaks Team

Some of our wonderful 2015 crew. Back row: Nicole, Adam, Josh, Annie, Brendan, Andre & Gabe. Front row: Emily, Clara, Mariana, Jess, Lukas. We are so proud of our exceptional crew of friendly and highly trained guides and office staff. Although they often make it look easy, guiding kayak tours here on the cold Alaskan waters is a tough job: it requires strength, skill and a real love of working with people. Here’s an introduction to our 2015 crew. These amazing guys and girls have been thrown in the ocean in dry-suits for hours to learn how to take care of our guests on the water and when they are done with that they go home and study marine biology, geology and history to make their tours more fun and interesting. Rain or shine, they will work hard to make…

Twelve Years of Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking

Happy Birthday Orcas Cove! This week we celebrate the 12th birthday of the Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking tour. We love all the kayaking tours and local programs here at Southeast Sea Kayaks but, of all the things we do, Orcas Cove is the tour that we are most proud of. It’s a one of a kind tour that showcases everything we love about living and kayaking in Alaska. The Inspiration for the Orcas Cove Kayaking Tour The Orcas Cove tour was Greg’s baby and possibly an excuse for him to buy more boats. Because what’s better than messing about in boats? Preferably lots of boats: big boats, little boats, medium sized boats and occasionally: floatplanes (technically a boat when on the water but please don’t tell the pilots that!). The tour was based on a simple premise: let’s take visitors…

What’s Special About Ketchikan? And How to See it When You Visit

It’s not often Ketchikanians have an actual ball to attend but our newly elected governor and lieutenant governor chose to recognize the isolation, inaccessibility and uniqueness of Alaskan communities by travelling around Alaska holding inaugural balls in some of Alaska’s bigger towns. Last weekend the Tatsuda family, Greg and I attended the final inaugural ball in Ketchikan. The Ketchikan Governor’s Ball began with bagpiping complete with men in kilts, followed by a story told by Tlingit artist Mary Ida Henrikson and short speeches by the lieutenant governor and governor. Governor Walker is a wonderful speaker; I think the state can feel comfortable with its reins in the hands of a man who, as a child,  had to sneak through a herd of buffalo in 40 below weather to get back inside from the outhouse. He opened his speech with a…

Ketchikan Winter: A photoblog

Dark, damp, chilly and gloomily beautiful: winter in Ketchikan, Alaska. What is it like here in Ketchikan in the winter? Most of the time it’s pretty much like the summer except even rainier, a little chillier, a little snowier and sometimes a whole lot windier.  Ketchikan is in the world’s largest temperate rainforest which means that the temperature is relatively mild all year (usually between 39 and 52 Fahrenheit) and it rains more than it snows. In January this year Ketchikan got just over 31 inches of rain, with 10 of those inches falling in just two days! There were only about five days in the month with no recorded rainfall and we had very little snow. Deer Mountain disappears into the clouds on a misty day in Thomas Basin, Ketchikan, Alaska. The reward for enduring all that rain? Rainbows!…

Living the Seasonal Life in Ketchikan

Beach bonfires and 10pm sunsets are some of the best parts of summers in Ketchikan. What is it really like to move to Ketchikan and work a summer in Alaska? Our 2014 office manager and seasonal adventurer, Brittany, shares her experience in this guest post. Seasonal (noun): ˈsēzənəl 1. A person who travels to a location for a set period of time (typically coinciding with the winter or summer season) whose primary objectives usually include the following:  obtain wages, seek thrills, or just do something a little different. 2. A soul, tethered only to a body, that heeds the call of adventure and experience wherever and with whomever that may be. It is difficult to really understand what you’re signing up for when you say yes to a seasonal job in a new place. For the most part, you’re…

End of Summer 2014

A sunny day in September at Orcas Cove. Southeast Sea Kayaks’ Summer 2014 Technically, summer has been over for a while, but no one told the Ketchikan weather that until yesterday. With over half an inch of rain in the last twenty four hours and southeast winds over twenty miles per hour, I think we might be able call summer 2014 complete and take a moment to reflect. You may have noticed that we don’t blog much in the summer,  that is because we are busy here at Southeast Sea Kayaks doing all the things we love to do: kayaking, kayaking and more kayaking. It is a strange way to make a living, but we love it and we love being part of Ketchikan’s amazing community. Here are some highlights from summer 2014: Our Incredible Local Crew It has always…

Kayaking Ketchikan, Alaska

The protected waters of the Inside Passage and the thousands of islands and fjords that make up the Alexander Archipelago are a sea kayaker’s paradise. While famous paddling destinations like Glacier Bay and the Misty Fjords top many kayaker’s bucket lists, getting to them can be expensive and requires at least a few days. Fortunately for those of us who live here and own kayaks, or for folks who are travelling through Ketchikan with their own kayaks, there are many excellent day and overnight paddling trips accessible right from the Ketchikan road system. Here are a few of our favorite kayak  trips in the Ketchikan Area. All of these trips have campsites within a few hours’ paddle of town and great opportunities to see whales and other marine mammals. Resident orcas in Nichols Passage near the Blank Islands. Black Sands…

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