Q&A With Bixler McClure of Seward Ocean Excursions
It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Through our new spotlight series, we’re excited to introduce you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.
Our series kicks off this week with Captain Bixler McClure, a fifth-generation Sewardite. With ample experience both on the water and under the water, he and his wife, Captain Krystin McClure started Seward Ocean Excursions to help visitors experience our beautiful region. Their year-round, boat-based adventures are the perfect platform for sightseeing, fishing, SCUBA diving, and custom trips.
We recently sat down with Captain Bixler to learn more about his journey as a small business owner in Seward.
How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?
We have lived in Seward since 2012, and Alaska since 2009. My grandma and mom were born in Seward. I had visited Alaska and Seward extensively all throughout my life, and after sharing the beauty of Alaska (and especially Seward) with my wife Krystin, it was an easy decision to make it our home.
Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.
Winter tours in Resurrection Bay! We love taking people out on the bay in the winter when no one else is out and sharing the beauty, wildlife, and tranquility with our guests. It is amazing to be out on the water with no one else around! We communicate with all of our guests to customize each trip.
Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.
Starting! We bought our boat and set everything up having no idea if the market was saturated, or if it would work out at all.
The starting of the business was a leap of faith. The business “went live” seven days after the birth of our son. That event—and the substantial work and investment to start it—was very questionable at first (especially at the time) but thankfully it all worked out!
What is the best compliment that your business has received?
Many people have said things like, “This is the coolest thing I have ever done.” So many people are still in touch with us even way after their trip.
Tell us about a community member in Seward whom you admire.
My mother, Sue McClure. After growing up in Seward, leaving, and retiring in California, she moved back here to be with family and be part of the community (City Council, choir, Borough Assembly, the list goes on). Many people here know me as “Sue’s son.”
Ed. note: Sue McClure was recently recognized for outstanding community service at the Seward Chamber of Commerce Community Awards.
How do you spend your free time?
Any and all outdoor pursuits. Most of the time, this involves our boat, be it fishing, sightseeing, SCUBA diving, or hanging out. Even in the summer, after running trips for 12 hours straight, we often head back out on the boat on our own to go fishing or diving!
Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?
Anywhere on the ocean! Thumb Cove is one of our favorite places to hang out and explore.
Another favorite is Two Arm Bay in Kenai Fjords National Park. It is so remote and seldom-visited that you feel like you are the only people on the earth.
Feature image: Captain Bixler at the helm of his vessel, Missing Lynx.
For more information about Seward Ocean Excursions, click here or call 907.599.0499.