Plant nursery and whale watching in the front yard in Prince of Wales Island Alaska, USA

  • United States
  • Favourited 313 times
  • Last activity: 14 Aug 2023



 Min stay requested: at least a week



  • Description


    Spring 2023
    ****Maximum stay 2 weeks****
    ****Please no solo male travelers****
    (This is a personal decision by hosts since husband is often gone commercial fishing so please do not be personally offended if you are a solo male traveler!!)

    Brad and Stephanie have been together since 2007 when Stephanie joined Brad on his commercial fishing boat. Together they have fished commercially since that time for salmon, crab, geoduck clams, and sea cucumbers. Over the years Stephanie has started several businesses including a one season plant nursery, a small boat tour company which takes clients on private whale/wildlife watching tours, and a dog collar and leash making business. They have built their lives together around these fisheries and businesses. Time off means hunting, traveling (Hawaii, American southeast, California, Baja California, and western states), kayaking, exploring via boat, and generally enjoying nature and being outside.

    We are dog people, and our dog is an important member of our family. In January 2021, Zeke! the black lab/golden retriever mix joined the family to fill the hole left by Luna the supermutt who departed in Oct 2020. Zeke! turned 2 in Dec 2022 and he will be an ever-present part of life at the property and is extremely affectionate and playful. He sheds a lot so those with pet dander/hair allergies may have difficulties with him.

    Our property is located on an Island, 3 miles north of the Craig Alaska by boat. Craig is on Prince of Wales Island, west of Ketchikan in southern southeast Alaska.

    The property is 2 acres in size and is located on the west side of the island along the water with a west facing view. It looks out over ocean and distant islands and there are no signs of civilization from the house except a very distant navigation buoy or two. It is surrounded on the other three sides by conifer forest. There are two part-time neighbors within walking distance; they are seldom seen but are reliable and trustworthy in an emergency. There are no roads or vehicles in the immediate vicinity of the property. (There are some unused logging roads on the island over a mile away.)
    On site is our small home, which was built at the old cannery in Craig in 1916 and moved to Wadleigh Island in 2009. Since moving it, we have spent the subsequent years working on the following:
    • Pouring a foundation
    • Moving the house onto the foundation
    • Jacking it up and adding new beams underneath
    • Insulating floor and sides
    • Installing new double pane windows to replace single pane leaded glass
    • Adding locally milled cedar siding
    • Building a deck (unfishined)
    • Installing a wood stove
    • Installing a water system (rain catchment and plumbing)
    • Installing a hot water system utilizing wood head
    • Installed a battery bank for small power needs

    We have gained a lot of knowledge over the years about off-grid and remote living and have a lot to share with anyone who is interested. The house is not yet finished and there are obvious unfinished projects throughout the house although they are mostly cosmetic. All work and upgrades have been performed by hosts.

    For power, we unfortunately still use fossil fuels by way of a Honda EU generator which is efficient in terms of fuel usage. We do not have large power draws (there is no microwave, electric coffee pot, hair dryer, washing machine etc.) so we use it just for simpler needs including some lighting, and appliances. It is only used as needed (not all day or every day) but is used regularly during the spring season to power lights and heat mats for growing seeds.
    A battery bank at the house and also at the high tunnel greenhouse provides power for small devices (phone, ipad, etc) when the generator is not running. The batteries in the high-tunnel are powered by solar.

    Outbuildings include: a generator building/shed, outhouse, small greenhouse, 30’x40’ high tunnel greenhouse, and chicken coop. The chicken coop contains a variable number of chickens, mostly layers but occasionally meat birds are housed there.

    Working at this location will require that you are comfortable on the water and being in a boat. Host Stephanie is a licensed and insured boat captian with 15 years experience commercial fishing in the area. Host Brad is a commercial fisherman with 30+ years of experience boating and commercial fishing in southeast Alaska.

    The main work requirement is assistance transplanting small plants during March and early to mid April. From Late April through May, work may vary from perennial plant division and transplanting, transport of plants to town, mowing and weed-whacking, and other general yard tasks. Physical abilities to do yard work are a must. Must be able to lift 50 pounds.
    Workers will be paid at least $10/hour with possibility of higher wages depending on work quality.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    • See herring spawn mid-March-Early April (wildlife extravaganza-its truly the best wildlife viewing ALL YEAR)
    o Try eating herring eggs on kelp (prized local food)
    o See herring roe-on-kelp fishery (commercial seine-fishing Mid-march -early april)
    o See 3+ types of marine mammals without ever leaving the property
    • Go kayaking in a scenic location directly from the property
    • See a variety of west coast and Alaskan birds, especially during migration (April/May)
    • Learn about off-grid living in rural Alaska
    • Learn about subsistence and food-preservation
    * experience Alaska summer

  • Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    Host offers payment in line with the minimum wage

    This host offers accommodation and payment.

    Host has indicated that they will pay at least the minimum hourly wage of their country for each hour worked and that accommodation will also be provided. They are asking for help with a business or business activity. Contact the host directly via the site messenger for more information and details about the wage provided. Any arrangements should be agreed in advance with your host.

  • Help


    Work will be primarily greenhouse based on Prince of Wales Island Alaska. The work itself is easy to do and mostly involves transplanting small plants into larger pots and other associated tasks. The timing of the work is very early spring, and it can be somewhat cold. The workspace will have a propane heater but may be somewhat cold during the work and heavy work clothes such as insulated overalls are very helpful.

    PAY: Pay will be a minimum of $10/hour (USD) with the possibility of higher hourly pay depending on efficiency and quality of work. Workers are responsible for ensuring compliance with all work visas and other requirements. US citizens will be required to provide SS# for tax purposes.

    Many plant nurseries rely on "plugs" which are very small plants grown by huge greenhouses in places like Michigan and then shipped to the nursery site. The plugs then need anywhere from 6-12 weeks of growth after being transplanted into larger pots to reach a saleable size. We need to transplant up to 10,000 plugs each spring. It is a simple task but it is time consuming which is why help is needed. The volume of transplanting plus other administrative tasks have become too great for the hosts to complete without assistance. Due to the remote location (3 miles away from town via water/boat)it has been too difficult to find local help that can facilitate their own transportation to the island. We are happy to host workers who can stay and help with the work andwe will provide pay, recreation opportunities (kayaking, whale watching), accommodations, all meals and learning opportunities.

    Besides transplanting, other work may include moving supplies from one location to another such as 60# bales of growing media, boxes of growing supplies, and more. Depending on timing, workers may assist with taking finished flats of plants to town. Plants are taken to town in a "plant trailer" which holds 27 trays of plants. The trailer is loaded onto a landingcraft boat and then taken to town where it is unloaded into a truck. Having assistance during this process would be immensely helpful. It is physical work but not difficult. The loading of the trailer onto the boat needs to coincide with specific tide and weather circumstances, therefore the work may need to take place at any time of the day. This is the only instance where certain work hours will be specifically requested. It could take place at any time between 4 am and 8 pm. Tide and weather often dictate certain aspects of our lives, so please be aware that that may sometimes be the case and be prepared for it.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation



    There are two locations for guests to stay. The main location will be in the high tunnel, which contains a tent within the structure which will keep it protected from the elements of rain, snow or wind. A tent, cot, sleeping bag, pillows, blankets, chairs, and indoor-safe propane heater will be provided. Guests staying in the high tunnel will have access to the main house for meals, hot showers, warm-ups and relaxing. The house is small enough that it does not allow the hosts much privacy if the guest beds are used, nor does it allow guests to have much privacy (due to the guest beds being located in the main living space).
    There are two guest beds in the house. There is a full bed in the living room adjacent to the woodstove. It can sleep 1-2 (couple). The second bed is a twin located in the sunroom looking over the ocean. This bed is also an excellent daybed for reading or relaxing. The beds in the house will not always be available, so potential guests must be prepared to be housed in the high tunnel, even during colder parts of the year.

    While the house has running water and a hot shower, it has not been plumbed for a flush toilet. For this we have an outhouse located about 200 feet from the house. Guests must be comfortable with using an outhouse.

    There are two 1500 gallon water tanks, which catch rain from the roof of an outbuilding. The water is run through multiple filters before reaching the faucets. Water conservation is practiced in order to conserve for the occasional dry spell. Hot water is heated through a copper coil system via the wood stove. The bathroom (shower) has been finished in locally milled yellow cedar and provides excellent hot showers. Showers are restricted to no more than one every other day maximum 5 minutes.


    Being remote, we do not have the option to run to a coffee shop for a muffin or order delivery or take-out. We have a well stocked pantry and do our own cooking. Our diet contains a lot of wild protein including venison, salmon, halibut, rockfish, ling cod, shrimp, crab, and homegrown chicken & eggs. We also eat a lot of whole grains, dairy, vegetables and fruit. It may be challenging to accommodate those on special diets that omit any of these foods, especially vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diets. While we fully respect individual dietary choices, we live in a place where healthy wild protein is abundant and it is a very important part of our diet and our lives. Guests should be willing to eat these types of foods if they come to stay with us as we are not accustomed to cooking meals without them. Guests are welcome to cook in our kitchen, but we will also do a lot of cooking and you will not be expected/required to cook unless you want to.
    (Please note: Hosts prefer that guests do not do dishes due to water usage restrictions.) some meals on some days may be casual and easy since certain times of the year are extremely busy (May) and hosts won’t have time to cook.

    Fresh homegrown vegetables are only available during late spring and summer but we regularly buy seasonally fresh produce from the local grocery store. Wild berries such as blueberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries and red huckleberries are available beginning in July and continuing throughout the summer. Hosts like to bake and do a lot of baking using home-ground whole-grain flours including spelt, several types of wheat, barley, oat, and rye. Muffins, breads, quick-breads, cookies and cakes will be available intermittently.

    Hosts also do a lot of pressure canning, and meals may include home-canned foods including deer, fish, chicken, beans, or vegetables. If guests are interested in learning about pressure canning please ask; there is usually something that needs to be canned!

    Typical meals may include any the following:
    Breakfast: Pancakes, sausage, eggs, potatoes, muffins, fruit, smoothies, homemade granola, yogurt, oatmeal (or barley)
    Lunch: Sandwiches, salads, soups, smoked salmon, venison summer sausage, cheese, crackers, hard-boiled eggs
    Dinner: Tacos, pasta dishes, salads, meat+veg+starch meals, rice, potatoes, sushi (California rolls), fresh vegetable spring rolls,

    We mostly eat whole foods and do not keep much (if any) junk food in the house. Snack foods usually include nuts, fruits, meats and cheese.

    Coffee is a very important part of daily life. Hosts drink fresh-ground coffee made pour-over style into a vintage carafe and kept warm on the wood stove. Loose leaf and bagged black and herbal teas are also available in a wide variety.

    Alcohol: moderate use is acceptable but please no excessive use or drunkenness.
    Marijuana: cannabis is legal for recreational use in Alaska; hosts do not mind moderate use as long as it does not interfere with work.
    Cigarettes: please be sure that all butts are properly disposed of; butts left on the ground will not be tolerated
    Other illicit drugs will not be tolerated

    Access to our property is via boat, and 12" rubber boots are a must to be able to get on/off the boat and keep feet dry. Rubber rain gear (coat and bibs/pants) is best, as the location is a temperate rainforest, and most rain gear (gore-tex) is not sufficient for our rain.
    Warm clothing/wool is also ideal for our cool moist weather conditions.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    While not working, outdoor recreation from the home site includes kayaking, beach walks (tide-pooling), birdwatching, and wildlife watching. Depending on weather, it is possible to kayak among islands and in protected bays. Kayaking is a great way to view birds and wildlife in a natural setting. As many as 50 bird species have been seen from the island during spring migration(April/May), including various gulls, shorebirds (often in breeding plumage), sea ducks, dabbling ducks, sparrows, and warblers.
    Wildlife seen from or very near the house include: humpback whales, killer whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters, river otters, mink, deer, black bear, wolf, and flying squirrel. Tide-pooling is also an option during larger tides. Unique nudibranchs, sea anemones, and starfish can be seen within walking distance at low tides.
    Stephanie is a licensed boat captain and will try to get guests out for a few hours on the water (depending on weather) if they are interested (this will not include fishing). Whale watching is usually the primary goal on boat outings; sea otters are also easy to locate.
    In town, the Sunnahae Trail begins about ½ mile outside of Craig and goes all the way up to the top at about 3500 feet (not possible in early spring due to snow). The full hike can take 7 hours round trip but even shorter hikes partway up are well worth the views of the islands and ocean to the west. Wildflowers along the hike begin in May and peak in July. It is a beautiful hike regardless of the season but snow may impede travel during winter/spring months.
    There are many other recreation opportunities on Prince of Wales Island that require auto transportation. Hosts cannot facilitate these activities, but rental cars are available on the island, though they are expensive.
    • World-class freshwater fishing (Steelhead and 4 species of salmon, several trout, including Dolly Varden)
    • Bear viewing (black bears only)
    • Salmon spawn viewing (Late Summer)
    • Kayaking/canoeing on lakes and streams
    • Remote Forest Service Cabin camping
    • Deer/bear hunting (Late summer/fall)
    • Opportunities to learn about culture and heritage of Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian people, including some totem parks and occasionally a totem pole raising (usually in August).

    We do not have or watch TV so no TV is available. We do have a great local public radio station to listen to, and Sirius Sattelite radio in the house. There is a speaker/radio/bluetooth in the high tunnel for guests to use/play their own music while working.

    Upon arrival in Ketchikan (via Alaska Airlines), the next step is to travel to Prince of Wales Island.
    • Inter-island Ferry- This is a scenic and affordable option. It does not arrive to POW (Hollis) until 6:30 pm so pickup upon arrival in Craig at 7:30 pm may not be possible since we do not boat in the dark. A cab can provide rides to/from the ferry-it is about an hour drive. The ferry only departs once/day at 8 am. Arrival by ferry may require that you stay one night in Craig or Klawock at your own expense.
    • Island Air Express- This is the most expensive and fastest option, and is very reliable. 3 flights a day depart from Ketchikan International Airport. The local cab can provide transport from the Klawock Airport to Craig (20 minute drive). If you choose this option please coordinate with us before booking so we can try to make sure you do not have to stay the night in craig before we can pick you up.
    • Taquaan Airways-this float plane service arrives directly into Craig from either the Ketchikan Airport of the “townside” in Ketchikan. Pickup in Craig is easy since it is located next to the harbor. (Note-float plane services often experience weather delays due to fog or storms; Island Air is much more reliable as they can fly in the clouds.)

    From the home site, hosts will go to town up to several times a week depending on many factors including weather. It is about 15 minutes to town. Once in Craig, guests can easily access local shops and sights on foot. There is a laundry room across from the harbor. Guests must be prepared to stay on the island for several days at a time without going to town.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    This location is only really ideal for a dog, preferably an outdoorsy dog. The property is unfenced, however, it is on an island and there are no roads, cars or neighbors. Also, there are chickens on site so a dog must not be a chicken killer. Any dog that comes to visit will also need to get along with our male golden retriever/black lab who is still young and intact. He is super duper friendly and loves to play. Getting a dog to POW can be a challenge but if you're up for it, feel free to bring your dog!

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected


Host ref number: 939622571416

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