Our Staff

Greg Whittaker

Greg began guiding sea kayak tours in ’99 in the San Juan Islands with Sea Quest Expeditions and Zoetic Research, while spending the winters up in the mountains. Greg has sat as the tourism representative for the Washington State Oil Spill Advisory Council and was involved in the Citizens Advisory Committee for the City of Seattle’s Shoreline Master Program Update.
Most recently, Greg began a new outdoor store in West Seattle, Mountain to Sound Outfitters.  Providing top notch gear and advice for people is a passion that continues as he develops additional sustainable tourism opportunities.
Greg also operates the Seattle Ski Shuttle.  Fewer cars…more fun is our motto! Join us in the winter for some NW Pow!

Kara Whittaker

Kara has also been sea kayaking since 1999 and is the first to point out any bird sightings on the water (she earned her PhD in urban bird ecology)! She is the Staff Scientist and Policy Analyst at the Washington Forest Law Center and volunteers to help monitor and promote the conservation of local Purple Martin populations.
Kara is also a part of the Alki Wildlife Habitat Project and has recently completed a native garden on the shores by the kayak shop.  Check it out when you are visiting!

Adam “Sandy” Price

A transplant to the great Northwest, Adam hails from Pennsylvania.  He graduated from Penn State University in 2005 with a BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management.  He has spent time at Crystal Mountain as a snowshoe tour guide.  He now spends his days selling at Mountain to Sound Outfitters, running the rental shack, giving demos of our newest kayaks, and paddling tours on the sound.  When Adam isn’t on the water or holding down the kayak shack, you can find him rehearsing/performing with his band, Bits of Knowledge.

 

Freddy Carley

Freddy is a Seattle local who has been kayaking for 10 years in various parts of Alaska, Baja, and the Pacific Northwest. In the spring of 2010 he embarked on a 400+ mile paddle in Alaska’s Inside Passage. Freddy also recently graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Creative Expression in Ecological Education, and hopes to continue working and playing with students of all ages. This is Freddy’s sixth year guiding with Alki Kayak Tours.

 

 Greg “Kona” Haapla

Some of my first aquatic memories are of my Father and I swimming in Echo Lake I would ride on his back holding onto his shoulders and we would dive underwater together. When I was running out of air I was instructed to tap on his back and we would ascend. It was a lot of fun. That is where I learned to swim. Since that time I have always lived on or near the water. And I am constantly on it or in it. We moved to Lake Sammamish when I was 8 and I soon learned how to water-ski and snorkel. Later in life I moved to Kona, Hawaii where I enjoyed body surfing and snorkeling. I’ve had some interesting experiences night diving for lobster on the Kona coast. When I returned to the mainland I moved to Alki beach and enhanced my scuba diving certification to Rescue diver then Dive master. I love it here in West Seattle. I am an avid diver, snorkeler, windsurfer and kayaker. Alki beach pretty much has it all. This is my second year of kayaking with Alki Kayak Tours. They are a wonderful group of people who are very safety conscience and professional.

Mark Baron

Mark was born in Denver, CO but has lived in many places but home including Amundsen-Scott Station and South Pole Antarctica. Currently he lives in West Seattle with his wife, children and dogs.

When he’s not at his real job, Mark is the Sr. Instructor for AKT.  He is a Level 4 (out of 5) Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor and White Water Instructor.  What does that mean?  If you want to learn how to kayak, he’s your guy.  With any luck, next year he is planning on pursue a L5 OWCK or Instructor Trainer cert.

Mark grew up with what he described as an “indoor” family.  As a child he went to a summer camp that had a decent outdoor program and was exposed to rock climbing and was hooked.  In middle school he was exposed to backpacking in the Canyon Lands and the hook was set.  Prior to kayaking he was a pretty serious climber who had a penchant for pain and suffering and got into climbing Big Walls, which are rocks such as El Capitan, Half Dome, Longs Peak, etc.  Rocks and cliffs that require days to limb, frequently spending nights hanging from the wall. The hook was so deep, in fact, that he dropped out of college (after spending his freshman year climbing rather than in class) and was a climbing bum from 1992 until 2000.  This took Mark across the country with various jobs providing money; everything from being a sawyer, deep sea diver in the Gulf of Mexico (which he wasn’t a fan of, not much climbing) and finally, an electrician.  That took him other places in the world, including Antarctica, where he occasionally still receives requests for his stellar electrical knowledge and skills.

Mark has many leisure activities including kayaking, napping, and if he is lucky enough, occasionally spending time with his teenage daughters.

His favorite season is definitely not the grey time. He love snow, the deep bone cracking cold and brilliant sun or aurora riddled Antarctic, hot summers in the canyon lands, but Mark hates the grey rainy times…He is obviously living in the wrong state. By the time April rolls around he is alternately suicidal/homicidal. As for a guilty pleasure, he would have to kill us if we knew.

 

Jonathan Streeter AKA: Streeter

John was born in Spokane, Washington, but calls West Seattle home for now. He is a SUP instructor, SUP guide, and a Kayak guide for Alki Kayak Tours.  John grew up in the outdoors and has it in his blood. His dad facilitated the love for nature by exposing him to the outdoors. He spends most of his free time kayaking around the PNW waters, but his season is winter, making his favorite outdoor activity skiing.

 

Sam Kennard

 Sam was born on 37th Ave SW in West Seattle, and have lived there his whole life (19 years). His house is a whopping 7 blocks away from Alki Kayak Tours. Seattle is the front runner for future living  but we’ll see how so-cal treats him this coming fall. This is his second year at AKT after getting drafted as a young blood (youngest in fact) last year at age 18. Sam shoveled boats and sup’s all through last summer until after assisting  Mr. Scott Matthews for a while, he decided Sam was ready to take on the real deal (a tour). Since then he has been part time tour guide, part time Shack worker, and full time fun enthusiast. Living so close to AKT, he found the job by walking right past the shop!

Being outdoors has always been a big party of  his  life; Sam was a staff leader at his high school’s outdoor education program called POST, and  started and led a few trips for underclassmen to become exposed to the outdoors, through means of hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and camping. He loves the smell of a fresh pine forest, the saltwater spray, and a hearty bowl of camp stove tap ramen.

Sam spends a lot of his leisure time hanging out with friends at the beach on a summers day, although he admits that he prefers a lake shore over a sea shore for swimming purposes, which happens to be his favorite outdoor activity. Seeing as he loves to swim and kayak, summer is his favorite season out of all four. A fun fact about Sam is that he loves ketchup on vanilla ice cream, meaning he never has to share with his friends! Weird, we know.

Elyse Rylader

Elyse was born in Madison, WI and will always be home for her, but currently calls Seattle home. She works as an ACA sea kayaking instructor and guide for Alki Kayak Tours. Elyse heard about AKT and M2S by googling kayking. Luckily for her, she had a family who was very into the outdoors. She took her first canoe trip at 4 weeks old and has spent a large part of her life outside ever since! The outdoors are also her favorite leisure activity, however, she does enjoy really, really bad TV on certain occasions. While there are many outdoors activities, her top two favorites are paddling and snowboarding.