TRAK/SEAK Channel Islands Tour - Alaska: August TBD, 2022

The fjord which separates the communities of Juneau and Haines Alaska is located at the northern most end of the famed inside passage. It is a glacially carved valley inundated by the sea and reaching depths of over 2000 feet, making it the deepest fjord in North America (outside Greenland). This stunning stretch of coastline with varied shoreline offering us towering cliffs, stretches of huge boulders and cobble, or black sandy beaches with pristine camp spots, will capture you imagination and leave you wanting more. On our journey we travel through the Channel Islands, past Berners Bay and Eldred Rock toward Ayiklutu Point and finally the little fishing town of Haines, Alaska. Paddling north we will be in an ancient intact ecosystem home to the Tlingit people and to apex predators on land and in the sea. So keep your eyes peeled on the water or in camp with any luck we will get a glimpse of some of the wildlife we will be living with during our week at sea.

Join us in the rugged Channel Islands for a paddle of a lifetime August 2 - August 8. Open to all skill levels with a veteran Alaskan guide included.

  • Country: Haines and Juneau Alaska
  • Duration: 7 Days
  • Skill Level: Beginner-Advanced

What we're going to do

We will be traveling north using the wind and tide to hopefully aid our progress. This trip will be about our journey but we can also work on some valuable skills which can be applied to future expeditions in Alaska or anywhere in the world.


- Expedition planning
- Navigation
- Wind and tides
- Safety
- Leadership
- Natural History


The subjects above are just a few of the possible areas we can work through as we spend 7 days paddling the waters between the capitol of Alaska and our destination of Haines.


 

Tour Itinerary

Expedition Training Plan: The schedule below is a rough idea of events plan but we will be very flexible and our route may change with the wind and the tides.  

  • DAY 1: Meet your guide in Juneau for a pre trip meeting and dinner.
  • DAY 2: We will pack our things early and meet with our driver for a 45 minute ride to Echo Cove. Once  at the launch we will get our kayaks squared away and go over some kayak paddling techniques  as well as some safety items and then push off into the waters of Berners Bay. We will spend our first day on the water exploring the bay and refining our paddling techniques. Once everyone is  feeling comfortable we will head north to our first campsite and a well deserved hearty dinner.
  • DAY 3: Waking up below the towering mountains of the Coast and Chilkat mountain ranges, we will have a hearty breakfast, pack our gear, take a look at the wind and the tides and make our way through Berners Bay. Leaving Berners Bay will take us out in to the main part of the fjord between Juneau and Haines. Keep your eyes peeled for humpback or killer whales, which frequent these waters feeding on schools of herring and hooligan, a large smelt-like fish prized for its oil. Making our way up the east side of the fjord we are heading for Point Sherman, a traditional camping spot for the Tlingit on their trade routes to the south. We will camp on the gentle shores near Point Sherman as well.
  • DAY 4: Rest Day! We have earned a rest day. Sleep in, read a book, build a fire on the beach, hike up the river bed into the mountains or perhaps to a glacier, or just relax in camp taking in what the Tongass National Forest has to offer you.
  • DAY 5: Now into the heart of the fjord we will have our rhythm, making good time in the mornings on the water but always taking a moment to watch porpoises swim by or bald eagles fish along the shore. In the afternoon when the breeze picks up we can choose to let the wind push us north rafting our kayaks together to give those paddling muscles a break, breaking out the binoculars and scouting for our next camp site on Sullivan Island.
  • DAY 6: This day will see us head to the western shore of the fjord, and for the first time we may see a cabin or the remnants of a fox farm from the early days as we close in on our destination of Haines. Our campsite on this day is at the mouth of the Harley River drainage. Once camp is set up we can head for a hike up the Harley River and maybe just maybe to the glacier at the end of the valley.
  • DAY 7: After one last camp breakfast we have Haines in our sights. We may paddle into Letnikof Harbor  to meet our ride into town or we may catch a ride in a water taxi or bush plane if our pace or  weather has us a little behind schedule. Either way we will be welcomed to Haines by the crew at  SEAK Expeditions with showers in our very near future.

Meet Your Guide

Joe Oesterling

Joe Oesterling is the owner and operator of SEAK Expeditions. Joe traveled to Alaska  for the first time in 1999 and finally stayed in 2010 and has traveled throughout North  and South America on numerous expeditions and as a guide. He lives in Haines,  Alaska with his wife Tracy, 5 dogs, 2 cats and a crow. On the water Joe is a sea kayak  guide and instructor, river guide and water taxi captain, holding a 50 ton masters license  from the USCG. On land he is a carpenter/woodworker and is also a SAR K9 trainer  and Handler with SEADOGS based in Juneau, Alaska. Joe has a degree in Zoology  with a focus in Animal behavior and has a passion for sharing his backyard and all of SE  Alaska with people from all over the world.

Sign up for an orientation call for more info!  

Reviews

David Whitmire

”It’s perfect for the beginner and intermediate paddler. This environment, this destination, the skills progression and the way this trip was constructed in such a manner that allowed everybody get what they wanted. Our expanded purpose was met, our individual goals were met and the group goals were met.”

David Whitmire

Dr. Michael Stern

“It is actually hard to describe all of the benefits you get out of it. The bottom line is a significant increase in skills and comfort and handling the boat in various conditions. We were able to do that with wonderful instruction and really capable experts.”

Dr. Michael Stern


Where we're going

  • Juneau Alaska
  • Lynn Canal
  • Berners Bay
  • Haines Alaska

What you'll learn

Below is just some of what we will cover over our week together and we can focus more on one area than another as our group get to know each other and discover our focus. Expedition planning Essential equipment route planning float plans Navigation map and compass GPS Smartphone? Weather, wind and tides weather and wind in marine/mountain environments tidal specifics Safety remote travel cold water communication Leadership group group dynamics risk management

  • Expedition planning, preparation and execution for replication on other international travel expeditions
  • Route planning, float plans and GPS sea kayak navigation
  • Expedition leadership and seamanship skills

What's included in the tour

We'll provide everything you need once you arrive, until you leave. You may want to bring your favorite PFD and paddle, and if you have a TRAK kayak already, bring it with you and save.

  • Group Camping Gear: tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads etc.
  • Kayak, PFD, Safety Gear
  • Food while in the field
  • Air charter or water taxi service in the field if needed
  • Professional guide service

Not included

  • Airfare to or from Haines or Juneau Lodging while not in the field
  • Food while not in the field
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal items
  • Gratuities
Aug TBD, 2022

Still have questions?

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