Sea kayaking involves little more than putting one end of the paddle in the water at a time. That said, your trip will be safer and more enjoyable if you're comfortable with the gear and learn, for instance, to push the paddle instead of pull it. Outdoors stores or canoe/kayak clubs often sponsor indoor
pool classes where you can learn to kayak or hone your skills. They'll teach you the basic strokes and rescue techniques, how to exit and enter the boat, and how to exit safely underwater. Kayak outfitters should also give you a crash course along with rentals. While following a shoreline is easier than cross-country travel with map and compass, you should still have sound navigational skills in case of fog or confusing inlets. Order a Prince William Sound Tide Book for $1.50 from Alaska Tide Book Company, (907) 283-1990, and learn how to use it.