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INSIDE: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage

IS THE AWARD-WINNING story of a physical and emotional seafaring journey through the alluring—and often perilous—Inside Passage. Join the author—in an 18-foot sea kayak—along the coast of western North America as she learns to cope with ever-changing moods of weather and sea, wildlife both friendly and fierce, and the mixed messages of her own mind. Within these pages of eloquent writing and striking photos, readers will sleep to songs of humpback whales, thrill to spectacular scenery, delight in the generosity of strangers, and share in the author’s joy as she discovers the courage and deep gratitude that comes from experiencing the power of friendship and the resilience of the human spirit.


The Inside Passage is an extraordinary coastal route, with some of the most spectacular fjords and convoluted coastlines in the world. It’s a narrow artery that connects with and is part of the sixty-four million square miles that comprise the Pacific Ocean. The most scenic and challenging paddling trip in North America, it’s touted as a holy grail for those accessing it in long, skinny boats.

Seattle, Washington is considered the official starting point and Skagway, Alaska the terminus where one literally runs out of ocean, about 1,200 miles later. Three major ecosystems comprise the Inside Passage, making it one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet: the Salish Sea, the Great Bear Rainforest, and the Tongass National Forest. Ancient cedar trees can tower more than 200 feet, bears can stand ten feet tall and weigh 800 pounds, whales often top the scales at forty tons, and one slab of salmon can practically fill your kitchen table. Forests drip, waves surge, glaciers creep. Tidal rapids, essentially saltwater rivers, are truly chameleonic, changing their nature four times a day, flooding and ebbing twice each 24 hours.

In addition to providing habitat for bears, wolves, whales, dolphins, sea lions, a host of other sea mammals, sea birds and birds of prey, the Inside Passage also beholds the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. It can be a wet ride.



"It’s not often that a person possessing the ability to sea kayak the Inside Passage solo is also capable of putting into words the extraordinary mental, physical, and emotional challenges faced daily on this incredible journey. Susan Conrad is one of those people. By skillfully blending sometimes painful memories of her life's trials and tribulations, with stories of the hardships and accomplishments she faced on her 1,100-mile kayaking adventure, she reveals valuable lessons for every outdoor lover seeking to find balance between themselves and nature. The life-changing decisions, impassioned frustration, numbing exhaustion, and internal obstacles that we all face on our life's journey are eloquently mirrored here in one woman's Northwest Pacific Coast odyssey."

—Denis Dwyer, expedition paddler, author of Alone in the Passage: An Explorer's Guide to Sea Kayaking the Inside Passage

To read boatloads of reviews click here



Purchase at your local bookstore, or order online (please click links below)


If you’ve ever paddled along Alaska’s Inside Passage, then you know how that waterscape haunts you with its lingering moody beauty. Susan Conrad, with her masterful descriptions of place, teleports you right back to the sounds, smells, and views of the Alaskan coastline. I also love this book for how she weaves a Wild-esque (a la Cheryl Strayed) memoir with really sound advice for how to plan, prepare for, and execute expeditions. A must--read for the soulful expedition paddler. 
LAURA ZULLIGER — expert paddler and KOKATAT Ambassador


 INSIDE MY SEA OF DREAMS: The Adventures of Kami & Suz  


Join Kami the Kayak & her paddler Suz, along with a host of outdoor friends on a wondrous seafaring adventure to Alaska.

In this picture book adaptation of Susan Conrad’s "Inside," we follow the dream of a little girl’s big adventure in a tiny kayak. A talking kayak? A dreaming child? Yes! Together they encounter magic and mayhem on a journey through a breathtaking land of challenge and reward: the Inside Passage. All ages will learn how we are all capable of anything—and that we will always reach our destination—if we simply believe.

When choosing a book to share with a child, there is nothing better than a good adventure, especially one based on a true story—mine!

Adapted from the author's memoir Inside: One Woman's Journey Through the Inside Passage inspiring children to get outside, follow their dreams, and know they can do anything they set their minds to. 

Written by Susan Conrad and Illustrated by Rebecca Rothman.

~ Ages 3 - 103


"A dynamic adventure tale, based on a true story, told in evocative images and prose." ~ Kirkus Reviews

There’s a nod in the book to the mystical connection that many paddlers feel with the ocean and with their boats. ~ Nancy Soares, Tsunami Rangers

To read the rest of this most stellar review click HERE. To read Nancy's review of the true story this children's book is based on click HERE.


Available at your local bookstore, directly from the author, or from these online sources:
(NOTE: versions available other than from author are in softcover format)

Wildly Inside
$5 off!

if purchased from author
One dollar of each book sale will benefit Pacific Wild, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia!
WILDLY INSIDE: A Visual Journey Through the Inside Passage
(Featuring the places, spaces and faces of the Inside Passage.)
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Wildly Inside transports you through the Inside Passage—a visual journey where you'll smell the muskiness of a whale's breath, hear the thunderous waves of a wide-awake ocean, feel the reverberations of the big ships passing by, and be totally awestruck by the magic of it all.

Shooting straight from her paddlers' hip, Conrad presents imagery and verbiage which is honest, inspiring, and telling. You feel her passion and steadfastness as you travel through the Salish Sea, the Great Bear Rainforest, and coastal Southeast Alaska, witnessing the beauty of this remarkable seascape and learning about the creatures who make their homes here.


Editorial Review:
WILDLY WONDERFUL! "Wildly Inside" is an amazing, blazing companion to Susan Marie Conrad's riveting narrative account, INSIDE, about her 1,148-mile solo kayak journey through the Inside Passage to Alaska. This book is packed full of one stunning picture after another, complemented by inspirational quotes and nature factoid nuggets. Every page is a wonderful window into one of the most beautiful geographical areas in the world, and at the same time a progressive reveal of the author's soul, overflowing with honor, respect and love for the challenging coastal corridor she paddled through, dodging bodacious bears, breaching whales, haystack waves, and topaz icebergs. Go ahead, take the ride with this adventurer, writer, photographer, and mermaid with a kayak tail—you won't be disappointed!
~ Michael Modzelewski, author Inside Passage: Living with Killer Whales, Bald Eagles, and Kwakiutl Indians



“Wildly Inside” is the perfect companion volume to Susan Conrad's adventure memoir “Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage.” Whether you’re a sea kayaking pro, or don’t know the difference between a bow and a stern, this beautifully laid out photo essay will entice you to grab a boat and paddle and head out to explore the west coast of North America. For those of us who have spent entire summers paddling the channels and shorelines of the Inside Passage, this volume presents some beautifully captured images of familiar landmarks that have made this waterway so famous. For those unfamiliar with this magical realm, be ready to experience through the eyes of a world class paddler, some of the most beautiful coastal wilderness scenes anywhere on Earth.

Denis Dwyer, Expedition Sea Kayaker and author of Alone in the Passage: An Explorer's Guide to Sea Kayaking the Inside Passage.


I meant to sip this book, a bit at a time, but before I could put it down, over an hour had slipped by and suddenly the back cover was in my hands. I looked up and realized that I wasn't actually on the BC/Alaska coast. Absolutely engaging with nibbles of information just enough to keep the pages turning. Without planning it this way, I read "Wildly Inside" as an appetizer to Susan Conrad's story Inside. Doing it this way helped me pull up pictures in my mind of the places she was describing. The two books compliment each other well, though either could also stand alone. If you love wild places and adventures, and pictures, grab this special treat!


Ginni Callahan, badass paddler, writer, and owner of Sea Kayak Baja Mexico

Pacific Wild book feature!


Available at your local bookstore, direct from the author, or these online sources:

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