Finding Alaska while Facing Waves by Ken Whiting

I’ve been excited to explore Alaska for as long as I can remember, and I finally had the opportunity to do so during our recent Facing Waves shoot in the Juneau, Alaska area.  I had high hopes and expectations from this trip, and I can say unequivocally that it exceeded all my expectations. 

Our shoot started with a two-day sea kayak trip to the Channel Islands—an area known for the great opportunities it provides to see wildlife.  Not more than 30 seconds outside of the harbour, we were given a taste for what we could expect for the rest of the trip, as a couple of sea lions tossed salmon high into the air while feeding, while bald eagles swooped down and picked smaller fish out of the water around us.  This marked the beginning of a two-day trip that was filled with incredible eagle, sea lion, and humpback whale encounters.

Our next three days were spent in the remote Tracy Arm Fjord, which was about a four-hour boat ride from Juneau.  Tracy Arm was without a doubt one of the most spectacular locations that I’ve ever encountered, and although no photo or video could truly do it justice, the footage we captured during our sea kayak trip is some of the best sea kayaking footage I’ve ever seen.  Towering mountains, icebergs, glaciers, seal pups and eagles…It simply doesn’t get better than this.

Our final day of shooting in Juneau was spent exploring the Mendenhall Glacier, which is just on the outskirts of the city of Juneau itself.  The adventure started with a three-mile paddle across the lake, past icebergs and a thunderous waterfall.  We then found ourselves at the base of the Mendenhall Glacier itself, where we hopped out of our boats, crawled under the glacier, and through an incredible network of ice caves.  On the far side of the ice caves we strapped crampons to our boots and explored the moon-like world on top of the glacier itself.

The paddling gear I brought on this trip was absolutely perfect for the job. The TRAK Kayak was a joy to paddle, was easily tough enough to handle the hard conditions and the adjustable rocker came in very handy throughout the trip. All in all, this Facing Waves shoot in Juneau, Alaska, was a shoot of a lifetime. Juneau is without a doubt one of the top paddling destinations in the world, as well as one of the top adventure travel destinations in the world.

Make sure to watch for this episode of Facing Waves this fall. 

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