Paddling into the heart of Resurrection Bay
Early evening in the middle of summer may be the best time of day at Fox Island. Summer days are long at remote, exclusive, beautiful Fox Island. And kayaking may be the best thing to be doing in that place, at that time.
Picture this: It is 9 PM on the coast of Alaska. Your belly is full from the amazing sea scallops and King crab risotto you had for dinner. Your face is lightly tanned from a day exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Your emails, phone messages and to-do list are miles away.
You’re paddling a sea kayak towards a waterfall that tumbles down the side of a cliff into the deep cobalt-colored ocean. The sun is slowly setting in the sky, and the mountains above are beginning to glow pink. There may be a few seals frolicking in the cove. Your guide points out a bald eagle atop a Sitka spruce on shore. Maybe there’s even a humpback whale just out to sea.
To the south are the wild and rugged waters of the Gulf of Alaska. To the north, the protected waters of Resurrection Bay and the harbor at Seward.
In between, there’s just you and a few friends in your kayaks.
This spectacular marine environment is Fox Island and Resurrection Bay, where evening paddle trips are exclusive to overnight guests at the iconic Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge. This is a place where nature reigns.
And it’s the perfect place to go for a paddle.
John Page has been running sea kayaking trips here for more than 20 years. It’s clearly a place that means the world to him.
“Even amongst so many beautiful places, Fox Island really stands out,” he says. “The mixture of wildlife with both protected and exposed coasts for kayaking – it’s very pristine.”
Sea kayaking is a quiet activity. It’s rhythmic and immersive. It puts you in an intimate connection with the ocean, what John calls “a sense of being in tune with nature.”
It’s what so many of us are craving.
Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge guests also have the unique option to join John and his guides for a full day sea kayaking tour that – weather depending – heads out to Cape Resurrection and the Gulf of Alaska. This is a challenging, adventurous day that may take you to places with names like God’s Pocket or Kayaker’s Cove. There are geological, tidal and wildlife wonders to see en route.
Tip: While sea kayaking is accessible to just about anyone, a basic sense of athleticism and fitness is required. Guides begin all excursions with full safety and gear instructions, and are constantly in tune with how guests are doing. Not sure you’re up to it? Just ask John and his team.
Three and four-hour sea kayak tours are also options. Each is customized to the day’s conditions, the nature of the group’s abilities and where wildlife may be. There is no shortage of options for where to go on any given day. John and his team of naturalist-kayaking guides know this place intimately.
“This is a very dynamic environment,” he says. “We have lots of amazing routes to choose from.”
Tip: Booking a two-night stay at Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge gives you time to do both the evening 3-hour sea kayak and the full-day sea kayak outing. And until June 24, the 2nd night is 50% off.
In the end, it’s about the moments. Puffins nesting in rocks. Seals following you as you paddle. The sense of accomplishment after a full-day paddle. Being in a small group watching the salmon run at seldom-seen Humpy Cove, a place you’ve gotten to under your own steam.
For Page, it’s about connecting people to the magic of Kenai Fjords.
“I sincerely hope people walk away with an appreciation for this amazing place, a desire to do something similar elsewhere, and a little sense of awe, that nature is important,” he says.
The Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge is an eight-cabin eco-lodge located in the heart of coastal Alaska. Guests arrive at the lodge on a 45-minute, 12-mile boat ride out of historic Seward. Secluded and comfortable, the lodge runs entirely on renewable energy.
For more information, visit Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge.
PHOTO: Sea-kayaking in Resurrection Bay from Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge.