Thanks for leading such a wonderful kayak tour. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Your incredible expertise and concern for excellence made the kayak trip truly outstanding. I hope to make it on another of your kayak vacations again some day. In the meantime, you can be sure I’m spreading the word! Dorle Vawter, Minneapolis, MN
The Sea Quest Difference: We Offer the Best Quality Kayak Tours!
Nothing Beats an Excellent Reputation Most of our new guests hear about us from other folks who have done kayak trips with us in the past. If you haven’t already heard about Sea Quest from a friend, check out our Guest Reviews. Of course, there are a few more things to consider when choosing a kayak outfitter so please read on.
It’s a Matter of Experience We understand how important your vacation time is to you. You can count on Sea Quest to make your precious vacation time a memorable success. Our two principal directors have a combined 60 years of professional kayak guiding and management experience. Not only has Sea Quest been leading kayak tours as a full-time specialty for 30 years, in some trip areas we’ve launched more expeditions than all the other outfitters combined! As the saying goes, “Practice makes perfect!”
Expert Kayak Guides The most important resource you have in the field is your kayak guide. Our leaders are committed to provide you with the best experience possible. You will find them knowledgeable, enthusiastic, reliable, and above all, fun! We’ve taken a major step beyond ordinary kayak tour companies by carefully selecting and thoroughly training our guide staff. Our leaders are chosen not only for their strong experiences in outdoor instruction, but also for their extensive knowledge of natural history. Our kayak tours feature guides with academic credentials and often publications in their field of study. Many have been professional sea kayak guides for ten or even fifteen years and are involved in research. You may be surprised to hear our guides referring to individual whales by name – that’s how familiar they are with their aquatic neighbors!
Concern with Safety Keeping you safe is the number one priority of our trip leaders. In preparation for this responsibility, all our guides have studied coastal navigation, weather forecasting, and tide/current prediction. They possess first aid and CPR certifications, an expedition first aid kit, a variety of emergency signal devices, tow ropes, and VHF radiotelephones. Our San Juan Islands kayaking staff have gone through the most extensive in-house training program in our region. Some companies provide only a couple of days training, if any, while Sea Quest kayak guides go through a very intense two-week program of safety skills and rescue drills. We’ve even had competing companies ask if they can pay us to train their guides!
Many kayak companies speak of having a “perfect safety record.” And many have a very loose interpretation of “perfect.” Here’s our definition: 1) No serious accidents or injuries on a kayak tour to either a guest or guide, 2) No emergency calls to summon outside rescue or medical support due to an out of control capsize situation, 3) No kayaks or guests lost or sunk at sea. Sea Quest has fulfilled this standard of a perfect safety record. In case you are comparing outfitters, you might ask them about their definition of “perfect” and inquire specifically if any of these events have occurred on their kayak tours despite their published claims to the contrary. You should also ask if they carry an insurance policy that will cover your medical costs and losses should something unusual happen during your kayak vacation. You might be surprised to learn that many outfitters don’t have any financial recourse to support you in the event of an accident. Sea Quest carries a one million dollar policy, and together with our perfect safety record, you can kayak with us worry-free!
Office Support Our office staff are thoroughly familiar with the programs we operate and will support both you and your guides throughout your experience with us. Our office is open seven days a week through most of the year. More importantly, whenever there is a trip in the field, our office staff can be contacted by your guide 24 hours a day for help in an emergency. In contrast, most outfitters have guides do double duty as office staff – if they’re out kayaking, nobody answers the phone!
Guide/Guest Ratio & Group Size Depending on your trip location and group size, you may have from one to three guides leading your trip. The ratio of guides to guests ranges from 1:4 on challenging expeditions to 1:9 in gentle waters. Maximum group size is 10-12 guests, again depending on the trip location. Average group size on most tours is 5-8 guests. This all means that you get plenty of personal attention and service from our staff. Small group size also means that we can minimize our impact on the shoreline environments that we visit.
Superb Camp Cooking Our outdoor adventures are certain to create healthy appetites. For that reason we provide hot and hearty meals for both breakfast and dinner. Fresh wholesome ingredients are the foundation of our nutritious, tasty meals. The menus include baked goods, vegetables, salads, fruits, and edibles we’ve gathered from land and sea. Your guides are proud and energetic camp chefs who’ve been carefully trained in the skillful preparation of delicious, healthy meals. That’s why our guests consistently remark that they are pleasantly surprised by the very high quality of our kayak camping meals.
Quality Everywhere You Look Our two-person state-of-the-art sea kayaks are extremely swift, stable and seaworthy craft. Comfort and safety are always the two most important criteria in the selection of the vessels and gear we provide you. Our tough standards require us to supply you with the finest quality expedition equipment available and to rotate new gear into use every year. To make sure it all stays in good shape our guides inspect it before every trip.
We Take Care of You Every guest receives an extensive trip information package, including a detailed packing list and reading list. We provide all your specialized paddling gear, roomy tents, cooking items, excellent meals, and redundant safety systems. Your guides excel in their profession and will lead you to the best places they know. They will prepare your meals, take care of all your camping arrangements, and make sure you receive the attention you deserve on your vacation.