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Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking Is Officially Changing Names

When John Page first started Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking (SCSK), he named his company after Sunny Cove on Fox Island where he would run trips and spend his summers living. Many moons have passed since John lived and ran trips from Sunny Cove. John currently lives and runs his operation just south of Seward on Lowell Point. As SCSK has continued to change and grow over the years, we have started a discussion on if it is time to change the SCSK name brand to reflect the direction the company has taken over the past decade. And so it is with great excitement that after many hours of brainstorming and deliberation, we will be officially changing the name of SCSK starting summer 2016. 

What's the new name you ask? We wanted the new brand to reflect the dynamic nature of everything we offer. And so without further adieu, we are thrilled to announce that Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking will now be called...

Liquid Kayak Adventure Sixty Degree Fahrenheit

Liquid refers to the nature of our trips on the water. We will still focus on kayaking so it was important to keep that in the name. We threw adventure in there because apparently that's the thing to do in Seward. And the 60 degree clearly refers to Seward's average summer temperature. We wanted a name to distinguish ourselves from all the other companies in town and felt this one did the trick. To make it easier to pronounce, we will use the LKASDF acronym to refer to ourselves. 

We couldn't be happier to announce this monumental change. We are counting on you to spread the word to help the community learn our new brand. To make the transition as easy as possible, the new name will go into affect in the middle of the 2016 summer season.

While we are sad to say goodbye to Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking, we look forward to introducing everybody to Liquid Kayak Adventure Sixty Degree Fahrenheit! Thanks for your support and happy April 1st! :-)

~ Danny 

Trip Spotlight – Fox Island Sea Kayaking Evening Trip

Watching the sunset during the evening paddle
Ever dream of escaping to a remote wilderness island? The Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge offers overnight guests comfortable accommodations, wonderful meals and the opportunity to paddle with Sunny Cove. Sunny Cove kayaking options for overnight guests include an exclusive sunset paddle. This 8:00pm to 10:00pm paddle is a wonderful way to end the day.

One benefit of this trip is that we finish at 10:00pm and it is still light out! And if the sun is out, you will get to see it set behind the mountains across the bay which is a beautiful sight. This trip is only an option for guests who stay overnight at the Wilderness Lodge which is an excellent way to spend a night at a remote island location in Alaska. ~ Danny

Trip Spotlight – Kenai Fjords National Park Grand Day Tour: Whale Watching, Tidewater Glacier Viewing, and Sea Kayaking

Searching for that up-close and personal Alaska whale watching, tidewater glacier viewing and sea kayaking experience, but don't have the time for our kayak camping adventures? This is the trip for you!
In front of Holgate Glacier

We are the only kayak company providing a tour to Holgate Glacier; a remote tidewater glacier in Aialik Bay. Our morning starts with a wildlife tour aboard our local charter boat. Your captain will transport you to Aialik Bay with stops along the way to view wildlife. You may see whales, harbor seals, Steller sea lions, tufted and horned puffins, bald eagle, Dall porpoise, orca and more.

Upon reaching Aialik Bay we will launch our kayaks and paddle amidst some of the most spectacular scenery coastal Alaska has to offer. As we kayak through 'bergy bits and growlers' and blue-green sea water, we'll bring you as close as 1/2 mile from a towering glacier. Crackling ice, tidewater glaciers and wildlife encounters will bedazzle your senses as we spend the afternoon paddling. This excursion includes lunch, beverages and snacks. Children 8 and up are welcome to paddle with an adult in our two person kayaks.

Paddling through bergy bits
Love, love, love guiding our Grand Day trips! When you get up near the glacier and see the ice calve off into the ocean, it sounds like a thunderstorm when the ice hits the water and reminds me of my former summer days in Florida. And the dense glacier ice appears majestic deep blue to the eye. You will be paddling through smaller ice bergs and bergy bits that have never seen human interaction. These glaciers have been retreating heavily over the past century so there’s no time like the present to get a glimpse of nature at its finest. ~Danny

Wildlife Spotlight: Sea Stars!

Ochre Sea Star
What does this picture look like? Did you guess a starfish? Good job! Technically this organism is not a fish so the scientific term for these creatures are sea stars. And sea stars are very prevalent along the coast here in Alaska.

Sea stars live in the intertidal zone. The intertidal zone is the area along the shore that fluctuates between high tide and low tide. You will find sea stars in the lower end of the intertidal zone as they prefer to spend most of their time under water. Most sea stars have five arms, but some such as the sunflower sea star can grow up to 24 arms! The shores along Fox Island are home to many different species of sea stars. If you are looking to checkout these incredible creatures, just make sure to book a trip during a low tide.

~ Danny

Group of sea stars exposed during low tide

Leather Sea Star

Happy New Year!

With winter solstice behind us and more sun on the way, please enjoy these pictures as a reminder of what lies ahead when the sun and the color it brings are in full force in our great town of Seward. Happy New Year from all of us at Sunny Cove!

~ Danny

Fox Island

Fox Island

Fox Island

Fox Island

Resurrection Bay

Northwestern Fjord

Oh the memories...

Jumping off the Fox Island boat dock
With temperatures decreasing around the country and the sun playing hide and seek quite well, I found myself thinking of one particular glorious day on Fox Island. It was a busy day with two full trips and I found myself full of sweat and sunburnt in the early evening. Chelsea (one of the guides I was working with that day) and I looked out at the Fox Island boat dock and decided to go for it. We walked with purpose down the dock before we changed our minds, checked the waters below for any jellyfish, and splash! Mind you, on the warmest of days in Alaska, the water temperature which ranges from mid 40s to mid 50s throughout the summer will certainly take your breath away. And that it surely did! But it was well worth it. By the time we swam back to shore, our bodies had adjusted and it felt nice treading water along the shoreline. When we all arrived for training in May, never in a million years did I think I would jump into the frigid north Pacific, but Alaskan summers will surprise you and that jump was only one of many throughout the entire summer season. With the darkest of winter just around the corner and more light and warmth on the way, I can't wait to get back up there and make the plunge again.

~ Danny

Wildlife Spotlight: Harbor Seal

Harbor Seal hauled out on an iceberg
The harbor seal might actually be my favorite marine mammal. Don't get me wrong, nothing beats being on the water in the presence of a breaching whale, but there is just something adorable about a harbor seal checking you out as you paddle by.
Harbor seals are a common sighting on all our trips and are a very shy, yet curious bunch. If you come upon a harbor seal, you will notice the top of its head barely sticking out above the surface of the water so it can see you. This is called spy hopping. You will never hear it make a noise as it prefers to stay in stealth mode. It will then quietly dip beneath the surface of the water and follow you as you kayak down the shore. Curious as to what we are, but not wanting to be seen, the harbor seal will sometimes trail a kayak for several minutes even looking away if you try to make eye contact. Maybe it thinks if it looks away then we can't see it! I have no scientific proof of that, but those are my observational conclusions :-)

~ Danny

Spy hopping harbor seal

Our MOST Asked Question?

Kayaking in Seward, Alaska
Just Another Beautiful Day in Paradise
One of our most popular questions is "When is the best time to visit Alaska?"
 Most people are under the assumption we're going to say July or August.  It's warm and sunny in the Lower 48 that time of year and all the summer fun is underway.  But coastal Alaska is a bit different as far as the weather goes, and more often than not late July and August bring rain and clouds.  Don't get me wrong, paddling in the rain and fog is a very beautiful way to go, when dressed appropriately.

Don't believe me?  Check out this precipitation chart. Can you see it...the rainy season starts kicking into gear in August and June is the driest month of the year.

Precipitation Averages Seward, AK  

Now you're about to say, "Yea, but isn't it cold in May?"  Our average high temperature is 61°F (16°C) in July.  No matter when you visit we're going to ask you to wear layers and bring a rain layer.  Why not shoot for the best chance of leaving that rain layer at the hotel?

Another great reason to visit in May or June?  All summer operations are up and running, all the lodging is still at shoulder rates (May in particular) and NO ONE IS HERE!  Beat the crowds!  That's why you're visiting Alaska, isn't it?  To experience the 'last frontier' and real wilderness?  

Do you need another reason to visit early?  Ask me.  Seriously, drop me an email at with your questions.  After 16 summers in Alaska I have a lot of answers and I'm happy to share. ;)

May Kayaking in Seward, Alaska
An Early May Morning


Evening Returns to Alaskan Waters

Evening returns to Alaskan waters.  A full moon setting behind a peak above the ocean with five glaciers in sight gives one a feeling of harmony.
Although magical sunsets such as this one looking into Northwestern Fjord are a joy, an even more uplifting experience is watching auroras.  For three lucky people from Japan who woke up 4 hours after this photo was taken, this was a reality.  Glowing green streaks brought big smiles that remained for the entire four-day kayak camping trip.  Hot miso soup provided the extra fuel needed to get all ten people from Japan to the deep recess where Northwestern Glacier is pouring into the fjord.  What an amazing trip!

What Do Our Guides Do on a Day Off?

Ice as far as thee can see on the Harding Icefield
We had a lovely weather system move in last night that had us all waking up to wind, rain, and rough seas. Not a good day for kayaking so unfortunately we had to postpone our trips for the day. Sad faces all around for our staff of sea kayak guides who couldn't get out and sea kayak. But that begs the question: What do our guides do on their days off?

Well, truth be told, many of us kayak on our days off as well. But when that is not an option, hiking is a good alternative. Andria and I have been waiting for a day off together to hike the Harding Icefield Trail and today was the perfect opportunity. The trail follows up along Exit Glacier within Kenai Fjords National Park and ends with an awe-inspiring vista of a sheet of ice that encompasses 300 square miles. If you thought catching a glimpse of your first glacier was awesome, this trek needs to be on your bucket list. Even with some sketchy weather today that gave us limited visibility, the sight is still something to behold. It made the 8 mile round trip that left us soaking wet from head to toe well worth the effort.
Summit picture
Next time you hit up Seward, we'd love to have you join us on the water, but also be sure to take some time to see the ice. And if you are worried about the strenuous nature of the hike, there's a shorter route that will take you right up to Exit Glacier.

~ Danny

Glacier Blue Ice - Exit Glacier

70 and Circumnavigating!

My Fox Island day trip started out a bit differently than most.
To begin with all of our clients but one dropped out due to car failure half-way to Seward. One on one trips are a rare occurrence here at Sunny Cove but they often lead to amazing trips. Dennis (pictured above) just recently became a septuagenarian (seventy years old) and decided to come to Alaska to celebrate. An Iowa native and a man of extraordinarily good health for his age, Dennis and I paddled all the way around Fox Island, thus circumnavigating. This is no easy task and not often done. We chatted about racquetball, corn and Iowa gossip because it turned out that Dennis lived only an hour away from my home. Looks like it really is a small world after all.

Honeymoon in Alaska!

Ted/Jenny and Alyssa/Marcus celebrating their honeymoon in Alaska
Congratulations to Ted/Jenny and Marcus/Alyssa on their recent respective weddings! These two couples decided to embark to Alaska for a honeymoon full of adventure.
We were very excited that they decided to kayak with us this week on our full day Caines Head kayak/hike trip. It was a great day that consisted of a paddle out to Caines Head where Fort McGilvrey, an old World War II fortification, sits embedded on top of the mountain. After a two mile hike, we all enjoyed lunch at the fort with an incredible view over Resurrection Bay. If you are planning a summer wedding in 2014, I strongly encourage you to consider Alaska as one of your possible honeymoon destinations. The majesty up here is incredible and the adventure up north would be a fantastic way to start married life together.

Wildlife Spotlight: Bald Eagle

A fun game to play with guests is to see who can spot the Bald Eagle. When looking at a mountainside of green foliage, you might see what looks like a white golf ball amongst the trees. More than likely, it's a Bald Eagle. The Bald Eagle is one of our most common wildlife sightings on kayak trips and don't be surprised if you see several during a short paddle. 

The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found only in North America and is both the national bird and national animal of the United States of America. The Bald Eagle does not receive its fully white head until it reaches sexual maturity around age 5. Female eagles are larger than the males and they build the largest nests of any bird in North America. They will add on to their nest every year and the largest nest ever recorded actually weighed over a ton! 

If you are looking for a great view of a Bald Eagle, there is a pretty good chance you will see one on our Lowell Point trips. They are commonly seen on the coastline down towards Tonsina Creek so either our three hour Lowell Point trip or Tonsina Day trip are the trips to be on. Oh, and one last important piece of information regarding the Bald Eagle. Do you know what Bald Eagle tastes like?? Freedom!

~ Danny

Bald Eagle taking off

Wildlife Spotlight: Sea Otter

Just think…if you jumped into Resurrection Bay to see how long you could survive the cold ocean water, it would take roughly an hour before hypothermia started to kick in. At that point, staying in any longer could be fatal!
That is what makes the sea otter such an interesting marine mammal. Most of the marine mammal species living in the deep blue sea have a nice warm layer of blubber to help keep them protected from the frigid cold temperatures of the Pacific Ocean. However, the sea otter is not one of them. They are just like you and me; the main protection they have against the elements is their hair. Very thick hair! The average person has anywhere between 50,000 and 150,000 strands of hair on their head, but the sea otter has roughly 750,000 strands of hair per square inch of their body! Crazy! All that hair helps insulate them as they spend most of their lives in the water.

Sea otters are one of the few mammal species known to use tools. Each sea otter has a pouch that holds a rock the sea otter will use to break and open shells when forging for food.  Sea otters also will sleep out in the open ocean and in order to not drift away by ocean weather or tide currents, otters will often wrap themselves up in kelp or link forepaws with other sea otters to form a raft that will keep them together.

Alaska is considered to be the heartland of the sea otter population. While we obviously can’t guarantee any wildlife sightings on our trips, sea otter sightings are one of our more common viewings at Sunny Cove. If you really want to check out these fascinating creatures, sea otters are most commonly seen near Caines Head on our Caines Head paddle/hike combo or out in the middle of Resurrection Bay on route to any of our Fox Island paddles.