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Always Challenging, Always Fun: deckhand life at Kenai Fjords Tours

There are more than 40 deckhands on the crew at Kenai Fjords Tours.

They're drawn to the job by the promise of working every day with inspired people in an incredible place.

deck·hand (ˈdekˌhand/)

noun  (plural deckhands)

  1. a member of a ship's crew whose duties include maintenance of hull, decks, and superstructure and mooring and cargo handling.
  2. a deckhand is responsible for maintenance and cleaning of the interior/exterior of the vessel, and assisting with small boat operations.

It's a job that requires a lot, as this video shows. From a upbeat and out-going personality to having the physical strength to throw and tie knots, well-rounded team players succeed at this job.

Many Kenai Fjords Tours captains and managers started their careers with the company as deckhands. It's the point to what, for many, turns into a lifetime spent working on the water. And it's a busy job. Morning tasks include meeting with the captain, preparing the boat, getting stock and supplies and fueling the boat. Then, before the guests arrive, the crew of deckhands get lunches ready and make sure the boat is clean and orderly. Once guests have made their way to the boat, they welcome them onboard and begin to focus on customer care and interaction. They'll do line handling as the boat leaves port, and then begin to circulate with binoculars and coffee. As the tour starts, they'll chat with guests, help people however they can and keep their keen eyes out for wildlife. They also provide additional eyes and ears for the captain, from a safety point of view. It's busy!

Every day is filled with magical moments in the spectacular Kenai Fjords - like spotting a whale breaching or a pod of humpbacks bubble-net feeding.

When the boat returns to harbor, deckhands bid farewell to guests who have often become friends. After they've cleaned up the boat, they disembark and begin to get ready for the next day. And perhaps start planning their career as a captain.

Learn more about our crew and follow us on Facebook for updates from Captains and Deckhands.

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