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
Grisha (36 yrs.) is a resident of San Juan Island, but don’t let that fool you! He is a renowned concert pianist and composer and has performed in St. Petersburg, Russia and throughout the world. He most recently was a guest performer at Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday celebration in NYC and is the pianist for the Albequrque, NM symphony orchestra.
When not traveling the world, Grisha tends to his commercial raspberry patch on his island farm and leads kayak trips for us. We are lucky to have such a celebrity on board!
Heath McFadden | Guide/Naturalist
Heath (26 yrs.) comes to us from Georgia, but don’t hold that against him! He is a graduate of Georgia College with a Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Education. It was here that he honed his kayak and rock climbing skills and taught classes in Leave No Trace techniques and adventure travel.
Heath spends his winters in Colorado snowboarding and working a mundane desk job. He is always rearing to go sea kayaking each season, when he returns to the fold.
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.
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.
Bobby Neil | Guide/Naturalist
Bobby (21 yrs.) comes to us from Texas Christian University where he is a junior majoring in economics and geography.
He is a college adventure trip manager and has led snowshoeing trips in the Colorado Rockies, kayak expeditions down the San Marcos River in Texas and the Lower Mountain Fork River in Oklahoma and treks up Guadalupe Peak in west Texas.
Bobby describes himself as a “leader of leaders”, and he proves it here in the San Juan Islands guiding our sea kayak adventures with some down-home Texas hospitality.
Robin Lohrey Guide/Naturalist
Robin Lohrey | Guide/Naturalist
Robin (25 yrs.) is a San Juan Island native and attended Spring Street School here. He crewed sailboat charters and sea kayaked throughout the islands before heading east to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA. where he graduated with academic honors.
Robin has recently been traveling in South America and completed a 90 day sailing adventure on a 70 foot sloop in the Pacific, Carribbean and Atlantic Oceans.
Needless to say (but I will say it anyway), Robin has tons of island and ocean-going experience, and he brings that depth of experience and island knowledge to every kayak trip he leads.