Snorkel Alaska Team

Chelsey, Ninschi, David, Fred, Conor & Caroline


Meet Your Guides

Company Founder – Fred Drake

Fred Drake began SCUBA diving on a family trip to Bermuda in 1978.  Two years later he obtained his PADI Open Water Diver Certification from Bermuda legend, Dave McCleod.  Fred grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut and then moved west to attend Humboldt State University in Arcata, California.  There he majored in Recreation Administration and Business while taking PADI Advanced, Rescue and Divemaster classes with H.S.U.’s rigorous SCUBA program.  Humboldt offered Fred all things outdoors like whitewater kayaking, surfing, mountain biking, backpacking and snowboarding.  Shortly after graduating from H.S.U. Fred received his PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor rating and continued to work with the H.S.U. diving program.

Fred learning to SCUBA dive

Fred was next employed by Norwegian Cruise Line’s Dive In snorkeling program leading passengers on snorkeling excursions throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico, Bermuda & Catalina Island.  NCL sent it’s first ship to Alaska in 1994.  It was then that Fred and another PADI Instructor pioneered cruise ship snorkeling in Ketchikan.  After 7 years of living on the high seas Fred finally tired of ship life.  He relocated to Juneau, Alaska where he was the Division Manager of Gray Line of Alaska.  He eventually  moved to Ketchikan and opened Snorkel Alaska in May of 2001.  He was voted Ketchikan’s Tour Guide of the Year in 2001 by our guests from Princess Cruises.  He continues to love all things outdoors and Alaska offers him many world class activities.


Clarissa is originally from the deserts of Phoenix, Arizona. She spent all the time in the water when she could. She left Arizona to pursue Neuroscience and D1 rowing at Bucknell University in central Pennsylvania. Always down for an adventure, she is a certified EMT, Firefighter and also has her Wilderness First Aid certification. She has lead outdoor trips for 3 years with expeditions including backpacking, kayaking, and rock climbing. Passionate about environmental protection, specifically when preserving marine ecosystems, she is excited to go on adventures to share the beauty of marine life with everyone during her first season with Snorkel Alaska.



Kurt is originally from Chicago, Illinois.  A number of years ago he gave up his real job for the life of a PADI SCUBA Instructor.  Since then Kurt has taught diving and led tours in the Caribbean on the islands of Antigua, St. Maarten, Saba, Puerto Rico, U.S. & British Virgin Islands, Turks & Cacois, Costa Rica and most recently in Maui.  He’s also worked on live aboard dive boats and luxury mega yachts.  Kurt joined us in 2006 and was voted Tour Guide of the Season in 2009 by our guests from Princess. Kurt has recently become a Certified Personal Trainer with hopes of opening his own gym soon.  Kurt has over 5000 logged dive and has certified hundreds of students.  He’s coming back for season fifteen this year!


Calen hails from Pennsylvania, where she studied Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh.  She caught the travel bug after studying abroad in Italy in 2010 and has been traveling ever since. After graduating Calen moved to South Korea where she taught English to kindergartners.  That’s where she fell in love with SCUBA diving and earned her PADI Open Water certification.  Next she moved onto cruise ships where she guided a kids snorkel tour in the Bahamas along with countless other interesting experiences while working on some of the largest ships in the world. Calen has traveled to over 50 different countries and has been SCUBA diving all over the world including the Great Barrier Reef, the Philippines, and Cozumel, Mexico.  This will be her first season working in Alaska and she’s really excited for the new adventure!


Alex is joining the Snorkel Alaska team this summer for his first season. He was born and raised in Maui, Hawaii. Alex quickly took to all things Maui and is an accomplished waterman and athlete. He grew up in the water surfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling and free diving. He also participated in many school sports like hockey and football in addition to mountain biking and hiking all over the island. He was certified in SCUBA diving at a young age and recently obtained his PADI Rescue Diver certification. He considers himself outgoing and enjoys meeting new people especially when it comes to water activities. From one island paradise to another we looking forward to working with Alex this summer.



Kyle was born in Florida and has always been obsessed with the ocean and what’s in it. About 5 years ago Kyle all but quit his acting career to become a dive professional. He finally realized that dream some 2 years ago when he became a PADI Divemaster in New Zealand with Dive Tutukaka. Having been initially open water certified off the central coast California Kyle logged almost 100 dives in the Poor Knights Islands off the coast of New Zealand. He’s also spent quite a bit of time diving in the frigid tanks at the New York Aquarium. Kyle is no stranger to chilly water! After having spent the past year performing and teaching at a theatre in Colorado, Kyle is beyond excited to finally return to the ocean once more with Snorkel Alaska. He’s excited to jump in and show our guests all the cool marine life.


Growing up in Sunny San Diego, Nena has always had a love and passion for the ocean. Working over 5 summers in San Diego and Santa Barbara, she has taught surf lessons, stand up paddle board & kayaking. In 2017 she received her PADI open water scuba certification, deepening her understanding of marine life & the ocean. Nena currently works on Catalina Island, teaching kiddos about environmentalism, sustainability, and most importantly, the ocean ecosystems. Her common pastimes include snorkeling, freediving & night snorkeling!  Enraptured by the seasonal lifestyle, this will be Nena’s first summer with Snorkel Alaska.



David is a born and bred local from Ketchikan.  He joined the Snorkel Alaska crew mid season in 2016.  David starting diving about 5 years ago in the commercial sea cucumber dive fishery.  Diving for sea cucumbers is a fairly taxing occupation that involves hand picking of the sea cucumbers.  The season starts October 1st when the weather and seas are often very hazardous.  David obtained his PADI Advanced Diver & Rescue Diver certifications in 2017 from company owner Fred.  He is now a certified PADI Divemaster which he received from Ketchikan’s local dive shop Wind & Water Charters & SCUBA.  David has shown excellent leadership skills and is now assisting Fred with managing the company.


This is our Dock Representative and Fred’s wife Ninschi.  She hails from Bavaria, Germany.  She grew up in the country village of Kemnath, a few hours north of Munich by car.  She moved to Munich where she dabbled in a variety of occupations.  She studied to be a Dietician and worked helping people with eating disorders.  She hosted a number of call in TV gameshows, did some modeling and owned and operated two different businesses.  She is assisting Fred with all aspects of running Snorkel Alaska.  They met in Arizona where Fred’s father lives and Ninschi was visiting her best friend from Munich.

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