Meet your Guides
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 was next employed by Norwegian Cruise Line’s Dive In snorkeling program leading passengers on excursions throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Mexico & Bermuda. 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.
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. 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. In their free time they enjoy fishing, camping and hiking Ketchikan’s many trails. In the off season they are always traveling to new locations.
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 fourteen this year!
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.