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Let the Harness family of Seaside Adventure Eco Tours take you on a sea kayaking adventure through the wonders of beautiful Little Tutka Bay. Seaside will turn the bay into an interactive classroom, covering everything from archaeology and geology to cultural and natural history on your full-day paddle. These long-time Alaskans share where secret treasures lie, what it's like to live on the bay, and how to make a meal from wild ingredients. Even complete beginners will get the hang of paddling thanks to experienced guides and stable boats.
Your adventure begins with a water-taxi ride (30 – 35 minutes) across the bay from Homer-watch for otters, porpoises, and maybe even whales. The Harnesses will get you oriented with basic kayaking skills and all the right gear, including fiberglass kayaks that are both stable and sleek. Most novices work as a team-both for paddling and spotting wildlife-in a double kayak.
Little Tutka Bay sits in a high mountainous area, with elegant fjords and big spruce forests. Paddling here is like entering a cathedral. On the water, you'll probably see numerous sea otters, seals, and a wide variety of seabirds. A secret overlook lets you peer into an eagle's nest, where you might spy hatchlings. You never know what you'll see-maybe a black bear bringing her cubs down to the water. The slower you go, the more you'll see. Kayakers have the opportunity to get really close to wildlife, just by being quiet and floating along with the tides.
Seaside likes to vary its tours because some kayakers are repeat customers, and routes also change with the weather. You may paddle among the tiny Herring Islands, or scoot into the protected waters of the back lagoon. Some trips head into Jakolof Bay, with its oyster farms and fish hatchery. Stretch your legs on a short hike into the boreal forest-perfect in late July when the blueberries are ripe. You can even drag a fishing line while kayaking, or fly fish as you float.
Owner and guide Rick Harness offers an amazing wealth of knowledge about Kachemak Bay. His naturalist bent brings a rich educational component to Seaside's trips. Visit ancient Native Alaskan middens sites and get hands-on with sea stars and octopi in the intertidal zone. Rick goes out with every group, unless size requires additional guides. Either way, everyone will meet up for lunch. Become a hunter-gatherer and collect ingredients for "beach soup"-clams, fish, mussels, seaweed, or wild potatoes-a tasty addition to your box lunch. All of the guides have lived in the area for years, and they know of spots (like the eagle's-nest overlook) that are secret even to other locals. Getting a taste for life across the bay is just one highlight of the trip.