Patrick Robinson
Greg Whittaker and kayak guide Kona Greg are both part of Alki Kayak Tours new downtown Seattle waterfront touring venture. The tours provide an up close and personal water side tour of the waterfront with such sights as the Great Wheel, and the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Now you can kayak on the Seattle waterfront: Alki Kayak Tours opens a Bell Harbor location

Greg Whittaker believes in paddling. No not his 2 and 4 year old boys. He is a devout kayaker and has built a healthy business at Seacrest with Alki Kayak Tours plus his other businesses, M2s Beach Rentals on Alki and Mountain 2 Sound Outfitters where kayaks, standup paddle boards, skis and all that goes with those items do a brisk business.

But as he looked at the City of Seattle's plans for the redevelopment of the waterfront he realized he had an opportunity. He came up with a plan to offer guided kayak tours from Bell Harbor at Pier 66 and in mid may he literally launched the newest phase of his business.

Alki Kayak Tours at Bell Harbor will take people on tours around the historic Seattle waterfront from the sheltered launch waters of Bell Harbor at Pier 66. They have five boats some with three riders, others with two and all tours are accompanied by an experienced guide. This differs from the West Seattle operations in that you can't just rent a kayak for your own paddle. These are tours only.

Is there a difference between kayaking off the shores of West Seattle and downtown? "Well, there's a lot more boat traffic over here," said Whittaker, " so we use radios to stay in touch with the guides and keep a close eye on the tour boats and ferries plus other boats in the area. In West Seattle we encounter a lot more wildlife."

His most experienced guide Kona Greg (he spends a lot time in Hawaii) is a deeply experienced kayaker with more than 2000 trips under his belt and a diver as well. He knows these waters very well. He said he will be keeping a careful eye out for competing boat traffic too. When they do encounter wildlife, he will keep his tour members paddling, since for Harbor Seals, Sea Lions, and obviously Orcas they are required by law to keep their distance.

They will run a three hour tour from 10am to 1pm at $89 per person (discounts will apply here), and a two hour tour from 2:30 to 4:30pm and a third one, two hours before sunset for $69 per person.

To book tours guests can book online through www.kayakalki.com or via phone at 206-953-0237.

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