Kayaking among Icebergs in Alaska's Prince William Sound

November 09, 2014

I've now posted a series of images of kayaking among icebergs in Alaska's Prince William Sound to my Valdez gallery.

This past June I took a photography trip to Valdez, Alaska to go kayaking and to watch for wildlife in Prince William Sound.  The trip involved driving south to Valdez and then north to Fairbanks along the Richardson Highway.  While I'm still going through the many fantastic images I brought back from the trip, I've finally posted the photographs of the portion of the trip that involved kayaking among icebergs.  I took a Columbia Glacier kayaking tour and was very happy with it.  As a Fairbanks resident, I had the luxury to wait until the last minute to make my reservation, and had waited for clear skies to be forecasted for Valdez.  Before booking, I had corresponded with two longstanding, reputable outfitters with offices on the Valdez waterfront.  As I was traveling in early June, which for Valdez is the early season, I went with the outfitter who had already booked enough clients for the day to be able to confirm that the trip I wanted would definitely be a "go" except in cases of inclement weather.  As the photographs that I posted from that trip show, I chose a fantastic day for the trip and benefited from excellent guiding in the Columbia Glacier area of Prince William Sound.  

For the trip, I had outfitted my old Canon 40D in a Pelican case (in orange for visibility in the ocean) that I clipped into the bungees at the front of the kayak, and also carried a waterproof point-and-shoot camera, a new Panasonic DMC-TS5 that I had purchased for this adventure and for another kayaking excursion later in the summer.  I hung the little Panasonic around my neck (with an additional piece of rope fastening it to an Opteka camera carrier that I wore over my floatation vest) but could not bring myself to take my Canon 5D Mark III on a kayak, even though this was a mild trip designed for tourists on which it would have been unlikely to tip over and lose a camera.  I thus took both the little Panasonic and my 40D;  the photos that I've posted here have come from both cameras.  Once the Panasonic's battery died, I pulled out the Canon 40D and ended up feeling very comfortable using it on the boat as well as the beaches.  When I was sitting on the kayak, the 40D fit perfectly into the Opteka carrier, which helped me feel that my equipment was secure.

While we were paddling, the guides did a great job of explaining the landscape as well as the safety issues that kayaking near glaciers entails.  We could not come very close to Columbia Glacier because of the possibility that calving ice could create large waves, but we were able to paddle around a number of icebergs that had floated far away from the glacier.  I've posted some of my favorite shots, which include landscapes, close-ups of glacial ice, and photos of kayaks on the beach.  I highly recommend taking a Columbia Glacier kayaking tour out of Valdez!

More photographs from my June 2014 trip along Alaska's Richardson Highway are coming to http://www.photosbychriscoffman.com soon!


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