How Glacier Jetski Adventures Started
By Founder and Guide Charlie Howard
Have you ever had an idea pop into your head and you just know that somehow – some way you have to make that idea a reality?
All I have ever been is a guide. It’s all I have ever wanted to be. It’s never been the adrenaline of a Class V rapid, the height of the mountains, or the speed of a jet ski that has kept me passionate about guiding. It’s that moment you get to share with people when the day they have been dreaming about comes true and you get to help make that happen! It’s one of the best professions in the world. I always wanted to own my own outfit but wanted it to be unique and original. When I first saw a modern 4 stroke jet ski being used in a swift water rescue class I was impressed. I quickly purchased one to use in classes I was instructing and the more I used it the more impressed I was. It was quiet, not smelly and actually pretty easy to operate. This bright light turned on in my head and never shut off, I knew what I was going to do and where I was going to do it!
A place our family had visited in my childhood was Blackstone Bay in Prince William Sound, and its towering glaciers left a huge impression on me. I had returned to this special place a few times by zodiac and kayak since that first trip. After purchasing a jet ski of my own I started going out to Blackstone Bay every chance I got. Sometimes I would tell people about this dream of mine and it usually got laughed at or they would say “nobody is going to want to jet ski in Alaska” and I started to wonder if they were right.
About that time I had just met Bec. She was this spunky Aussie who was a client on a snow machine tour I was guiding at the time. We started to hang out here and there as she explored Alaska, living out of a van she had purchased. I really wanted to impress her so once summer came I decided to take the jet ski out to Blackstone Bay with her. Her breath was taken away by the fiords and glaciers. While stopped for lunch I laid out my dream to pioneer jet ski tours in Alaska. I’ll never forget her excitement proclaiming “it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen” and “you have to do it!”. Maybe I wasn’t crazy? Over the next couple of years, as Bec traveled the world she stayed with me about the idea, calling and saying “remember your dream, you should do that” always pushing, always supportive. Eventually, I realized not only was starting this business my destiny but so was Bec and I asked her to marry me in Australia in 2014. In 2015 after the birth of our first son we were able to open the very first Glacier jet ski tour in the world!
For us, this is all we do, this is our passion! After 7 years of operations, Bec and I still work side by side together with our small family of guides to operate our jet ski tours. For us, it’s just living the dream and we can’t wait to share that dream with you!