Sharmon, founder of Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures, discovered the enchantment of sea kayaking in the early 1980’s. Learning by “the seat of her pants” she crafted her skills then in 1992 began guiding for the Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Outdoor program. Her calm and welcoming leadership style was warmly received by the community so after a full season leading trips for the outdoor program, she had the confidence to launch her own company. In the summer of 1993, Moondance was fully underway. Sharmon’s passion for the marine environment was contagious and for the next 20 years she shared her navigational expertise, extensive knowledge of natural history and native lore over thousands of miles of coastline exploration. She never tired of repeatedly paddling the same shoreline as the dance of the tides with the moon presented an ever changing environment of adventure, wonder and new surprises from whelks to whales. The company continued to grow as she successfully led trips in the San Juan Island’s of Washington, Barkley and Clayoqout Sounds of British Columbia, and the Sea of Cortes in Baja, Mexico. She recently found a kindred water spirit inKristi Kucera and is thrilled to “pass the paddle” to her. Looking forward to paddling with familiar faces as well as newcomers she will continue guiding for Kristi whenever the opportunity presents itself offering her experience and abilities that have made Moondance one of the premier kayak companies in the Pacific Northwest.
Kristi was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah where she spent her childhood playing in the Wasatch Mountains. When she was younger she had the opportunity to spend summers in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, where her love of the Pacific Northwest began. In 2009 she received a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation and Tourism with an emphasis on Adventure and Outdoor Programming and Environmental Education. Kristi spent 3 months in Baja, Mexico with National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) which included a month long sea kayaking expedition in the Sea of Cortez. Besides Baja, has spent time in over 30 foreign countries and loves a good adventure! She has served as an AmeriCorps member, worked as a naturalist, a ski instructor, bike/ski/snowboard mechanic, snow-cone specialist, sailing + kayak instructor and spent her fair share of time working in the big world of outdoor retail. Kristi has taught and guided sea kayaking to people 4 years old and up to 80 and loves working with people of different backgrounds and experiences. Kristi now serves as an executive board member for Recreation Northwest, a local Bellingham non-profit and is a member of the American Outdoors Association. When Kristi is not in her “Moondance” kayak or behind the desk booking tours, you can find her teaching sea kayaking to Western Washington students, skiing Mt Baker, mountain biking with her spouse and pups, frying up a breakfast miracle, spending time with friends and family or paddling some of the worlds most beautiful rivers.
Laura grew up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where she spent much of her childhood romping through the hardwood forests, scrambling up mountains and exploring the local rivers and lakes in kayak or canoe. In 2014, Laura obtained her B.S. in Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont, where she quickly found her niche in outdoor education. She spent weekends leading camping overnights and whitewater kayak trips and summers backpacking with groups of incoming freshman as an orientation leader. Laura’s affinity for adventure and desire to share the outdoor experience with others soon led her beyond the borders of New England. She worked as a climbing counselor in the High Sierras of California, spent a month teaching permaculture and farm-based education in Ecuador, taught adaptive skiing in Montana and continues to lead seasonal backpacking trips in Washington and New Mexico. Since moving to Bellingham in 2015, Laura has worked as a sailing & paddling instructor for the Community Boating Center and as a three-year mentor/program coordinator for Wild Whatcom. She’s thrilled to be kicking off her second guiding season with Moondance this spring! When not on the water, Laura can be found cooking dinners with friends, chasing butterflies for citizen science and mountain biking in as many new places as possible throughout the PNW.
Donal O’Leary is a paddler, climber, Emergency Medical Technician, amateur chef, pro-bono bike mechanic, Teaching Assistant, and M.S. Geography student at WWU. After 6 years of building trails and coordinating volunteers in Saguaro, Yosemite, and Rocky Mountain National Parks, Donal completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Watershed Science and GIS at Colorado State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. His love for these waters dates back to his first memory ever: sitting on his dad’s shoulders watching Orca breach off of San Juan Island. When he isn’t gone boatin’ he might be riding his bicycle through another country (9 so far), learning a new language (Portugese /php), or explaining to his dog-nieces why they can’t have any tortilla chips.