Our number one priority is your safety and enjoyment while on a Big Irv's Charter. To insure you are fully prepared please read our terms agreement and answers to some of our most popular asked questions.
Tipping the deckhand
Tipping can be a very personal and somewhat touchy subject to discuss. Many people are unsure as to how much is appropriate and may be reserved in asking. The deckhand works for tips only. Your deckhand is at the boat at least an hour prior to your arrival, and at least as much oftentimes longer after your departure. Their duties do not stop for the entire duration of your day on the boat. Those duties include keeping you safe, baiting hooks, untangling lines, icing down your catch, maintaining a clean deck, attempts at humor, if your cold or just love it; making coffee for you etc. They help and direct you on how to fight and land your fish. When the day is done, they filet your fish on the ride home. Upon arrival back at the dock, they will take your filleted catch to your car or to the processor. They ensure your comfort from the minute you arrive until the minute you depart. Our goal is to provide top tier service to everyone, every trip.
A standard tip for a deckhand is 20%. This equates to about $90 per person on a full priced charter. If your captain is also your deckhand for the day a 20% tip ($90 pp) is still standard. Deckhands are human too, and subsequently misunderstandings may occur. If you feel your deckhand is not performing at the with the highest level of pride and professionalism please inform the captain as soon as possible, the sooner the better so we can get things turned around quickly to ensure your day on the water is as amazing as promised. If you are not happy with the captain, please contact his wife (co-owner 907-953-6671) immediately, or ask him to step aside and address your concerns as he is incredibly open and approachable. You should have cell phone service on the water.
Some people are well aware that they suffer from motion sickness, some have no idea if they do. There are days that the weather can make even most solid stomachs uneasy. Some best practices we have found to be starting your Dramamine the NIGHT BEFORE. Just starting it the morning of your trip is a bad idea. In our experience we recommend that you do not take it in the morning at all. Take it the night before.
If you decide to use the Scopolamine patch, or Zofran follow your doctors’ directions. We also recommend getting a prescription for Zofran. If unsure, start taking it BEFORE you start feeling nauseated. If you are prone to seasickness or start to feel nauseated let the captain and crew know, they will do everything they can to help you through it. Famous last words, "I've never gotten sick before in my life....,” “I have been on the water my whole life,” “I grew up on a boat.,” etc. etc. This is your trip of a lifetime, and it is far better to be prepared than not.
How to dress
This is Alaska. We recommend you come prepared for the weather, be it rain or shine. After all weather forecasters are the only profession that must be correct 50% of the time. Dress in layers. The Nauti Star2 has a heater to keep you warm, dry and comfortable while inside the cabin, however outside on the deck, you are at Alaska’s mercy. Again, DRESS IN LAYERS.
You enter and exit Whittier via the Anton Anderson memorial tunnel. The first tunnel opens from the bear Valley side at 5:30 AM. The last tunnel leaving Whittier opens at 11:00 PM. You can find the tunnel schedule here: https://www.whittieralaska.gov/tunnel/ We recommend you be in line at least 15 minutes prior to your desired tunnel so you can be at the front of the line. Especially important when arriving on the day of your charter.
Is Alcohol allowed on the boat.
Yes, it is. However, we do ask that you indulge responsibly. You may be in mixed company/ parties on the boat that day. Nobody wants to share the boat or have their kids exposed to excessively drunken behavior/ or foul language. Please be considerate of the other clients on the boat. The captain does have the right to limit or stop alcohol consumption if he deems it necessary.
Where is Whittier?
The city of Whittier, Alaska is at the head of the Passage Canal on the Western edge of Prince William Sound approximately 60 miles south of Anchorage. Follow this link for Directions from the Anchorage airport:
Do I need to bring my own gear or bait?
No, we provide all of the tackle, and bait for your trip. The only things you need to bring are appropriate clothing, great attitude, positive outlook, your fishing license, and a cooler for your snacks/drinks.
How do I get my catch home?
Your deckhand will have your fish filleted, bagged and on ice by the time we arrive back at the dock at the end of the day. He will then either take it to your vehicle for you or take it to the processor. There is a fish processor in town. You can decide to have them “do it all” meaning final processing, vacuum sealing, and shipping or any part thereof. The most cost-effective way to get your catch home is to have them seal and freeze your fish, then use a cooler, or fish box and check it as extra baggage for your return flight.
How much food and beverage should I bring?
This can vary greatly from person to person. Your boat will leave the dock at 7:00 AM and return by 7:00 PM. This is a 12-hour day, so plan according to your needs. Nobody wants to be hangry or thirsty during their dream fishing trip. When planning this please keep in mind that space on the boat is limited, so big roll-on coolers (including Styrofoam ones) are not allowed on the boat. Please use easily packable soft sided type coolers for your trip. The Lazy Otter Café (https://www.lazyottercharters.com/boxed-lunches/ ) in Whittier that can provide you with a box lunch. You can order via phone or online with them. When doing this please remember that the boat leaves the dock at 7:00 AM, again plan accordingly if you wish to use this option.
Is there any place to stay in Whittier?
Yes, there is lodging as well as camping available. Lodging in Whittier is limited, so planning and making your reservations as early as possible is highly recommended.
B&B: June’s Whittier Condo Suites http://www.juneswhittiercondosuites.com/
Whittier parking and camping https://whittierparking.com/camping.html
Terms and Conditions/ Cancellation Policy
Big Irv’s Famous Alaskan Charters requires a 50% deposit to reserve your charter. The remainder of the balance is due no later than 31 days prior to your trip taking place. We highly recommend Travel insurance.
Cancellations made by Big Irv’s Famous Alaskan Charters
Circumstances that may lead to us cancelling the trip include but not limited to are, severe weather, mechanical failure, not enough clients booked (minimum of 4 for the boat to leave the harbor). If any of these situations arises, Big Irv’s will make every effort to rebook you on another date, or another operator’s vessel. If we cannot accomplish this, we will refund your money. If the trip is cut short due to unforeseen circumstances (mechanical failure), not including fish limits being reached early, Big Irv’s will refund a prorated portion of your trip cost.
Alaska is a wild place that is subject to a myriad of weather conditions, and potential natural disasters (forest fires and earthquakes) as well as man made disasters (vehicular accidents) all of
which can lead to road closures. Big Irv’s can control a lot of things, however the aforementioned are beyond our influence and control. For these reasons we highly recommend travelers insurance.
Cancellations made by Client
Cancellations made by the client at least 31 days in advance will receive a refund less a processing fee of 10% if the charter seats can be rebooked.
If you cancel within 30 days of your charter, there will be no refunds, no exceptions.
All sales are final as stated above.