Alaska on the Home Shore
In June 2004, we kayaked from the Home Shore, a kayak mother ship. Captain Jim Kyle and his son Ben were fantastic hosts. The ship
has three cabins for passengers, each capable of sleeping two people. For twenty years Jim sailed this fishing vessel as a fisherman
before converting it to a mother ship. Jim knows Alaska very well and has many secret locations in which to paddle. Getting into the
kayaks was easy. The mother ship is always a radio call away for anyone who wants to shorten the paddle.
Jackie tries on survival
We saw a number of whales. One day we rounded a point and
surprised a whale which dove down. Shortly there were bubbles
rising to the top all around our kayak. I was elated thinking this was
part of the expected experience until I looked to my left and saw our
guide Ben paddling backward as hard as he could paddle.
There is a nice lounge area in the center
of the boat. There is access to the wheel
house anytime of day and it is a great
place to sit when the boat is moving.
The picture to the right was
taken by Gary Luhm (above
left), a professional outdoor
photographer. That is Jackie
and me in the yellow kayak. His
photographs have appeared
numerous times on the covers
of all the paddling magazines.
Gary Luhm's web site.
We had picnics and hikes. We also paddled up to the glacier
in Tracey's Arm.
We had quite a number of grizzly bear encounters. One time Jackie and
I came around a point and surprised a grizzly only a few feet away. We
were in shallow water at that time. In every incident, but one, the
grizzlies ran so fast that I could not even get the camera out in time for a
picture. Then one evening we moved away from the group and quietly
paddled back to a spot we had passed and found a bear eating grass.
He looked at us nervously but then decided we were not worth
interrupting his dinner.
We stopped one night at an
old cannery village.