Vessel & Crew
Meet your Alaska dream team.
Your adventure takes place aboard the Darby, a former commercial fishing vessel designed for northwestern waters. The Darby is not a luxury boat, but offers comfortable “glamping" with an open sleeping concept (similar to the sleeping arrangements in an RV).
The boat accommodates up to six friends or family, although it is most comfortable with a maximum of four adults. Due to the close quarters of the ship, your party will have exclusive use of the Darby during your trip.
After a full day of fresh air and excitement, you’ll fall asleep quickly in your warm, dry berth. The open layout of the boat means there are no state rooms. You'll have your choice of a double bed and four single bunks in the salon area. The two crew members sleep in a separate sleeping area, with a privacy curtain drawn between the crew quarters and guest quarters. This set-up doesn’t offer a lot of privacy, so you'll want to be comfortable with your fellow travelers.
Guests and crew have separate shower and restroom facilities. Like in an RV, the restrooms are designed for efficiency, and include a hand-held shower head. Many guests embrace the "camping out" nature of the trip and decline to shower on our shorter trips, but the choice is yours.
Accessory power can be limited on the boat. We can accommodate cell phone chargers—although you'll be without cell service for most of your trip—but devices such as hairdryers are best left at home.
Captain Colin Brayton
Raised in coastal Maine, Colin Brayton started logging sea time before he could walk. He completed his first solo sail as a 9-year-old, spurring a lifetime of adventure on the ocean.
Over the years, he has navigated the globe on a variety of vessels, from a private sailing yacht in Nova Scotia to a research vessel off the coast of Greece. He even has an Atlantic crossing under his belt.
After earning his USCG Captain's license in 2008, Colin worked a private yacht on the French Riviera and in the Caribbean. He captained a sailboat through the Panama Canal all the way up to British Columbia. An oil spill response vessel brought him to the Arctic.
Colin has been captaining tour boats out of Seward since 2013. After spending several years guiding thousands of visitors through Kenai Fjords in large tour boats, he decided to make the leap into private charters in 2016. Colin enjoys sharing the hidden coves, waterfalls and beaches that most visitors to Kenai Fjords never get to see.
In addition to his maritime training, Colin holds a bachelor's degree in wildlife management from California's Humboldt State University. He is also a certified wilderness first responder and firefighter.
Chef Autum Schumacher
Autum Schumacher's Alaskan roots run deep. Raised in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, her family lived a largely subsistence lifestyle, including hunting, fishing and foraging for their food.
Autum's connection to the land deepened her interest in food. She headed east to attend college, earning a bachelor's degree in culinary arts and hospitality management.
Traveling around the U.S. for the last 10 years, Autum discovered new flavors and techniques while exploring a variety of regional cultures. Through her adventures, she found her niche in creating nourishing food for those with dietary restrictions utilizing locally harvested and consciously grown ingredients.
On the Darby, Autum delights guests by giving them the opportunity to try wild edibles and local ingredients in delicious preparations, such as homemade rhubarb jam, wild salmon rubbed with citrusy spruce tips, and syrups infused with local berries.
During the off-season, Autum continues to study the use of traditional plants in healing foods. Recently, she enjoyed presenting on this topic at a Native health conference.