"ONCE A YEAR,
GO SOMEPLACE YOU'VE
NEVER BEEN BEFORE."
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I get to Gustavus?
Gustavus is not connected to the road system and therefore it is only accessible by air or boat. There are three options for getting here; all of them start from the Alaska state capital city of Juneau:
Alaska Airlines -- There is one jet daily between Juneau and Gustavus. The flight is only about 15 minutes long and it departs Juneau around 4:15pm. This service is only available between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Small planes -- Two companies fly small airplanes on a regular basis between Juneau and Gustavus:
These small aircraft typically carry five passengers and the flight is about 25 minutes long. This is a scenic flight depending on the weather.
Alaska State Ferry -- The ferry runs two to three times per week between Juneau and Gustavus. If you care to spend a little extra time in Gustavus, this might be a suitable option. The trip takes about 4½ hours.
Where can I stay in Gustavus?
You can find a list of all of the accommodations HERE, on the Gustavus Visitor's Association website.
Will we see a lot of wildlife?
We expect to see a variety of wildlife on all of our trips. However, this is not a zoo and wildlife can be elusive. There are places that have higher probabilities for whales, bears, etc., but there are no guarantees. We are very good at spotting wildlife and if it is out there and visible, we will probably spot it early enough to put ourselves in good position for photos. We also want to insure that we do not disturb any of the wildlife that we are watching, for the wildlife’s sake and also so that it will be there for others to enjoy. Binoculars and long lenses help us to take great shots while not disturbing our subjects.
How fit do I have to be?
A small amount of strength and agility are required to get in and out of the smaller boats onto docks or the shore. Most of the walking that we do is on flat ground along beaches. We do not need to travel far to find photographic subjects.
What kind of clothing should I bring?
While we are out on the water, the temperatures can vary a great deal. Temperatures can range from the 40s to the 70s. Be prepared to dress in layers so you can adjust according to the conditions. Most days, I wear a synthetic base layer (not cotton). On top of that, I recommend a layer of fleece. An outer layer of waterproof rain gear is a must, if not for rain, at least for wind. An additional fleece coat or vest may be needed on some days. You will also want to bring a warm hat, gloves and a neck gaiter or scarf.
Footwear should be either a heavy hiking boot or better yet, tall rubber boots that cover the calf.
Do I need boating experience?
No, you do not. Sea kayaking is an option while we are in the Hobbit Hole but no prior experience is required. The waters there are well protected, making for a great opportunity to try kayaking, even if you never have before. We will be happy to provide you with instruction to insure that you enjoy it.
Will there be anything to buy? Do I need money during the trip?
There are a few places in Gustavus and Bartlett Cove where locals sell arts and crafts. Most places accept credit cards, but there may be a few instances where only cash is accepted.
Do I need to have specific software?
No. Please bring what you are accustomed to using. I will be offering instruction in Adobe Lightroom, but will be glad to help you with whatever program you use.
Is there any specific photography gear that you recommend?
I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to photo gear. I find that I usually only need one camera body and three lenses. Focal lengths from 18mm-300mm should be covered. A 400mm lens is preferable for wildlife, of course. For low light situations and macro shots, a sturdy tripod is a must. I also use extension tubes with a macro lens for macro photography. This opens up many creative possibilities if it is rainy or if there is poor visibility. With that in mind, I also recommend bringing a travel umbrella to keep your gear dry while shooting. Some prefer to use full camera covers. If this is what you are accustomed to, by all means, bring it.
Although we will be in remote and isolated areas by day, in the evening we will have access to power so we can download photos and recharge our batteries—both camera and our own!