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What If It's Raining?!

Rain, rain go away, come again another day. That is the mantra many of our guests live by when they show up to kayak. So let’s deal with some of the concerns people have about paddling in the rain because some of our rainy days are the most incredibly beautiful days we have on the water.

The clouds winding through the mountains on a rainy day make for some incredible scenery.

The clouds winding through the mountains on a rainy day make for some incredible scenery.

Do we still paddle in the rain? Absolutely! First off, Seward resides in a temperate rainforest climate. To qualify as a temperate rainforest, you need to receive at least 55 inches of annual rainfall and Seward blows that away with between 70-80 inches of rain each year. So in short, of course we paddle in the rain otherwise we would not get to paddle very often.

What should I wear? Avoid cotton and jeans if possible and wear a water proof outer layer if you have one. And if not, no worries because we can provide you with splash pants and jackets. We also provide rubber boots to keep your feet dry and you will have a spray skirt around your waist which wraps about your kayak’s cockpit to keep rain water from getting in your boat.

I’m worried about being cold and wet! Here’s the thing about the rain. Overcast rainy days usually equals flat calm water. Sun = wind and sometimes lots of it! When the sun is out, the air over Seward heats up quickly and that warm air rises shooting in cold air from the Gulf of Alaska through Resurrection Bay. This creates 15 knot winds and 2-3 foot waves in the bay. So truth be told, you are more likely to get wet on sunny days from all the wind and wave action. Kayaking is much easier on calm water days and our overcast rainy days provide for the best kayaking conditions.

What kind of rain are we talking about? Having lived in Florida and experienced the daily afternoon torrential downpours, I understand this concern. And while Seward can get heavier rains at times, our typical rainfall in the summer is a light drizzle that is hardly even noticeable at times.

Isn’t the scenery better when the sun is out? It is true that you may have a clearer view of the beautiful mountains that surround Seward on a clean sunny day, but you can see those same mountains on land or in a kayak. One of the amazing things about kayaking in this place is the marine wildlife that we have the potential to encounter. Sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, harbor porpoise and even humpback whales are just some of the incredible animals we have the opportunity to paddle with. And these sightings are much more likely to occur on a overcast rainy day. The calm water these days provide make it much easier to see further out across the water and when you are not fighting the wind and waves of our sunny days, you can sit in your kayak and relax while watching these creatures live their life right in front of your eyes.

Ask any of our guides and most will tell you they prefer guiding on an overcast drizzly day versus the warm windy days the sun provides. Don’t get us wrong…we all enjoy a good stretch of sunshine and the more adventurous paddle that provides, but if you have any concerns about paddling in our temperate rainforest climate, put those issues to rest and let us show you how incredible our environment can be…rain or shine.

~ Danny