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Open the 2016 Guide Manual Here, or continue reading below.

Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking Mission Statement

1) To meet the needs of our customers by providing sea kayaking and hiking adventures that are:

Safe. There are inherent risks in what we do. Our job is to reduce those risks.

Educational. We are fortunate to be able to share an incredible place with our customers.

Providing people an opportunity to experience and learn about our natural world and to develop new outdoor skills are important goals.

Fun. We want our customers to truly enjoy the experiences we offer. It’s our hope that we will create an interest that extends beyond our outings. Environmentally Friendly. With our tours we hope to expand our client’s awareness and understanding of the natural history of the area. Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking follows “Leave No Trace” environmental ethics and actively promotes conservation.

2) To ensure that the company prospers by creating a:

Professional reputation for offering the highest quality services

Establishing a financially stable company

Providing quality employment for company staff

To help us accomplish the above goals, Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking (SC) has developed the following policies and procedures to guide us all in meeting our mission. Of the above, customer safety is the first and foremost priority.  It is the criteria by which everything else is judged. While there is risk in the activities we offer, it is our job to minimize the risk to our clients. Guides need to use their best judgment and professional background to accomplish this goal. If in doubt, act conservatively.

Customer satisfaction is another important criterion. “The customer comes first” applies in almost all instances, unless there is a question of safety. All decisions should be made with clients’ safety and enjoyment foremost in mind.

As a business we have the opportunity to create a company in which we all can be proud. Each of our staff members plays an important role in this process. By our actions we set the standards that create Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking’s professional reputation.

NOTE

 All policies and procedures within this document are subject to change without notice. 

GENERAL POLICIES

Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking is an equal opportunity employer and practices non-discrimination in its hiring and promotion policies.  In addition, employment with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking is on an “at-will” basis and may be terminated by either the employee or Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking at any time with or without cause or notice.

Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking employees are expected to follow all established protocols and procedures, conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times, to be sensitive to client and co-staff needs and abilities, to dress appropriately and maintain an acceptable level of hygiene, and to maintain professional relationships with clients, Kenai Fjords Tours (KFT) employees and others.

Drugs and Alcohol

    Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking considers the use of drugs or alcohol during employment to be an unacceptable and unsafe practice. Employees may not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol in any manner while on duty or within such time prior to reporting for duty that the presence of such substances could affect their ability to perform assigned duties. Use or possession of illegal drugs is prohibited in all circumstances and will require termination of employment. 

    If at any time a Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking employee is suspected of using illegal drugs on company property or within work hours, or such as affecting job performance, management may request a drug screening. Refusal to submit to a drug screening will result in immediate termination of employment.

    Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking employees and guests will follow all current rules concerning alcohol possession on Fox Island and all properties of Alaska Heritage Tours.  Additionally, Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking employees must submit to mandatory drug testing or alcohol testing if requested by Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking management, Alaska Heritage Tours Management, U.S. Coast Guard or any other legal entity.

Smoking

Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking promotes a non-smoking environment.  Smoking of any kind, including vaporizers or e-cigarettes, is not allowed on any Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking or Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking affiliate properties at any time.  Staff found smoking on said premises might be subject to disciplinary action. 

Personal Kayak Use

Sunny Cove management wants their employees to have a great summer. We believe that our business success goes hand in hand with having employees who really enjoy their work and have opportunities to maintain their skills. To that end we have the following policies regarding use of Sunny Cove kayaks.  

Any kayak use must be cleared in advance with a Coordinator, Manager or Owner. All participants must submit a signed waiver to the MOD. All overnight trips require a detailed float plan to be submitted to SC Management in person prior to departure. Employees may use a double kayak to paddle with a friend or family member. Employees may also have family members join them on a Lowell Point 3-hour, tour space permitting.  Sunny Cove has a limited amount of single kayaks and use of those kayaks is limited to Sunny Cove employees only.

Employees may do a guided rental for friends who are visiting with double kayaks for a guided rental rate of $30 per kayak per day. The employee must accompany the trip just as we do with client-based guided rentals. Employees and their friends are responsible for lost/broken gear and kayaks. Any overnight trips need to be cleared with Sunny Cove management 3 days in advance of the trip.

Guided rentals for friends or family must stay within the confines of Resurrection Bay may not extend beyond Rocky Point on the west side of Resurrection Bay or beyond Fox Island on the east side of Resurrection Bay.   Bear Glacier is off limits under these circumstances.

Employees who take close friends or family members kayaking for any period of time are expected to assume the role of a guide at all times.  Consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited while using or renting any Sunny Cove kayaks.  Any break from the above policies will result in the loss of kayak use privileges outside of scheduled shifts.

Position Qualifications 

LEAD COORDINATOR

·    Requirements

o  Lead Guide status with Sunny Cove.

·    Duties

o  Able to lead any trip offered by Sunny Cove.

o  Coordinate with Ops Manager.

o  Act as a cohesive component of the management team.

o  Effectively act as a mentor to fellow staff members.

o  Act as an intermediary between management and staff.

o  Communicate effectively with management and staff.

o  Facilitate a positive working and living environment.

o  Assist in new and on-going guide training.

o  Act as a check off trainer for guide promotion.

o  Facilitate Kayak Camping program.

o  Facilitate Day Trips program.

o  Monitor and facilitate Coordinator role.

o  Monitor and facilitate MOD role.

o  MOD shifts.

o  Additional duties as they arrive.

·    Pay Rate (as outlined by management)

ASSISTANT COORDINATOR

·    Requirements

o  Lead Guide status with Sunny Cove.

·    Duties

o  Able to lead any trip offered by Sunny Cove.

o  Act as a cohesive component of the management team.

o  Effectively act as a mentor to fellow staff members.

o  Act as an intermediary between management and staff.

o  Communicate effectively with management and staff.

o  Facilitate a positive working and living environment.

o  Assist in new and on-going guide training.

o  Act as a check off trainer for guide promotion.

o  MOD shifts.

o  Additional duties as they arrive.

·    Pay Rate (as outlined by management)

LEAD GUIDE

  Requirements

o  More than two years of guiding experience, minimum of one with Sunny Cove or reputable Seward kayaking company (as assessed by Sunny Cove management).

o  Expert leadership and outdoor education background.

o  Current Wilderness First Responder/CPR Certification.

§  Or equivalent or higher wilderness medical certification.

o  Excellent communication skills.

o  An in-depth understanding of the logistics involved in guiding.

o  The ability to model and lead successfully.

·    Duties

o  Able to lead any trip offered by Sunny Cove.

o  Effectively act as a mentor to fellow staff members.

o  Communicate effectively with management and staff.

o  Facilitate a positive working and living environment.

o  Assist in new and on-going guide training.

o  Act as a check off trainer for guide promotion.

o  MOD shifts.

o  Additional duties as they arrive.

·    Pay Rate (per trip unless otherwise noted)

o  Kayak Camping (per day):                  $150

o  Kayak Camping Prep/Clean:               $100

o  Kayak Camping Rental Prep/Clean:    $50

o  Grand Day:                                         $150

o  Caines Day:                                         $100

o  Fox Day:                                             $100

o  Tonsina Day:                                       $75

o  Fox Island w/Dinner Cruise:               $60

o  Fox Island 8:30:                                  $55

o  Res Bay 3-Hour:                                 $50

o  Fox Island 12pm:                                $50

o  Fox Island 8pm:                                  $50

GUIDE

·    Requirements

o  Prior guiding experience, preferably in remote locations.

o  Leadership and outdoor education background.

o  Current Wilderness First Responder/CPR Certification.

§  Or equivalent or higher wilderness medical certification.

o  Excellent communication skills.

o  A willingness to learn how to model and lead successfully.

·    Duties

o  A willingness to learn every trip offered by Sunny Cove.

o  Effectively work and live with fellow staff members.

o  Communicate effectively with management and staff.

o  Facilitate a positive working and living environment.

o  MOD shifts.

o  Additional duties as they arrive.

·    Pay Rate (per trip unless otherwise noted)

o  Kayak Camping (per day):                  $120

o  Kayak Camping Prep/Clean:               $80

o  Kayak Camping Rental Prep/Clean:    $40

o  Grand Day:                                         $120

o  Caines Day:                                         $80

o  Fox Day:                                             $80

o  Tonsina Day:                                       $60

o  Fox Island w/Dinner Cruise:               $50

o  Fox Island 8:30a:                                $45

o  Res Bay 3-Hour:                                 $40

o  Fox Island 12pm:                                $40

o  Fox Island 8pm:                                  $40

ASSISTANT GUIDE

·    Requirements

o  Prior outdoors experience, preferably in remote locations.

o  Leadership and outdoor education background.

o  Current Wilderness First Responder/CPR Certification.

§  Or equivalent or higher wilderness medical certification.

o  Excellent communication skills.

o  A willingness to learn how to model and lead successfully.

·    Duties

o  A willingness to learn every trip offered by Sunny Cove.

o  Effectively work and live with fellow staff members.

o  Communicate effectively with management and staff.

o  Facilitate a positive working and living environment.

o  Additional duties as they arrive.

·    Pay Rate (per trip unless otherwise noted)

o  Kayak Camping (per day):                  $90

o  Kayak Camping Prep/Clean:               $60

o  Kayak Camping Rental Prep/Clean:    $30

o  Grand Day:                                         $90

o  Caines Day:                                         $60

o  Fox Day:                                             $60

o  Tonsina Day:                                       $45

o  Fox Island w/Dinner Cruise:               $40

o  Fox Island 8:30a:                                $35

o  Res Bay 3-Hour:                                 $30

o  Fox Island 12pm:                                $30

o  Fox Island 8pm:                                  $30                                       

 Our best guides are organized, detail oriented people who love to share their enthusiasm and love for kayaking, nature and Alaska.  They are energetic, caring and have a passion to do their jobs to the best of their ability.  They genuinely care about each guest and employee and make a real effort to anticipate a persons needs and create the best experience possible.  They positively contribute to the communal living environment and participate in making the living situation cohesive.

Assistant Guide Promotion Procedures

First year staff members with a minimum of 1-year cold-water experience and 1 year of guiding and/or Alaska leadership experience:

     Minimum 5 trips on water, with clients, as a co-guide or a shadow, working under the direction of a guide, lead guide or management.  This portion may be waived or modified by management based on behavior and expertise exhibited during training period.

     Minimum 5 trips on water with clients, in a leadership role as a co-guide with a guide, lead guide or management.

     Completion of all aspects of Guide Assessment form with a satisfactory or higher rating.

New staff members with a minimum 1-year of guiding and/or leadership experience:

     Minimum 10 trips on water, with clients, as a co-guide or a shadow, working under the direction of a guide, lead guide or management.  This portion may be waived or modified by management based on behavior and expertise exhibited during training period. 

     Minimum 5 trips on water with clients, in a leadership role as a co-guide with a guide, lead guide or management.

     Completion of all aspects of Guide Assessment form with a satisfactory or higher rating. 

New staff members who don't meet the above criteria:

     Minimum 10 days on water, with clients as a co-guide or a shadow, working under the direction of a guide, lead guide or management.  This portion may be waived or modified by management based on behavior and expertise exhibited during training period.

     Minimum 10 trips on water with clients, in a leadership role as a co-guide with a guide, lead guide or management.

     Completion of all aspects of Guide Assessment form with a satisfactory or higher rating.

Sunny Cove Properties

GENERAL HOUSING RULES  

Housing with Sunny Cove is rent-free for all Sunny Cove guides.  However, a $100 deposit will be required to move into housing.   Each person living in housing is required to participate in all maintenance and cleaning of the premises on a weekly basis.  Those who do not honor these weekly duties will be subject to loss of deposit, or loss of housing privileges.  The remainder of deposit is refundable upon acceptable check out of housing when employment with Sunny Cove ends.

Shady Lane Yurt & Cabin

The Shady Lane yurt & cabin is for staff only and visitors are to be kept to a minimum, as this is a work place. Overnight visitors are not allowed, without exception.  All applicable alcohol and drug laws apply in any staff housing.   The key to a happy communal home is respect.  Please honor and respect each of your yurt mates, their personal property and the property of Sunny Cove. Please remember that free staff housing is a privilege.  Those who cannot honor the policies in place will lose housing deposits and privileges.

The cabin serves as a communal gathering, storage and food preparation area. Please keep the yurt and cabin clean at all times. Weekly cleaning duties will be assigned to all staff members residing in staff housing.  Duties may be assigned to those who live off property but utilize property amenities.

 Care needs to be taken to ensure that all SC facilities are kept in a clean and orderly manner. Staff is allowed to use the cabin shower between the hours of 7 am and 10 pm only.  Water usage is dependent on a pump in John and Kat’s house, which runs every time the water is run.

Staff may cook in the cabin but everything needs to be cleaned up immediately after eating.  The kitchen space and utensils are limited and a quick clean up insures the next person has the space and items they’ll need to prepare meals.

Yak Shack

The Yak Shack is off limits unless the space is being utilized for trip prep.  This area is also a home and the space must be respected.  The restroom/shower is limited to those who have been given express consent by management.  When using the Yak Shack, be sure to leave it clean and organized. 

All food in the LP House, Yak Shack and chest freezer in the cabin area is OFF LIMITS to staff members.  This food is to be utilized for trips only.  Using these food supplies for personal use will lead to serious repercussions or termination of employment.

Trip prep in the Yak Shack must be completed by 8:00 pm the evening prior to the trip.  The Yak Shack is off limits for any use, including trip prep after 8:00 pm.

John & Kat’s House

While the LP house has staff offices and provides storage for some SC equipment and supplies, it is also a home. Access hours, with permission, are 8:30 am to 7:30 pm and the house is off limits at all other times. Supplies needed from the house for day tours and kayak/camping tours should be gathered prior to 7:30 pm the day prior to the trip.

Lowell Point Shed

The Lowell Point Shed is available for our use through Jim & Kathleen Barkley.  Sunny Cove does not own this property and we must use this property with respect and maintain professional relationships with the Barkley family.  We also need to respect our neighbors on each side of the property and do our best to keep our kayaks and guests on the beach directly in front of the property.  This beachfront property is our launching sight and is not to be used for personal gatherings with friends, beach fires or beach parties. Overnight guests are not allowed at any time.

Fox Island Yurt

Overnight guests are not allowed, without exception.  It is KFT Policy that all persons on the island, outside of designated tour times, must be KFT or SC employees or guests of the overnight lodge.  Disregarding any protocols on Fox Island may result in disciplinary action or termination of employment.

Alcohol and marijuana may not be consumed or possessed by any Sunny Cove or KFT staff members at any time.  The island is dry for all employees, whether they are on duty or off duty.  Any member of Sunny Cove staff found to be in possession of or consuming alcohol or marijuana at any time on Fox Island will no longer be scheduled for Fox Island.  In addition, termination of employment may result if the relationship with KFT or any client activity is compromised due to possession or consumption of alcohol or marijuana while on Fox by SCSK staff.

Fox Island is home to rodents, porcupines and the occasional bear.  Food must never be stored in the yurt as it may attract any of these animals.  Please store any food items in the appropriate areas as designated by the Fox Island Manager.

SC Staff members are allowed access to KFT shower facilities while scheduled on the island. Check with the Fox Island Manager as to when the showers are available.  Remember to leave facilities in better condition then when you entered.

SC staff must bring their own cell phone for personal phone calls. Communication to the mainland can be difficult and SC staff is not allowed to make personal phone calls on the KFT line. Calls on this line are limited to Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking business calls only.

When scheduled for Fox Island trips guides are expected to remain on Fox Island.  Guides may not leave the island during a scheduled time period without express consent from management.  At no time should the island be left completely unattended or without a guide to make the morning weather call.

General Fox Island Policies

Parking for Fox Island

SC guides are not permitted to park in the KFT parking lots with the exception of the guest parking lot behind the Marina Hotel. 

Transportation to Fox Island

Sunny Cove is fortunate to have a good working relationship with Kenai Fjord Tours and KFT personnel. This relationship has been built over nearly two decades by the SC and KFT staff working together, respecting each other and lending each other a helping hand. This is something we want to continue. To help ensure this happens please follow the following procedures.

Staff transport arrangements need to be made for travel both to and from Fox Island the day prior to traveling to Fox Island. Prior to catching the boat to the island staff are required to check in with SC Admin staff to pick up any needed supplies, lunches going out to Fox for the day tour and to get updated information.

Do not assume there will be space available on the boat.  Once the season is in full swing KFT could sell out of space.  If you know it will potentially be busy, arrange your transportation earlier.  Guides must check in with KFT and load any gear 45 minutes before boat departure time.   Guides should physically be on board 15 minutes prior to departure.  Sunny Cove staff members must never be responsible for any type of KFT departure delay for any reason.

Transport to Fox Island is for Sunny Cove staff only!  Friends and family may visit Fox Island as a client and must participate in a trip as a client would.  We cannot offer discounts for travel to friends and family as travel to Fox is outside of our business and is the responsibility of Kenai Fjord Tours.  Pets are never allowed on KFT vessels or Fox Island.  Abuse of travel privileges will result in disciplinary action or termination of employment. 

Fox Week

Each week, on a rotating schedule, a guide will be assigned the duties of ‘Fox Week’.   The name isn’t meant to imply that particular guide is ‘in charge’ while on the island.  Rather that person is responsible for delivering the week’s paperwork to the AC and making sure each week’s island duties are completed.  This person will go to the island on Monday morning and return the following Sunday evening.  ‘Fox lead’ may leave the island one night during this assignment, as long as there is another guide on the island to make the morning weather call, unless the lead has been scheduled for the 8pm departure.

On Sunday evening the paperwork to be turned in to the AC includes the following:

                 All time sheets for the week.

                 Sign in logs

                 Daily manifests.

                 Reservation cards, checks and cash

                 Inventory and cleaning sheets

Food on Fox Island

SC staff is allowed to eat at the salmon bake on workdays.  Be sure to wait until all guests have been served before stepping into line. Staff members are expected to provide for their own meals when the salmon bake is not operating.

All KFT cooking facilities and kitchens are off limits during business hours.  These areas are limited to KFT staff only.  Cooking facilities will be designated by the Fox Island Manager.  Please be sure to follow the storage, usage and clean up protocols of KFT following any use of their facilities.

Returning from Fox Island

When returning from Fox Island staff members are required to check in with the AC to discuss any issues while on the island or to make clarifications to paperwork.  

Fox Island 8pm Trips (FE)

If a guide is scheduled for the FE trip that guide must remain on the island.  FE trips are available to Fox Island overnight guests and all twelve seats may be booked until trip time.  Guides schedule for the FE who leave the island without management permission will be subject to disciplinary action.

General 3-Hour and Day Tour Policies

WEATHER CALLS

Weather calls are the responsibility of the guide leading the tour.  If conditions are unsafe for kayaking the guide must make the appropriate notifications on time.

Fox Island weather calls must happen at 7:15 am and 11:15 am.  The Adventure Center (AC) is expecting the 7:15 call on time as Fox Day lunches will not be ordered until the call is received.  In the event of any cancellations on Fox Island the island manager must be notified.

Lowell Point weather calls can be made between trip prep time and trip launch time.  In the case of Lowell Point weather cancelation, the Monitor on Duty (MOD) and the Adventure Center must be notified as soon as possible.   

Whenever there is a cancellation, be sure to notify the AC and MOD as soon as possible.   It is possible that the AC and MOD may be able to assist the guides in rescheduling clients for another trip time.  Clients should be rescheduled rather than refunded whenever possible.

Client Cancellation Policy

If conditions permit a tour and the client decides to cancel due to rain or for any other reason, Sunny Cove cancellation policies require 15-days notice for a refund. Please note cancellation on daily trip log with client’s name and immediately notify the AC and MOD with the client’s name and reason for cancellation. If a client is unhappy please refer them to the Adventure Center, calling prior to their arrival and notifying the office of the situation.

Pre-Tour Preparation

Guides are expected to be on the beach preparing for their tours 40 minutes before tour start time.  Prepare for your tour by having safety gear loaded into your guide kayak.  Check all kayaks and other equipment to ensure everything is clean and in good working order. Clean and organize the shed to ensure it is ready for the day. Lastly, put on all of your personal gear so you are ready to paddle before clients arrive.  All of the above should be completed by 15 minutes prior to tour start time.  You can now relax knowing you are prepared for your client’s arrival.

Manifests

Manifests are the key to making sure you have the correct guests on your tour.  On Fox Island KFT will provide the manifest for each trip.  At Lowell Point the Adventure Center will fax a manifest one half-hour before the trip start time. 

Any and all additions or corrections to the manifest must be noted legibly on each day’s manifest roster. The back of the manifest can be used for detailed descriptions of any changes.  Example: weather call, when and why, missing clients, or additional clients.  The manifest directly relates to guide pay as well.  If the manifest is incorrect, guide pay may be incorrect.

Client Interaction

 

    Sunny Cove’s client ratio for all three hour and full day trips are as follows:  1 guide: 6 clients, 2 guides: 14 clients, 3 guides: 20 clients.   As clients begin to arrive to the shed please be sure to greet each person. 

Once you’ve greeted your clients have them complete the following:

-Liability waiver

-children under 18 require both a signature from the child and a signature from the parent or guardian.

-never ‘interpret’ the waiver for a client.  If they have questions regarding the specifics of the waiver encourage the client to read the waiver thoroughly.

-waivers cannot be altered by the client for any reason.

                -Trip Log

                            -each person must complete his or her own section

    Be sure all clients have signed all documents before continuing on any tour.  In addition, compare the trip log with the manifest to be sure you have the correct clients on the trip.  Once all appropriate paperwork has been completed staple the trip log, manifest and vouchers together (in that order).

    If you have a large group break the group in two and have part of the group remain in the shed to sign in while the other half gears up. 

    The following gear must be provided to each client:

                -rubber boots, size down as they run large

                -rain gear, as needed

                -PFD, (comfortable but snug enough to prevent slippage over the head).  It is the

guide’s responsibility to physically check that each PFD is properly worn.  PFD’s must be  referred to as Personal Flotation Devices and must never be called life vests.

-spray skirt

-dry bags

-paddle

-tour seat, for smaller people or children who sit low in the kayak

Paddling with Children

 

Children must meet the age requirements of each specific trip.  Children 8 years and older are allowed on the Grand Day, Lowell Point 8am, Lowell Point 12 pm, Tonsina Point Hike and Paddle, Fox Island 10 am and 2pm and Fox Island Evening tours.  Children must be 12 years old at minimum to participate in the Lowell Point 4 pm, Caines Head Hike and Paddle, and Fox Island Day tour.
            In addition, young or small children must paddle with a capable parent or guardian.  Young children should never be paired with guides as they may inhibit a rescue.  If there are more children than adults the child must be paired with someone 16 years or older so as not to slow down the group.

No minor child may paddle without a parent or guardian’s consent. The parent and the minor child must sign a waiver.  If the parents do not paddle but sign a waiver for their minor child to paddle, the child must be accompanied by someone in their party who is over 16 and of sufficient size so as not to slow down the group. 

Sunny Cove management may on occasion allow family groups who are doing an exclusive tour to include children who are outside of the minimum age requirements. This is done with the expectation that tour distances and activities may be modified to accommodate that family.

Size and Weight Considerations

Please check if any paddlers are over 6’ 6”, 250 lbs. or have a waist size over 44 inches, as they may not fit into the kayak.  The paddler must also be able to wear a spray skirt and fit into an extra-large life vest.  If they are over 6’6” we may use a different kayak or have that paddler sit in the front, as it’s hard for them to keep their feet on the rudder pedals.  Also, if a paddler is too large, he or she will not be able to comfortably get in and out of kayak either on land or in a rescue situation.

These considerations are guidelines and there may be exceptions based on where the person carries their weight.  The Adventure Center does their best to assess paddlers prior to trips, but occasionally these situations arise at the time of the tour.  If a client’s size, weight or apparent physical ability presents a safety issue, please pull them aside and tactfully explain why they cannot participate in the tour. Carefully discuss the importance the paddlers’ ability to effectively assist in his or her rescue. Notify the AC and MOD of the situation should it arise. 

Comp Policies

All comp trips are to be booked exclusively through the Adventure Center.  Guides must receive confirmation from the AC before allowing comps to participate in any tour without exception.  Guides are not permitted to add comps to any tour without first obtaining express permission from the Adventure Center.  Comps must follow the same policies and procedures as a paying guest.  Comps are never allowed the use of single kayaks.

Sunny Cove offers Familiarization Trips (FAM Trips) to people in the tourism industry until mid-June.  These trips are meant to familiarize tourism industry employees with our trips so they can recommend us to their guests.  We only offer FAM trips on our 3-hour Lowell Point trips. (See exception for KFT staff).

Reservations for FAM trips cannot be made in advance since paying customers are obviously the priority.  FAM trips can only be booked 45 minutes prior to a trip for a maximum of 2 people based on availability.  Availability also means taking the guide to client ratio into consideration.  We cannot take comps if it alters the guide ratio (1 guide per 6 clients).  For example, there are 5 paying customers and 2 people would like to book a FAM trip, which would make 7 people total, necessitating paying a 2nd guide.  We cannot do this. 

Early Season FAM trips – until mid-June (Lowell Point 3 Hour Trips)

KFT                                             Reservation & Office Staff & Deckhands (approved by KFT)

Windsong Lodge                         Front desk staff only (approved by HR personnel)

Alaska Sealife Center                  Guest service staff, Ticketing & Education/Interpretive

Major Marine                              Front desk/deckhands

B&B/Hotels                                 Owners

Alaska Railroad                           Staff who have direct contact with clients

ACVB                                         Front Desk

Others who hold a position with a local business that have a great deal of client contact. Please screen this. The FAM program is not meant to be a give-away program but to allow those in the industry to become familiar with our product.  Does not include other family members or friends – they will receive a 20% discount. 

All Season FAM Trips

KFT Seward                                Reservation & Office Staff & Deckhands

KFT Anchorage                          Alaska Heritage Tours (AHT) / CIRI reservations agents

(Guests of the above staff receive a 20% discount thru KFT)

KFT Exceptions:

KFT staff receives FAM trips on Fox Island, but must be reserved through KFT administrative staff and the AC according to their procedures.  No one may be on Fox Island without the express approval of KFT.  AHT/CIRI agents can book early since they are coming from Anchorage.  They can also book more than 2 people at a time.  Please check with Office Manager.  KFT employees on Fox Island comp trips do not go thru the AC.  They go directly thru the SC guides on Fox Island.
Sunny Cove Staff

Family of Sunny Cove staff may join that staff member on a Lowell Point 3-hour tour or Caines or Tonsina Point Hike and Paddle (provide own lunch) with permission of either the Operations Manager, Office Manager or John.  Sunny Cove cannot comp trips to Fox Island as transportation arrangements are made through KFT.

Sunny Cove guide staff may take out family members independent of a regularly scheduled day tour with permission from management after having made sure that kayaks are available.  Single kayak use is never permitted for use outside of Sunny Cove staff members.

Each guide will be given a total of six comp passes for friends.  These passes will allow one participant per pass to join one Lowell Point 3-hour tour.  These passes may be transferred between guides, however once a guide runs out of passes no additional passes will be made available.  The passes have no cash value and any guide found selling these passes would be subject to disciplinary action.  All comp passes must contact the Adventure Center to check availability and book a tour.

On-Site Booking

When adding walk-ins to tours please follow the following procedures.  At Lowell Point, please contact the Adventure Center.  On Fox Island Sunny Cove reservations cards will be used for all on-site bookings.  Please follow card instruction, printing clearly and filling in all proper spaces.  All information requested on reservation card is necessary. Also have client sign under the credit card number he has provided as acceptance.  If possible, call the Adventure Center and have them take the information and credit card info.

Note on the manifest the clients name, reservation number and type of payment. We accept only Visa and MasterCard. We do not accept American Express or Discover Card.  Please verify you are accepting a card that we can use. 

Tour Codes and Cancellation Overview

Sunny Cove and Kenai Fjord Tours use separate codes on all manifests and information.  The chart below details the tour name, start time, Sunny Cove (SC) code, Kenai Fjords Tours (KFT) code and weather cancelation policies.

Whenever there is a cancellation, be sure to notify the AC and MOD as soon as possible.   It is possible that the AC and MOD may be able to assist the guides in rescheduling clients for another trip time.  Clients should be rescheduled rather than refunded whenever possible.                   

Kayaking Instruction

Once the clients are geared and ready, escort them to the beach for the kayak orientation.  During the orientation, speak slowly and clearly.  Present each section assertively while making eye contact with each person.  Please remove your sunglasses when presenting this information. The goal is to maintain control of the group so that you can be sure each person understands all of the information presented during the orientation.  While the paddle talk should be interesting and interactive, be sure to avoid adding too much levity as this can create an impression the talk is not very important.   It is also important to stress to the clients that they are also responsible for their safety while on their excursion.  The paddle talk, from start to finish, should take no more than 15 minutes.  The goal is to be on the water no more than one half hour from trip start time.

Launching Procedures

One your paddle talk is complete your clients should load into their kayaks.  The kayaks should already be at the water’s edge, clean and ready.  Assist each person in adjusting their foot pegs and attaching their spray skirts.  Once each person is loaded and adjusted take a second to double checks all grab loops are visible and the PFD is still fitting correctly.  Also be sure each person looks comfortable, as this is when anxiety often presents itself.

Now that all the kayakers are ready, have one of the guides launch.  This guide will act as a marker for the clients on the water and will watch the launch for paddling issues as they arise.  The guide on water should be 40 to 50 feet from shore and facing the direction you’ll be paddling once everyone is on water. 

The guide on shore is responsible for sliding each kayak into the water, giving the paddlers instruction while launching and dropping the rudder into the water.  Keep an eye on the paddlers and the guide on the water for any issues.  Once the last kayak is on the water the second guide will launch.

In the case of a trip with just one guide, send out the clients who seem most confident first.  Give them clear instructions as to which direction they’re going and where they should wait for the rest of the group.  Also, as needed, the MOD may be available to help launch Lowell Point trips.

If at any time you’re feeling uncomfortable, if the weather/wind conditions warrant assistance, or you’d just appreciate the help, do not hesitate to contact the MOD for launching assistance.

On-Water Procedures

Once all the clients on the water, be sure to give them clear instruction regarding destination and pace.  Remind all the paddlers the group will travel as fast as the last/slowest paddlers.  As you paddle, keep the group within speaking distance of each other.   Assess the skill and strength of clients and identify potential problems before they materialize. Watch for seasickness, keep an eye on the weather and offer helpful hints to clients on paddling techniques.  Identify wildlife and provide clients with information that would give them a better understanding of the area you’re paddling.  Make a point to have personal contact with every client.  Often, if a paddler feels uncomfortable, a little professional contact creates confidence.  The guide leading the trip must set a pace that is comfortable for all the clients.  It is imperative the leading guide visually appraises the group often and makes adjustments as needed.  Remember, our goal is to great a memorable, positive experience, and your interaction with the client often makes or breaks how a person responds to the experience.

Post-Tour

When the tour is complete the guides are responsible for seeing that the gear is clean, dry, in good working condition and returned to its proper location in the shed. The shed and office should be kept clean and neat with everything sorted and placed in its proper location. Additionally, each kayak must be cleaned thoroughly and checked for any needed repairs. This is also true between trips.  Please have all gear put away or drying before the next trip starts. Our first impression doesn’t just happen when the day begins but happens at the start of each individual trip.

At the end of each day, gear should be cleaned, inspected and any repairs made to ensure that everything is ready to go the following day. If a piece of equipment needs repair and the repair cannot be completed immediately, please notify the MOD so a repair time can be scheduled.  Each Wednesday all equipment should be washed in fresh water and inventoried. The inventory should be turned into the MOD that day.  The schedule will reflect whose responsibility it is to deep clean each Wednesday.

Lowell Point Specific Policies

Weather Calls

The Lowell Point launch beach can present unique wind and weather related issues.  There is a higher possibility of surf launches and landings and more weather cancellations days.  If the launch or landing conditions are presenting difficulty, please contact the MOD to assist you with these procedures.

Pre-Tour Preparation

Preparation for the 3-hour tours is outlined in the general procedures.  Guides are expected to be at the beach preparing for their trip 40 minutes before the trip start time.

Day tour preparation begins the evening prior.  Guides are expected to have the day tour prepared by 9:00 pm the evening prior to the trip.  The following morning guides are expected to be at the beach 40 minutes prior to trip start time.

The Caines Head and Tonsina Point trips can also be prone to wind issues, especially on sunny days, when returning from Caines Head or the South side of Tonsina for the paddle back to Lowell Point.  Please be sure to carry a cell phone, extra snacks, water and tarps for use should you find yourself delayed. 

ox Island Specific Policies

Weather Calls

Fox Island weather calls to the Adventure Center are required at specific times daily. The Adventure Center holds off on ordering bakery lunches for the Fox Island Day trip until the weather call is received.  Also, Kenai Fjords Tours must be notified of any cancellations before clients board their tour boat to the island.

Hiking Specific Policies

Hiking Instruction Upon Landing

Safety Talk

   Varying trail conditions and walking on uneven/slippery terrain.

   Staying together as a group.

   Keeping children in control and within the group.

   Touching or eating plants along the trail.

   Baneberry

   Devils Club

   Cow Parsnip (Pushkie)

   Bear or moose encounters.

   Stay together as a group.

   Arms out/appear large.

   Speaking loudly (not yelling).

   Moving away from the animal.

   Talk Wrap

     Any questions?

Monitor on Duty (MOD) General Policies

On occasion guides may be scheduled to cover an MOD shift.  The responsibilities of these shifts may be (but not limited to) landing and launching trips, monitoring radio traffic, communication with the Adventure Center, client contact and dropping off or picking up trips from Seward.  These shifts may require travel, food preparation or general maintenance.

Brochure Distribution Policies

Guides may also be scheduled for Sunny Cove brochure distribution when trip numbers do not warrant a second guide for a tour, or when guiding work is not available.  For these shifts guides are expected to wear a Sunny Cove shirt, jacket and hat.  Sunny Cove transportation will be made available for these shifts. Guides must check into the Adventure Center to collect brochures and a distribution list.  We encourage handing out brochures and communicating with potential guests on the street on these shifts.  Guides are encouraged to be creative in positively marketing Sunny Cove while completing the route.  Upon completion of the route guides will return any unused brochures and the distribution list to the Adventure Center.

Grand Day Procedures

Pre-Trip Prep

For GD tours, guides need to allow sufficient time to inspect, organize and pack all gear needed.  Please plan accordingly as a prep work must be completed by 8:00 pm the evening prior to the trip.  Prepping includes (but is not limited to) preparing lunches, snacks and breakfast tray.  In addition, all kayaks must be loaded onto trailer and all gear must be packed, organized and loaded into truck.

Trip Day

Departure from Lowell Point is either 6:40 or 7:00 am sharp (dependent on charter company) for the small boat harbor. Guides who are unable to meet this deadline will not be scheduled for future Grand Day trips. Large trips may require an earlier departure. Prior to departure from LP check trailer to be sure that all boats are strapped and trailer is attached securely.  Quickly scan check list to be sure all gear is packed and ready to go.  Check refrigerators for all food needed.  Take a moment to stop and mentally check off everything needed for the trip, including personal gear.  This minute of reassessment could save you some from dealing with difficulties due to missing gear.

Barkley Boat:  Meet the shuttle at the south boat ramp by 7:00 am to load gear and kayaks onto the boat.  If there are multiple groups aboard the shuttle be sure to keep SC gear separate from other gear.  Be at the AC by 7:40 am to meet with the clients. Be ready to anticipate any last minute questions or issues the clients may present.  Walk the clients to the shuttle by 7:55 am for an 8:00 am departure.

Weather Permitting (AWA):  Arrive at the north boat ramp by 7:20 to unload gear.  Clients will arrive at 7:30 to complete paperwork and collect rain gear as needed.  Be ready to load the boat by 7:50 for an 8:00 am departure.

Once underway, enjoy the ride.  The deckhand often provides interpretation and appreciates any information you can provide to supplement his or her dialogue.  Keep an eye out for wildlife and alert the crew should you spot anything of interest.  Hand out any morning snacks or muffins before leaving Resurrection Bay.  While in route, discuss with the boat captain pickup and drop off times and locations. 

Please remember, the GD trip involves guiding the entire trip, not just the paddle.  Staying involved with the clients from start to finish is integral to creating an exciting and satisfying trip.  Guides must never ignore clients or sleep at any time during trips.  This type of behavior will result in demotion from guiding any type of overnight or Grand Day excursion.

Once in Aialik Bay begin gearing clients in spray skirts, PFDs and boots for transport to shore.  When off loading always follow captain/crew instructions.  When using the zodiac, load the zodiac with the appropriate amount of gear and a couple of clients and paddle to shore.  Continue to do so, shuttling gear and clients efficiently.  Lastly, paddle a single, towing the rest of the kayaks to shore.  Under no circumstances should guides or clients board the zodiac without having first donned PFD’s.

Once on shore begin the paddle talk and prepare to load clients into kayaks.  Paddle to the glacier never approaching closer than a half mile.  Glacier calving can cause massive, catastrophic waves often filled with ice and debris.  Also be aware of katabatic winds coming off the glacier, creating stacked, steep waves on sunny days.  The entire paddling portion of the trip from drop off to pick up should be approximately 3 hours. Be sure a radio is on, as the shuttle crew will hail as soon as they feel they are in range for contact.  Be ready for the shuttle when it arrives and load according to the crew’s instructions.

Again, provide information and spot for wildlife as needed. When in view of Lowell Point, call the monitor on duty by cell to let them know you will be at the small boat harbor shortly and ready for pick up.

Upon arrival to small boat harbor, unload quickly and efficiently.  Keep all client gear separated from SC gear and be sure to thank clients and the shuttle crew for their participation in the trip.  Once the clients have departed be sure to tip out the captain and crew.  It is Sunny Cove’s policy to tip the shuttle a minimum 20%, or more (guides discretion for +20%) of the total amount accrued by the guides. Head back to LP and unload all gear, clean and put away all gear immediately.

Clean Up

All guides involved are responsible for all cleaning, drying, maintenance and storage of all trip gear. The sauna may be utilized as needed or if it is raining.  All items utilized for any GD trip must be checked in according to the original check out list used when packing for the trip.

All dishes and food storage containers must be washed, dried and stored properly.  PFD’s, skirts, dry bags and boots should be rinsed in fresh water, dried and stored properly. If gear needs to dry overnight, you are responsible for stowing the gear properly the following day.  Guides who do not follow through on clean up will not be scheduled for future GD or KC trips as we only schedule our best for these trips.

Kayaks must be rinsed out and all hatches must be checked before returning to the rack. Any kayak or gear repairs should be made as needed or reported to a manager.

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Kayak Camping

Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking offers professionally guided trips multi-day in Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park.  We take pride in the fact that we not only provide safe, adventurous trips in beautiful places but that we go above and beyond the expectations of our clients.   We do this by setting our expectations of our guides high.  The following overview and protocols are meant to serve as a template for our overnight trips.  This information is subject to amendment and adjustment as is necessary.

Guides leading or assisting our overnight trips must have a broad spectrum of talents and knowledge to meet our client’s needs.  First and foremost, the safety of our clients is imperative.  Secondly, our guides must be able to generate excitement and inquisitiveness in our clients.  An overnight guide must be well versed in the natural history of Alaska.  In addition, our guides must not only be able to meet the comfort needs of our clients but to exceed those needs.  Our clients should return surprised by the quality of our trips.

Our expectation is that those leading or assisting an overnight trip must be a polite host, camp entertainer, well-versed naturalist, backcountry chef and knowledgeable guide.  These qualities should come naturally, without force or pretense.

Guides will be paid one full-day (daily trip, not k/c) trip wages for both prep and clean up (combined) of these trips.  Pre-trip organization may include (but is not limited to) purchasing, organization, inspection and packing of gear or food supplies, cleaning and repair of kayaks, client contact and pre-trip meetings.  Pre-trip preparation begins promptly at 9:00 am the day prior to the first day of paddling.  Kayak camping guide to client ratios are 1:4, 2:10 for fully guided trips and 1:6, 2:10 for guided rentals.

3 Weeks Prior

The guide will begin making client contact calls.  During this call the guide will address client needs, food preferences/allergies and medical history.  Confirmation will be made regarding tent, sleeping bag or sleeping pad arrangements.  If clients are bringing their own gear, we’ll discuss whether their gear is appropriate or if they should reserve equipment.  The pre-trip meeting time and location will also be addressed.  All client contact calls will be recorded on client contact form and placed in the KC folder under the appropriate trip & date.

Day Prior

Trip preparation begins promptly at 9:00 am and should ideally finish prior to the pre-trip meeting at 6:00 pm.  Plan for efficient and logical trip packing so that you may have the evening to make last minute changes, pack personal items and relax.  Inspect, organize and pack all trip gear according to the overnight trip checklist as provided by the MOD.  Record all items and the quantity used on this checklist.  Any items that are stored bagged, i.e. 1st aid kits, repair kits should be opened and inspected for content. Also, check the sat phone and GPS for charged batteries and that the phone is in proper working order (try both to insure they’re working properly).

Food packing should be done according to the pre-approved menu.  Double check that the menu meets the needs of the clients and that the supply is adequate. If last minute items are needed, contact a manager to help facilitate purchases in town.  Prepare breakfast tray that will be eaten on board the shuttle the following morning.

Inspect kayaks and complete any last minute repairs needed.  Be sure all kayaks are clean and all hatch covers, lines and cables are intact. Load kayaks onto the trailer securely. 

Be sure to sit down with the MOD to discuss float plans and route options, any last minute food needs and to plan check in times during the trip. 

Evening Prior

The pre-trip meeting is hosted at the Adventure Center.  Guides must arrive at 5:45 pm with PFDs, boots, and dry bags as needed for the clients.  Guides should also bring any charts or maps so as to discuss the route with clients.

The pre-trip meeting should address the following:

Tell the clients a bit about yourself and encourage clients to share a little personal information about them.  Discuss anticipated itinerary, client expectations and desires and show an overview of the area on a map.

Discuss any questions clients may have about the gear they are bringing.  Confirm all personal gear will be adequate for wet conditions.  Confirm tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag reservations. Explain Leave No Trace ethics with special reference to our bathroom protocol.  Discuss camp cleanliness, hand washing and illness prevention as well.  Also be sure to address how to pack, items not to bring such as items with odors and over-packing.

Hand out dry bags. Discuss how to effectively pack a dry bag and show how to seal a dry bag.  If clients have their own sleeping bags discuss and show how to pack a sleeping bag using a trash compactor bag.

Have clients try on boots.  Boots should fit well and must not have holes.  All boots should be checked prior to trip for leakage.

Complete all waivers and client information forms.  Be sure all forms are legible and signed.  Read over information and review any questions that may arise from this information.

Review any medical needs, food requirements or allergy needs.  If clients are bringing medication discuss how and where to store medications safely. If needed provide a dry box for meds.  Consider splitting meds so that client carries half and guides carry a back up half.  Discuss camp cleanliness and avoiding contamination leading to illness.

Review departure time, and where and at what time to meet in the morning and anticipated return times for last day of trip.  Discuss any potential weather issues that may be anticipated.  Be sure clients are aware that they should be parking in the multi-day lots across the street from the Small Boat Harbor.  Also, let clients know a light breakfast will be served onboard during transport to Kenai Fjords.Lastly, get the guests excited.  Tell them why this is going to be a great adventure.

Upon returning to Lowell Point, follow up on any client information requests. For example, if you know someone is interested in birds, bring a bird book or anything else needed to make sure you have the resources to respond to client interests while in the field.  Lastly make any necessary adjustments to client gear.

Day One

 Depart Lowell Point by 6:40 am for the small boat harbor to load all kayaks and gear onto shuttle boat.  Large trips may require an earlier departure. Prior to departure from LP check trailer to be sure that all boats are strapped and trailer is attached securely.  Quickly scan check out list to be sure all gear is packed and ready to go.  Check refrigerators for all coolers needed.  Take a moment to stop and mentally check off everything needed for the trip, including personal gear.  This minute of reassessment could save you some from dealing with difficulties due to missing gear.

 Meet the shuttle at the ramp by 7:00 am to load gear.  If there are multiple groups aboard the shuttle be sure to keep SC gear separate from other gear.  Be at the AC by 7:45 am to meet the clients.  Be ready to anticipate any last minute questions or issues the clients may present.  Walk the clients to the shuttle at 7:55 am for an 8:00 am departure.

Depending on the timing of arrival to the first campsite and the client’s needs, assess if lunch is needed prior to camp set up.  Set up camp, placing the tents at least 100 yards from the cooking area.  Once lunch is served and camp is set, provide a paddle talk and head out for an afternoon paddle.

In general, dinner should be ready by 7pm unless the clients agree upon another time.  Following dinner guides should be ready to provide campsite entertainment and discussion as needed.

Food and all products with odors must be secured in bear boxes when unattended.  These items must never be left unattended at any time for any reason in Kenai Fjords National Park.  Park rangers monitor the food situation closely and will issue fines to offending guides.  Guides will be help personally responsible for any fines involving unattended food. 

Day Two (Three & Four)

The meal schedule should follow the needs of the clients. Generally, your best route asking the clients when they prefer to eat.  Keeping the clients apprised of meals times each day will help alleviate any food anxiety. Also, be sure to carry snacks on all paddling or hiking excursions to alleviate between meals munchies.  Food is a very important facet of the overnight trips, and fed clients tend to be happier clients.

Prior to paddling, be sure to discuss routes, mileage and sea conditions with clients prior to each day’s paddle.  While paddling enjoy yourself while assisting clients with their technique.  They will appreciate the input and will paddle more comfortably and for longer periods with a bit longer instruction.  Also be available to provide information and to share your personal passion of paddling and Kenai Fjords National Park.

Last Day

All gear must be organized and ready for pickup an hour before the scheduled pick up time.  Clients should be prepared for pickup and the camp and cook area should be checked over for trash and missing gear.  Be sure a radio is on, as the shuttle crew will hail as soon as they feel they are in range for contact.  Be ready for the shuttle when it arrives and load according to the crew’s instructions.

Enjoy the ride back to Seward.  Again, provide information and spot for wildlife as needed.  Guides must never sleep while aboard shuttles.  When in view of LP hail the manager on duty by cell to let he or she know you will be at the small boat harbor shortly and ready for pick up.

Upon arrival to small boat harbor, unload quickly and efficiently.  Keep all client gear separated from SC gear.  Thank clients for their participation in the trip and let them know they can drop any SC gear at the AC the next day if they are unable to leave it immediately.

Head back to LP and unload all gear.  Most clean up can be left for the next day, unless the gear is needed immediately or there are items that cannot be left outdoors overnight.

 Clean Up   

All participating guides are responsible for all cleaning, drying, maintenance and storage of all trip gear. All follow through is the end responsibility of the Lead Guide.  Pay Clean up begins at 9:00 am on the day following the trip.  This will be subject to change based on the gear needs of following trips which may require clean up to be expedited.  Ideally, clean up should be completed by 5pm.  The sauna may be utilized as needed or if it is raining.

All items utilized for any KC trip must be checked in according to the original check out list used when packing for the trip.

Leftover non-perishable food should be put back into the pantry.  Anything that will spoil or has been handled should be donated to the guide house or disposed of properly.  Management must approve all food donations or food disposal.

All dishes and food storage containers must be washed, dried and stored properly.  All coolers should be washed with vinegar, dried and stored properly.  Be sure to check all pockets and compartments in the coolers for food and supplies.

All tents must be dried, repacked and stored properly.  Be sure the correct poles and stakes are stored with the correct tent.  PFD’s, skirts, dry bags and boots should be rinsed in fresh water, dried and stored properly.  Sleeping bags liners and pillows cases should be given to a manager to be taken in for cleaning. 

Boats must be rinsed out and all hatches must be checked before returning to the rack.  Repairs should be made as needed or reported to a manager.  Document all repair needs or repairs completed on the check in/out list used for the trip. Document all suggestions or needs for future trips on this same list.  Return all inventory forms, park permits and paperwork to a manager.

Trip Follow Up

Within two weeks of trip completion each client or group of clients will be send an online trip evaluation form by the MOD.  This evaluation provides us with an opportunity to find out what we do well and where we can improve. 

Meal Planning

Overview

While our focus for any trip is safety and planning, from our client’s perspective, food is often the highlight of a trip.  Our clients pay well to participate in our excursions, and our food preparation and service should reflect the high quality of service our clients are anticipating.  Meals can make or break a trip.

Good meals are a relatively easy way to make clients happy even when dealing with poor weather or sea conditions.  Small additions can go a long way in making a simple meal more appealing and elegant.  Garnishes can make an average dish exceptional.  Desserts can make a plain meal seem extravagant.  Creative arrangement of beach stones and flower arrangements can add that sense of caring.  Be creative in your meal preparation in a simple way.

    Presentation is key in a wilderness setting.  Don’t be afraid to serve your clients individually garnished dishes rather than opting for a family style meal.  Arrange fruits and cheeses on a serving tray rather than filling a bowl.  Clients always notice thoughtfulness in preparation and presentation.  Meal preparation is your opportunity to show off your culinary talents, another facet of your guiding ability.

Cleanliness

Proper food handling and hygiene, however difficult in the field, is imperative.  Guides must wash their hands prior to any food handling.  Be aware of cross contamination!  Wash hands and utensils any time meat or meat products are handled.  All dishes must be washed with each use.  Utilize the hand sanitizer and hand wipes often.

    One of the greatest risks we face in the field is fecal contamination that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.  Encourage your clients to clean their hands often, especially before, during and after meal times.  Never let clients reach into bags of food, as this is the most likely place for cross contamination.  Rather, divide large bags of snacks into smaller Ziploc bags for personal use.  Tell clients they should never reach into food bags.  The risks may seem minimal here, but you’ll regret every mistake you made here with every second you spend with a vomiting, diarrhea-ridden client.

    Also, be sure to keep ice in the coolers.  Bear boxes used for storage are often very warm. Carry a large Ziploc and collect bergy bits whenever you can!

Radio Protocols

The ability to communicate with all staff on duty via radio is vital to the success of daily operations.  While on duty all guide and MOD radios must be on, audible and tuned to receive marine channel 10.  Prior to the start of each trip, a radio check must be conducted between guides or a guide and MOD.  Please remember that channel 10 is a public monitored channel.  All conversation must be professional, succinct and relevant. 

Hailing MOD or another guide

    -key mic on channel 10, wait two seconds before speaking

                (Mock conversation between Stephanie and Audrey)

    -caller (Audrey), “Sunny Cove, Sunny Cove, Stephanie copy Audrey”

    -receiver (Stephanie), “I copy you on one zero Audrey, go ahead.”

    -continue with conversation

Hailing Ship for transfer or assistance in KFNP

    -Key mic on channel 16, wait two seconds before speaking

                (Mock conversation between Audrey and Stellar Explorer)

    -Audrey “Stellar Explorer copy Sunny Cove Kayaker Audrey on one six”

    -Stellar “Stellar Explorer copies Sunny Cove Kayaker Audrey on one six, go to ___.”  The ship will pick the channel of their choice.

    -“Sunny Cove on ___”

    -“Stellar Explorer on ____”

    -continue with conversation.

*channel 16 is a USCG monitored channel for hailing and emergencies ONLY.  All conversations must be conducted on a channel other than 16.

Procedure for VHF Channel 16 SECURITE (pronounced ‘securitay’)

Securite is generally used to alert marine traffic of a navigation hazard.  Whenever kayakers are crossing a marine traffic lane the kayaker becomes a marine hazard.  Never underestimate how difficult it is to see a kayak from the bridge of a boat. 

-Key mic on channel 16, wait two seconds before speaking -Audrey, “Securite, Securite, Securite.  This is Sunny Cove Kayaker Audrey with a group of six kayaks crossing from Hat Island to the north end of Fox Island.  All concerned traffic contact Sunny Cove Kayaker Audrey on channel one six. Over.”

-Monitor channel 16 for further communication

-If needed make the call more than once during long crossings.

Procedure for VHF Channel 16 MAYDAY (per USCG):

! FOR USE IN A DIRE (literally life or limb) EMERGENCY ONLY!

1    If you have a VHF marine radio, tune it to channel 16. Unless you know you are outside VHF range of shore and ships, call on channel 16 first.

2    Distress signal "MAYDAY", spoken three times.

3    The words "THIS IS", spoken once.

4    Name of vessel in distress (spoken three times) and call sign or boat registration number, spoken once.

5    Repeat "MAYDAY" and name of vessel, spoken once.

6    Give position of vessel by latitude or longitude or by bearing (true or magnetic, state which) and distance to a well-known landmark such as a navigational aid or small island, or in any terms which will assist a responding station in locating the vessel in distress. Include any information on vessel movement such as course, speed and destination.

7    Nature of distress (sinking, fire etc.).

8    Kind of assistance desired.

9    Number of persons onboard.

10 Any other information which might facilitate rescue, such as length or tonnage of vessel, number of persons needing medical attention, color hull, cabin, masks, etc.

11 The word "OVER"

Stay by the radio if possible. Even after the message has been received, the Coast Guard can find you more quickly if you can transmit a signal on which a rescue boat or aircraft can home.

*Any ship overhearing a ‘mayday’ must respond to the call.  The USCG will also be responding to a ‘mayday’ call.  Calling Mayday under false pretenses is subject to prosecution as a Class D felony and a $5,000 (or more) fine plus all costs the Coast Guard incurs as a result of the individual’s actions.

Sunny Cove Risk Management Plan

The activities we offer have inherent risks. It is our duty to minimize those risks for our clients. We can’t eliminate risk but we can do the following:

A) Identify risks for clients by warning clients about the things that could go wrong and identifying procedures used to reduce risks. 

1    Provide clients with the Participant Agreement: Waiver, Release of Liability, and Acknowledgement of Risks form for clients to review and sign.

2    Answer any client questions about the risks involved in the activity.

3    Introduce the trip and explain to clients the need to listen and think and that they share in the responsibility for safety

4    Explain proper use of the equipment and demonstrate proper technique as outlined in our policy and procedures manual.

5    Describe inherent risks and identify what to do in the case of an emergency

6    Explain the level of physical involvement and ask participants to identify any medical or physical condition they have that might be affected by trip activities.

B) Identify and evaluate potential risks to clients for that day’s activities:

1    Environmental considerations. For paddling this means checking the weather forecast and monitoring ocean conditions. For hiking this means looking at the terrain to be covered and being aware of the probability of encountering bears, or other hazards. For both it means anticipating potential problem situations and reducing risks

2    People considerations. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of both your team and that of your client’s…  skills, attitudes, age, clothing, and group size are some of the factors to be looked at.

3    Equipment considerations. Is all equipment operational, is there adequate safety equipment, what communication systems are in place.

4    What does your gut say when you look at all these factors together? Do you feel comfortable being responsible for someone else’s life?

C) Are the activities you are going to do a Sunny Cove authorized activity? Is it within the scope of your training and experience? We have an obligation not to enlarge risk. You can enlarge risk by:

1    Disregarding safety standards or not following industry standards

2    Adding activities that are beyond those authorized i.e. rock climbing, cliff diving, glacier pond swimming, solo hiking or paddling etc.

3    Pushing the envelope to give clients the “best” experience

D) We can reduce risk by being conservative and proactive in dealing with risk. Our evaluations need to be made with the weakest participant in mind. We need to see problems before they happen. Careful monitoring of environmental, equipment, people and equipment considerations will help in that process. Safety of our clients is our highest priority. Guides are empowered to cancel or alter any tour to reduce risk.

E) Risk management is not only for clients. Sunny Cove employee’s need to be aware of risks to themselves. Employees have a job that requires physical activity, lifting and exposure to the elements. To be able to assist clients, employees need to be 100%. This means being smart about how you do the work you do to avoid injury and making sure you’re prepared for any weather condition. Sunny Cove encourages employees to:

1) Follow proper techniques for loading, lifting and moving kayaks and gear and ask for help from other employees if needed.

2) Think about long haul… you want to have a body that works as well at the end of summer as in the beginning. Pay attention to those little aches and pains, stretch, do yoga, make sure you get enough rest. Stop little conditions from becoming problems.

3) Always be prepared. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short little private paddle or outing… always cover the bases with adequate clothing, rescue and 1st aid equipment, food and water.

Sunny Cove Emergency Procedures

Our duty is to prevent accidents. There is however some risk inherent in the activities we offer. Should an accident happen, it is the Sunny Cove’s guide’s responsibility to respond in a professional manner to address the accident at hand and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Managing the incident

The initial goals in crisis response are to extract participants from a dangerous setting, provide care or assistance as needed, and minimize the chance that the event or injury could become an out-of-control situation. Specifically, the following steps are important to ensure that an incident is contained as quickly and effectively as possible.  In all emergencies Sunny Cove employees should:

             1    Act in a manner that promotes the safety of all involved.

2    Be calm and take actions that best reduce the likelihood of harm to anyone.

3    Provide immediate aid to the threatened or injured party(ies). Provide the needed assistance as per your medical training protocols.  Always defer to the person with the highest level of medical training.

4    Provide aid and support to the rest of the group.

5    Ask for outside assistance if needed - radio, cell or satellite phone for help. Possible quick responders are the tour and fishing boats, Park Service, or Coast Guard. See radio protocols.

6    Initiate an evacuation if needed. Risk to life or limb requires immediate evacuation.

7    Keep on top of the incident until it is resolved and the best possible outcome has been achieved. This could involve getting additional medical information, making arrangements for additional support personnel or equipment, etc.

Notification Procedures

The second stage of incident management is notification and follow-up. This brings others into the process and enables us to continue our response.

1    Notify Sunny Cove management of the accident or incident. Calls should be placed to the Manager on Duty ASAP. The MOD needs who, what, where, when, and how of the situation as clearly and concisely as possible. 

2    The MOD then begins response proceedings in Seward. This may mean contacting the hospital, other rescue resources, our partner businesses, SC owner and the SC office.

3    Once the immediate response needs are met the MOD works with other SC personnel to ensure we follow the incident up by notifying client and/or guide emergency contacts, making transportation arrangements, greeting the rescue boat or helicopter, assisting those left in the field, etc.

4    SC cares about our clients. This needs to show in how we handle an emergency. We need to go out of our way to provide support to the injured and to those affected by the incident including SC staff.

5    Incidents may come to the attention of the media. Media questions need to be directed to the MOD or owner. Under no circumstance should any staff members other than the MOD or owner make any comment to the media or general public regarding any incident.

Documentation

It is very important to keep track and later document how events unfolded and the steps that were taken to remedy the situation:

1    Gather information for an incident report (each staff person involved should fill out an individual report), and get names of witnesses, get all the details, inspect the scene closely.  Much of this documentation should happen at the time of the incident.  If needed have an assistant document while proceeding with incident protocols.

2    Be ready to debrief with the MOD ASAP following the incident.

3    The don’ts of an emergency includes: don’t apologize, don’t admit responsibility, don’t offer to pay medical expenses, and don’t discuss the event.

4    Be professional, courteous, supportive, and business like while dealing with a situation.

Incident review and follow up

This includes the actions Sunny Cove will take after an incident:

            Provide support to injured party and family members

            Provide support for uninjured employees and participants

            Conduct an investigation. 

            Evaluate our response and make improvements as necessary

Emergency Contact Numbers

             Admin office 224-8810 / Adventure Center 224-4426

            US Coast Guard: VHF 16

            Alaska State Troopers: 911, 224-3346

            Seward Harbor Master: VHF 16, 224-3138

            Coast Guard Cutter Mustang: VHF 16, 224-5202

            Caine’s Head Ranger: VHF 16, WTY2186

            Seward Ranger Office: 224-3434

            KFT: VHF 16, 224-4555

            Seward Providence Hospital (ER #907-224-3181 / Main # 224-5205)

            Life Flight (air ambulance in Anchorage) 800-478-9111