February 22, 2019

Where in the World are our Staff Members?? Offseason Adventures away from San Juan Island

World Map | www.freestock.ca

It’s this time of year when we start getting reports back from staff in all corners of the world after an offseason of adventuring. For the most part our business is seasonal; giving staff members the opportunity to travel or take other seasonal guiding jobs away from Friday Harbor. As if a life of kayaking, ferry rides, whale watching, and island living isn’t exciting enough, our amazing staff members also have some great travel stories. Here have been some of our favorite places to visit, besides San Juan Island of course, and make sure you ask your guides for more stories when you see them!

Sarah with an orca mural in the Azores
Sarah seems to find orcas wherever she goes, even in the Azores! Frederick Dowell

Sarah | Captain, Lead Naturalist & Vessel Coordinator

“This winter I had the opportunity to visit the Azores, a group of nine islands on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. We hiked all over the volcanic slopes, ate so much cheese, talked to a lot of cows, drank great Portuguese wine, and got to go whale watching! At one point the Azores was a whaling hot spot, now the islands attract tourists from all over the world hoping to catch a glimpse of some of their numerous species of whales. Considered to be one of the best locations in the world to see sperm whales, I just had to visit the Azores after our rare visitor in the Salish Sea last spring!” (See that trip report HERE)

Emily in Patagonia
Emily loves the Patagonian mountains.... and The Little Mermaid Jen Buseman

Emily | Operations & Reservations Manager

“One of my most memorable trips was to southern Patagonia. This was my first time traveling without parents in a foreign country and I felt like (almost) a real adult. I traveled with a fellow coworker, and still longtime friend, from San Juan Island.

I was able to practice my Spanish, eat all the empanadas, take siestas, and hike some of the most beautiful places I have ever been. 10/10 would recommend.”

Ryder on a bike
Ryder loves bike packing! Pick his brain about some of his adventures the next time you see him

Ryder | Assistant Program Manager

“Riding bikes with friends in beautiful places is one of the best ways to experience the world. While in motion your senses are heightened and you became intricately more aware to what is happening around you. The bike brings one into contact with people, food and cultures that have to be experienced in the moment because there is nowhere else to be.”

Erick on Lady Washington
Erick loves old-timey sailing history. Make sure he sings you a sea shanty next time you see him. Chief Mate Kelly Greenwood

Erick | Captain & Naturalist

“I spent this fall sailing south along the west coast aboard Lady Washington, Washington’s official tallship. I organized their onboard educational programs. This winter I did a mid-Atlantic Ridge tour traveling from Iceland to Barcelona to the Azores.”

Nordic Skiing in Methow Valley
Jacob loves Nordic skiing and the ancient Scandinavian art of hygge Jacob Wagner

Jacob | Programs Director

“The Methow Valley (Met-how) is home to the most groomed Nordic ski trails in the United States! It is a great getaway with limitless trails, tons of sunshine, and lots of snow. It is the perfect place to rent a cabin and spend quality time with friends.”

Captain Gabe on a boat in Maui
Captain Gabe splits his time between the San Juan Islands in the summer and Maui in the winter! Gabriel Wilson

Gabe | Captain

I love Maui. I love whales. I even love work. But love work more up there.


Betty in New Zealand!
Betty has been hiking non-stop while working in New Zealand Betty Ness

Betty | Cafe & San Juan Outfitters Logistics and Reservations

"The Routeburn Track is one of the Great Walks of New Zealand. It’s 33k (20ish miles) through and worth every step. You can do it in a day or over a couple days. The scenery is varied and if you’re fit, it’s quite easy. You encounter waterfalls over bare rock, beech forests that are dripping with moss, golden fields of grasses with crystal clear streams leading to more waterfalls or beautiful blue lakes. This track was like a fairytale come true. The distance for a day hike challenged me physically, but everything about it was rewarding. Easily one of my favorite for hikes I’ve done."

Hannah inside the glacier
Hannah guiding on Fox Glacier Hannah Samlowski

Hannah | Expeditions Guide

"Fox Glacier on the west coast of New Zealand has been where I have been living and working for the last six months. It’s is an amazing area. Fox glacier is the third biggest glacier in New Zealand and also one of the only places in the world in which a glacier flows down into a temperate rainforest! It is an absolutely beautiful place to live and the community that is here is also amazing!"

We can't wait to catch up with our amazing staff in person when they return home for the summer! This is just a sampling of some of the amazing places our staff members have been. 

We love to meet fellow travel enthusists, make sure to ask your guides about their favorite outdoor experiences!