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After nearly a decade of guiding big-group, no experience necessary trips in the Loreto area (which is mostly about cooking), Ginni decided it was worth the risk to offer something different, and started SKBM.
Through the years of guiding in Baja, Ginni has taken great interest in learning about desert plants, marine biology, geology, and the night sky. She thoroughly enjoys sharing these with people.
Ginni also founded the Columbia River Kayaking cooperative in Washington, tends Slow Boat Farm in the summer, and organized the annual Lower Columbia Kayak Roundup for 5 years. She has traveled to Florida, Maine, Georgia, Chicago, Baltimore, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Michigan, Tasmania, Sydney (Australia), Melbourne, Chile, New Zealand, Wales, and Port Townsend to coach. She is certified by the BCU as a 5* Sea Leader, a Level 4 Sea Coach, and a Coach Tutor, and by the ACA as Level 5 Coastal Instructor.
Remote paddling destinations without bears, bugs, or ice intrigue her. She went solo in 2009 to Santa Catalina, the most remote island in the Loreto National Marine park, renowned for its endemic rattleless rattlesnakes, of which she saw none.
In 2012-2013 she sailed across the South Pacific with her now-husband Henrick, in a 36′ steel monohull called Misty. They had kayaks on board, of course.
Ginni built two wooden boats, Pygmy Boats’ Arctic Tern and Arctic Tern 14. She has been featured in the original “This is the Sea” video and in several magazine articles. She writes regularly for Ocean Paddler Magazine, and makes occasional entires in a personal blog called kayaktravel. She is also a breast cancer survivor who wants to give hope to others undergoing that journey.
Ivette studied marine geology in university, with a thesis on marine sediments, what they reveal about cycles of storm and calm and how that relates to the animal life. She has worked with Fernando Arcas doing research in the National Marine Park of Loreto.
Ivette puts on a kids’ summer kayak camp, organizes geology field trips with universities, and runs geology trips for anyone interested. In 2011 she organized the first long distance swimming competition in Loreto. For several years she has served as the Administrator of the Union of Hoteleros, a group of small hotels and outfitters in Loreto committed to responsible tourism. In 2014 she worked as Director of Tourism for the Municipality of Loreto, traveling throughout the country to promote sustainable, eco-friendly tourism. She is certified as a guide by the Federal Tourist Board known as SECTUR, and received high quality of service certifications through the program known as Moderniza. As if that were not enough, Ivette is also a spectacular chef.
Marcos lives in the middle of the Baja California Peninsula and splits his time between fishing on the Pacific side and guiding out of Loreto. A strong paddler and seasoned leader, he led kayak trips in the Loreto area for 16 years before joining our team. Marcos holds his BCU 4-star Sea Leader certification. Friendly, mellow, funny, and resourceful, he has a love for the sea and its creatures. A deep knowledge of how to coax food from the sea and a myriad of ways to make it taste delicious are among the many talents he brings to the Sea Kayak Baja Mexico team.
Marcos is a keen observer and is usually the first to spot whales and changes in the weather. His sharp eye and joy in helping people also make him an effective and much-appreciated coach.
Ramon grew up beside the San Isidro lagoon in the Sierra la Giganta mountains inland from Loreto. He interned with Sea Kayak Baja Mexico in 2011 while in university, and has become invaluable to us as a man who can do it all: lead trips, fix kayaks, staff the store, drive shuttles, and charm just about anyone. He has his BCU 4-star Sea Leader award, and works with Ivette in the summer to run kids’ kayak programs. Ramon has an impish sense of humor and a contagious giggle, and a calm way of noticing everything.
Ramon is developing cultural tours to his hometown, highlighting the rustic way of life. Tortillas are handmade, sugar is boiled from canes and poured into molds that resemble the iconic El Pilon mountain that overlooks the lagoon. Ramon is certified as a guide by the Federal Tourist Board known as SECTUR.
Edgar loves the sea. In addition to guiding kayak trips, Edgar works as a PADI Scuba instructor and Divemaster on live-aboard yachts in prime dive locations around Baja. He’s an enthusiastic Greenland roller, and has paddled almost the entire length of the Gulf of California. Edgar likes to put food on the camp table by free-diving with his Hawaiian sling, and is remarkably adept at it. He has a gentle way about him, and a delightfully silly sense of humor. Edgar’s long-term dream is to run a kayaking and scuba school in Baja. He earned his BCU 4-star sea leader award in 2016, after several years of guiding experience.
Yuri joins Sea Kayak Baja Mexico from a widely-traveled background with NOLS. From New Zealand to Alaska, and of course Mexico, Yuri has led and taught paddlers of various ages. Her well-grounded and calm demeanor gives way to a powerful, fun-loving side. She may offer to share her morning Greet the Day meditation in the calm of morning, and later you may find her upside down doing handstands on the beach!
Healing through yoga is what Daniel is well known for. He has a passion for helping people. Daniel is primarily a yoga instructor who is helping out on kayak trips when we need another hand. He is ready with a smile, or a hand with whatever you need.
Enthusiastic, energetic, creative, and fun, Maria is a genuine Baja gal! She grew up on the shores of San Ignacio Lagoon in central Baja, home of the famous friendly gray whales, and has been sharing her love of the outdoors with people ever since. She has paddled most of the length of the Gulf of California. In the summer, Maria works as a scuba dive-master.
Isabel has a heart of gold and a buoyant spirit that lifts us all up as she cleans the gear we keep bringing back dirty from the field. “Mas regalos!” (more gifts!) she declares with true joy as we pile the bins at the washing station. If anyone needs to know where to find something or get something done in Loreto, Isabel is your go-to woman. She and her daughters are learning English, while some of us are improving our Spanish. The Sea Kayak Baja Mexico house is often full of laughter as we’re sharing an entertaining phrase of the day. Isabel, we love you and don’t know what we’d do without you!
Thanks to Itzel, you have permits to paddle in the National Marine Park. Thanks to Itzel, you can have hotel reservations made for you. Thanks to Itzel, our financial records are in order, and our office keeps running. If you meet her in person, count yourself lucky. If not, know she’s keeping it all flowing so you have the peace and confidence to completely relish your time in Mexico. Thank you Itzel!
Carlos is just joining us for the 2017-8 season. He is a terrific man to have around. He fixes the plumbing, drives the shuttles, sweeps the floor, repairs the kayaks, builds whatever we need, helps his wife Isabel wash the gear, and he does it all with a smile. Welcome to the team, Carlos!
Julia Wentzel is the face behind those upbeat emails that are so full of valuable information. She runs our demanding rental program with good cheer and quick, creative solutions. Calling on a background of many years campcooking for clients, she founded “Feasts of Strength”, a Chilean company that provides healthy and nutritious meals that are lightweight and cook quickly in backcountry conditions. Tap into her expertise when you book a “Provisioned” rental.
Conrad loves to surf. With his unassuming ways, he’s a quiet pillar of strength who we rely on to organize our rental equipment, take out day trips, and repair anything to a high degree of perfection. And to entertain and inspire us in the waves.
Susana makes our work on the water possible with her essential office support. From email answers to organizing the extensive logistics, she is on the ball! Because SKBM handles more custom trips than most companies, Susana’s job involves a high level of creativity and organization. Thank you Susana!
John has paddled extensively in western North America, on rivers and on the sea. He thought he was retired from work (cabinet making) until his wife Susana’s work brought them to Baja, and now he’s enthusiastically keeping our maintenance and repair work rolling along. He might be a little overqualified with his background as an aircraft mechanic, but boy do those kayaks fly when he’s done!
When Sea Kayak Baja Mexico grew to need a second guide, Santiago was the first one Ginni hired. Santiago was the first Mexican to achieve the BCU 5-star Sea Leader award. He can juggle while standing in a kayak. His sense of humor complements his many talents and makes him an internationally popular guide and coach. Santiago has moved to Canada, married, and had a son. He founded and runs Kayak Latins du Nord with his French-Canadian wife Patricia. They offer multi-lingual trips in the whale-rich Saguenay Fjord, and the Mingan Archipelago. Through his company, Santiago occasionally brings groups from Canada to join us in Mexico, bringing it back full circle.
Andrew is a respected and passionate naturalist, musician, farmer, and kayak guide. He has guided kayak trips in western Washington state since 1998, originally for Skamokawa Center, and later with the Columbia River Kayaking cooperative, of which he is a co-owner.
Andrew brings a depth of knowledge of birds and other creatures. A spotting scope and a travel guitar are always in his luggage when he comes to Baja. He holds a Masters degree in Environmental Education, and has been instrumental in our Natural History of Baja trips since 2015. Vocal, too.