Alaska: The Final Frontier. Ketchikan, AK is the first port of Alaska Ketchikan is located on the Southeast region of Alaska and is the first major port that all cruise liners visit The main economic drive of Ketchikan, AK is the cruise lines
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Southeast exposure has been a family own and operated business since 1986.
The company started exclusively as a kayaking tour company directly located in the town of Ketchikan
Since then it has grown to offer kayak, zip line, biking, and boatman tours for most of the cruise lines that port in Ketchikan for the day. The company also offers tours independently through their website and dock representative
The company has also relocated to a more primitive area north of the city to be able to accommodate space for our zip line tours
Jared Gross and Betsey Burdett have been the primary owners and operators through the entire existence of Southeast Exposure
Tatoosh in the native language means the protectors
Natives use to travel in canoes through the island of southeast Alaska. When winds picked up heavily from the southeast, Natives found the Tatoosh as a shield from the winds. This is where the Natives took refuge during harsh storms.
You are driven by boat to a remote beach where you are given your equipment and paddle talk. From there you enter the heart of the Tatoosh and explore the wilderness associated with the Tongass in Southeast, Ak.
The largest National forest in the United States estimated at 17.3 million acres. About the same size as Indiana
In Southeast Alaska the forest is made up primarily of Hemlocks (about 75 percent of the forest are hemlocks), Sitka Spruce Pines, Red and Yellow Cedars.
The Red Cedar is a unique characteristic of the forest in Ketchikan’s area of southeast Alaska. They are a temperate tree that only exists about 50 miles north of Revillagigedo. It is theorized that the environment is too cold for the Red Cedar to survive. The Red Cedars are by far the largest trees in our forest. The eagle’s nest portion of our zip line tour is made up primarily of Red Cedars.
Harbor Seals live to about 25 to 30 years old. They range from about 5 to six feet and are 300 pounds
They spend their lives half the time in the water and half the time on land.
They can hold their breath for about 40 minutes and can dive 1,500 feet. Although they prefer shallow dives that last no more than 7 mintues
Harbor Seals will come up to the surface of the water for air and will curiously watch humans on the beach or kayak. While on land, they do not like to be disturbed and will sometimes abandon their territory or pups if they feel invaded by humans
My main role as guide to our guests is to ensure their safety at all points in time during the tour. I must constantly be observing the environment around me, especially kayaking, in order to ensure the safety of my guests in the water. I must also make sure that I provide my guests with a proper safety briefing at the beginning of the tour in order to instill this belief in each one of my guests
After I ensure them that I am a competent and safe guide I believe that I give each one of my guests peace of mine to travel comfortably through the tour
Once the tour has begun, I must always be interpretive and accommodating in order to give each guest a unique experience
I have learned that the University, through its AOP curriculum, and my NOLS experience have equipped me with the tools and skills I need to be a risk management safe guide.
I have also been fortunate enough to have some captive mentors who have shown me the best way for me, as a guide, to be interpretative to my guests so they may always receive a memorable learning experience no matter what the crowd.
I have learned that I want to continue my pursuit as a professional expedition kayaking guide and show people the wonders of the wilderness surrounding the area we are touring.