Tara (34 yrs.) hails from northern Indiana where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Secondary Education from Goshen College. She is also certified through the Whale Museum as a Salish Sea Marine naturalist. She is an island resident and has led trips for us for six years. Tara brings a strong background in marine mammal research and science education. She exudes a passion and knowledge for killer whales and the local marine ecosystem.
Additionally, Tara has paddled in the Florida Keys, the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and most recently completed an epic, 8-day kayak trip in Baja’s Sea of Cortez with owners Tim and Sally Thomsen. This 100 mile journey from Loreto to La Paz.
Tara is a pleasure to paddle with and all enjoy her wit, sincerity and pleasant demeanor. Besides leading sea kayak adventures in the San Juan Islands,Tara is pursuing a career in physical therapy.
Ben Schreck | Guide/Naturalist
Ben (23 yrs.) is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He is an avid outdoorsman and a natural in any body of water whether a pool, lake, river or ocean. He is a competitive swimmer, lifeguard and instructor and plays a mean piano. Before coming to us, Ben honed his sea kayaking skills in the Great Lakes. The Apostle Islands in Lake Superior are his stomping grounds, as well as the myriad rivers and lakes of Michigan.
Today Ben is at home in San Juan Island waters, where he paddles for fun and vocation. He is an entertaining guide, as he is full of wonderful stories from his many travels and is professional, easy-going and quick to smile.
Will Owen | Guide/Naturalist
Will (27 yrs.) is a Washington native with a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science and marine ecology from Western Washington University. He has completed an internship with NOAA studying and kayaking in estuaries to ascertain the health of those Northwest ecosystems. He is most comfortable in a sea kayak but has recently spent a winter on the ski slopes of Utah, where he was cold a lot.
Will’s sea kayaking skills are at the top of his profession, so be careful, he might “pop a roll” on your kayak tour with us. He is the only person we know who has paddled through Deception Pass’s “Chasm of Doom!”. He has led sea kayaking tours with us for five years.
Will’s easy going nature, patience and warm heart make him a pleasure to paddle with.
Leah Elkins | Guide/Naturalist
Leah (24 yrs.) is a graduate of Colorado Mountain College where she has an associate degree in Outdoor Recreation / Education. It was here that she earned Dean’s List and Phi Theta Kappa Honors. Part of her degree included participating in and then leading eight and five-day sea kayak expeditions in the San Juan Islands. These experiences led her to develop a passion for paddling the Salish Sea and educating her students in all aspects of the San Juan Archipelago’s natural history.
Leah brings knowledge, enthusiasm and delight to all of her kayak trips.
Grisha Krivchenia | Guide/Naturalist
Heath McFadden | Guide/Naturalist
Seamus Tomkins | Guide/Naturalist
Seamus (28 yrs.) is a Washington native with over ten years experience in wilderness guiding. His knowledge of mountains and sea is extensive. Before coming to us, Seamus led whitewater kayaking/hiking tours in central Oregon and backpacking trips in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park and southern Utah. Most recently, he guided day and multi-day sea kayak trips on the California coast at Pt. Reyes.
In 2003-04, Seamus was a volunteer coordinator in Juneau, Alaska for the National Council of Alcohol and Drug Addiction. For eight months in 2007-08, he was a volunteer for Humana People to People working in Zambia and South Africa to bring clean water to and improve school resources in rural villages.
Seamus is an energetic, knowledgeable and entertaining guide, and we are happy to have him on the team.
Selin Nurgun | Guide/Naturalist
Selin (28 yrs.) is a Washington State native who remembers tide pooling and sea kayaking along our coastlines at an early age. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Science and Psychology from Eckerd College and a Masters of Science in Behavior, Education and Communication from the University of Michigan.
Selin has led week-long ecotours in the Dominican Republic and was a lifeguard and camp counselor in upstate New York. Selin has been a competitive swimmer and excelled in that most grueling of aquatic events - the 200 meter butterfly!! She speaks fluent Turkish and has traveled throughout Turkey.
Selin comes to us with a long list of university scholastic awards and a passion for sea kayaking and the outdoors that is contagious (as is her smile)! You will enjoy her wit and extensive knowledge of the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands.
Bobby Neill | Guide/Naturalist
Bobby (21 yrs.) is a student at Texas Christian University where he is pursuing a double major in Geography and Economics. He loves everything outdoors, but has a special passion for being on the water, whether it be paddling Texas class four rivers or the Salish Sea of Washington State. Bobby brings a wealth of knowledge about the islands and their natural history. He loves to expound upon jellyfish, river otters, sea lions, salmon and “everything under the sky.”
Additionally, he can answer any and all questions you may have about the hit TV series “The Office” as he considers himself an expert on the subject. Bobby is outgoing, knowledgeable and energetic and just a hoot to paddle with. He makes all of his trips educational and fun!