St. Augustine: the Patron Saint of Fun

Dudes, Ima take a minute to sound egotistical as all hell. This post will be biased. But, more importantly, this post will be truthful. If my flaw is arrogance, rest assured, that at least I’m honest.

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Highway 1 in Alaska ends abruptly in the bright light of Kachemak Bay, surrounded with the blues of glaciers and thick spruce forests formerly spruce covered mountains. The road centers in a narrow finger along an enforced sand and mud ocean spit before it eventually abuts against a soot colored pebble beach and the Pacific Ocean. Highway 1 drives itself directly into the sea. (Should I ever own a car that needs to die, you can bet your ass that I will drive it full speed down that beach to rest in the strong currents of the bay where it will eventually be engulfed in sand and stone, or, more likely, fined by the city and traced back to me after some turmoil and chaos with the local authorities.) Should you succumb to that same chaotic urge than you’ve found an adventure for yourself. Good on ya. Should you not: turn left into the harbor down Ramp 3 to a 30′ aluminum ex-gillnetter painted black and teal with “kayak/tours” blazed on the side.

This is St. Augustine’s Kayak Tours.

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Scott and Susan have owned the company for roughly 30 years, where they boast the phrase, “romancing the sea since 1983” (which I remember solely because it rhymes). And the bias comes to play here because… this is where I work. Now, I’ll point out as well why I feel so justified to brag: in my years of guiding, I have never returned to work for the same company. That’s true up until 2015 when I took work with Scott and Susan.

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The two met in Homer in some sort of bizarrely unique romance whilst digging clams for a living back in the days when a single clam was large enough to be referred to as a steak. They are the ying and yangs to each other, and I think society would be hard pressed to ever find another couple that could better suit the old saying that opposites attract. Yet, they run like a well oiled machine that genuinely believes in producing a quality product and simultaneously have some sort of brilliant witchcraft at skewing the lines between work and play. With such leaders, it makes it easy as an employee to strive to be the best. Though the competition is fierce; under their name, I’ve felt my coworkers were more like family than workplace acquaintances. And that is why I can brag.

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They offer an amazing tour with really special wildlife. On those days where the wildlife just won’t cooperate, the scenery is gorgeous. I’ve guided in quite a many location and paddled even more, but there is something spectacular about Kachemak Bay. Perhaps, in the wake of the changing seas and world, Kachemak remains an oasis. Fertile is an understatement. All that being said, I can’t really justify talking up the place I work unless I’m ultimately talking about how great it is to work for them. And that’s the truest part: working for Scott and Susan has been an honor. But, maybe a mere guide’s stoked attitude is enough of a selling point.

I get paid to play. It doesn’t feel like work. And isn’t that just awesome?

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