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Thread: kayaking Seward to Homer

  1. #1
    Member Ripface's Avatar
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    Default kayaking Seward to Homer

    Hi. I read not long ago on some forum where someone had done a kayaking trip from Seward to Homer. I forgot where I read this, but having thought about it for quite some time, I thought this would be a fantastic trip, and I didn't get the guy's email. Do any of you know of anyone who's done this, or have you done it? It seems the Gulf may be a bit hairy, but there would be plenty of places to pull in for shelter. I could have sworn this guy said he had 15' seas at times. If they were swells, he could have rode over them, but I think I would have pulled in somewhere.
    "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile." - Homer, Odyssey

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    Member aufevermike's Avatar
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    I think the guy from the Canoe rental place in Sterling had done it. It's called Alaska Canoe and campground. the number is the phone book. If I remember correctly I think he had a couple of glass kayaks the he was selling and that he had made the trip in one of them and encountered 15 ft. seas. You might give him a call.

    Mike

  3. #3
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    i know a couple of fellows who have made the trip you're talking about. if you're serious about getting more information give me a PM and i'll see about putting you in touch with them.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Seward to Homer

    The trip was guided by Tom Wilkinson from Soldotna. He was a Sea Kayak guide in Seward and all over Prince William sound for about 20 years. He is a R.N Nurse at Kenai Peninsula Hospital.
    He used to do trips from Valdez to Seward also. Expedition trips for a week or more. About 10 years or so ago he designed and started building his Own Glass Kayaks. He built them just for such trips. He put in Hatches and bulkheads like what you see on say a regular boat. This way you could put larger items into the bulheaded storage area.
    I called Tom about 3 weeks ago and ask him if he were still making a few of the Kayaks. He said he was not able to, as the hospital didn't let him take as much time off as he used to get, so he decided to take more time playing and less time working on building these Kayaks.
    He is a great resource, as he as done these trips several times.
    I am sure he would not mind a phone call.
    907-262-7973

  5. #5
    Member Riptide's Avatar
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    Default Seward to Homer

    I have several friends who've done the trip and I talked to them extensively about it since I too have been planning on doing that route for many years. The sea's can certainly reach 15 feet out there and the tides, especially around gore point are tremendous. Indeed, strong enough to push you into surf or boomers. There are plenty of boomers and sections you have to commit once you've started. 5 to 7 foot seas are the norm. While there are plenty of beaches, many are exposed storm beaches with large rocks and difficult surf. Rebounding waves off shore or cliff faces can make for extremely difficult paddling conditions even in smaller waves. Very confused seas with steep faces and looming holes. Finding protected beaches can be challenging along some sections. Plastic kayaks are highly recomended.

    I would not expect to be able to follow a pre determined schedule and if you go, consider going in the better weather season of early summer. That route demands patience if you want to have fun. Being pinned down for up to a week is not an unreasonable possibility. Lots of black bears in the spring on most beaches so you need to be very careful with your food in camp and hang your food in trees if possible. You can get weather reports from passing boats or take a sat phone (highly recomended) and call a friend for weather updates and notification of location. Don't wing it out there, know before you go. I don't think your hand held VHF will be very reliable for picking up the weather channels, just passing boats.

    I'm an experienced sea kayaker and have owned a sea kayaking business for the last 8 years operating in Prince William Sound. I'd need all my skills and experience for that route, its a real whopper in my opinion, a class 5 ya know!

    I think the key to success is going with the flow and not fighting the weather or taking unecessary risk by trying to follow a pre determined schedule. For that reason and for safety, its best to have a sat phone since you really can't leave behind a trip plan with a reliable time for completing the route. Keep friends posted on your location. You can rent a sat phone from a number of locations in Anchorage these days. Surveyers Exchange is my favorite ~ $75 a week.

  6. #6

    Default Info on request for Seward to Homer

    You might want to check with Paul Twardock. I think you might be able to dig him up through APU (Alaska Pacific University's campus where he worked for many years.) I remember him talking about that very specific trip at the Sea Kayaking Symposium many years ago and the 12' seas he encountered. Also the tides coming out of Cook Inlet were pushing him backwards as they tried to round the southernmost point of the peninsula before one starts heading back up to Seldovia and Homer. He wrote a book as well on sea kayaking in PWS. YOu might also want to check with Doug Fesler and/or Jill Fredston here in Anchorage. They run the Alaska Mountain Safety Center and have done extensive sea kayaking throughout Alaska. Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Max, are you looking for one of Tom's kayaks perhaps?
    I have a 17' (IIRC) with spray skirt, top pack and paddle that I'm trying to sell.

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