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Kayaking alaskaPhoto Credit Lyrinda Synderman

Paddle Into The Alaskan Wild From Ketchikan to Wrangell


The trip was organized by Bill Brackin, of the North Sound Sea Kayaking Association out oPaddle into the Alaskan Wildf Everett, WA. Bill is a seasoned kayaker with over 42 years of paddling experience. He has logged over 4,000 miles kayaking. “The first 20 years was primarily whitewater kayaking. My first flat water trip was 120 miles from Stanwood, WA to Nanaimo, BC. I was hooked. Since then I have paddled most of the way from Olympia, WA to Wrangell, AK in a series of 1-17 day trips. Much of my kayaking has been in Puget Sound and British Columbia," Bill shares.

Paddling puts an adventurer in touch with Alaska's wilderness domain. “We began at Ketchikan and ended at Wrangell, Alaska, averaging about 10 miles per day, but the last day we paddled about 20 miles with favorable winds and currents. “ Bill informs. As the group paddled along shores lined with towering trees, on the Alaskan sea, “whales puffed as we passed by," Lyrinda Snyderman exclaims.

Lyrinda began kayaking in 1954 when her uncle sat her in his FolBot on Squibnocket Pond in Chilmark, Massachusetts. In 1971, she bought her first kayak, a two-seater folding Klepper Aerius. Since then Lyrinda has paddled rivers, lakes and ponds, bays and seacoasts, primarily in New England and California.

Over the years, Lyrinda has perfected the art of photographing spontaneous moments and has has captured many inspiring images. “Kayaking and photography go hand-in-hand. It is an adventure, and I am always amazed by the beautiful settings I have kayaked. I enjoy photographing both wildlife and landscapes from my kayak,” Lyrinda exclaims.

Paddle into the Alaskan WIldOne of the advantages of photographing wildlife on the water from a kayak is that it can quietly glide through the water and access places that are difficult to reach on foot. Photographers are able to capture images of animals in the water or feeding along the shore without disrupting them.

Paddling up Clarence Straits provided an opportunity for chance encounters with Humpback and Killer Whales. As they paddled, they kept their eyes peeled on the beaches for black-tailed deer, moose and bear, and on the water for whales, sea otter, and seals. Bald eagles chattered and soared as if on cue, and the remarkable sea life near shore was breathtaking.

They spent their days exploring inlets, fishing for salmon, crabbing ,and on the outlook to catch a glimpse of humpback whales. The fallen and twisted trees became contorted landmarks lunging from the cliffs as they paddled by.

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“We were mostly blessed with wonderful weather, though we had one wild day with high seas with close periods along the southwest coast of the Cleveland Paddle into the Alaskan WildPeninsula. We had a few rainy days, but mostly the weather was mild.” Lyrinda shares. Kayaking in Alaska can present dangers. Be aware of your surroundings and be prepared for extended stays due to occasionally poor weather.

During the 14 day paddling excursion, the group spent a few nights at Helm Bay, Frosty Bay, and Berg Bay at the forest service cabins while they explored the surrounding area. The Forest Service cabins don’t have electricity or running water, and have wooden bunks for beds, but they do have a heater that makes them perfectly cozy.


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