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I believe in turning dreams into reality. After first traveling to Alaska in 2007, I’ve dreamed of paddling the green waters and exploring the wilderness that is just out of reach. Having reached a constant state of comfort within my comfort zone, three months exploring coastal Alaska seemed like a proper way to shake things up.

In need of semi-regular pay, the occasional hot shower, and some semblance of a roof over my head, I landed a guiding gig with paddle sports legend Chris Mautino, cashed out what remained of my savings, made a few necessary and unnecessary gear upgrades, bought my plane tickets, and waited rather impatiently for May 10.

Seemingly unimpressed with a degree in Outdoor Education, a coastal ACA instructor’s certification, and years of guiding experience, Chris immediately subjected me to a two week proving ground/boot camp of guide training designed to break the hearts of the weak and make even the strong miss the comforting arms of their mothers. In the midst of training, I experienced the most serene and mind blowing paddles of my life. Following a guy who has lived and worked along these coastlines for longer than a decade, we paddled through hidden iceberg filled lagoons, glacial fjords, and tidal playspots that rivaled anything that can be found anywhere.

And the best part? I’ve only been here for 21 days, the adventure is just beginning!

Photos by: Henry Jackson and Nathan Lane