Sophia Rouches • Owner • Guide (she/her)
Sophia was born and raised in the pacific northwest, where she splits her time between the mountains and the sea. Her early years were spent exploring the nooks and crannies of the Snoqualmie Valley, before moving to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University where she earned a degree in Environmental Education. During these years she spent summers in Oregon as a white water raft guide and her passion for guiding evolved. She spent many years working as an environmental educator, a naturalist, a server, a farmworker and a handful of other odd jobs that allowed her to spend as much time as possible outside. When she found Moondance, she didn’t expect it to grasp a hold on her life in the ways that it did. Blending her passions of kayaking, guiding, marine ecosystems, and education, Moondance quickly became a large part of her life. The other half of her life is found in the mountains where she works as a professional big mountain skier. She’s spends the winter chasing snow, pushing her skiing and building relationships with the brands she represents. When the opportunity came to become the new owner of Moondance, it felt only natural for her to carry the paddle onwards. The mix of her experience as a professional skier and a long time guide allows her to see the value of working with community, managing a widespread of risks, and building memorable experiences outdoors. As owner, she will continue to ensure that Moondance provides meaningful and premier sea kayak experiences in the Bellingham area and San Juan Islands.
Ella Hall • Super Guide (she/her)
Ella grew up in Madison, Wisconsin where she was surrounded by many, many lakes (and cows). She began taking trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with her family as soon as she could walk, which instilled a passion for nature, especially water, in her. Pursuing this passion, Ella began guiding sea kayak trips in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior where she fell even more in love with paddling and all of the beauty that could be witnessed from a kayak. She spent two summers on the Lake before heading West to attend the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she majored in Environmental Studies, minored in Geology, and got a certificate in Arctic Studies. Throughout college, Ella worked at the CU Outdoor Program where she honed her guiding skills, leading rock climbing, backpacking, and backcountry ski trips in the Rocky Mountains. Feeling a little water-deprived in Colorado, she made the move to Bellingham where she is excited to be able to get back in a sea kayak again. Ella is happiest on human-powered adventures, and can be found romping around the PNW on her bike, skis, or kayak!
Laura Jackson • Super Guide (she/her)
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.
Dominique Edgerly • Super Guide (she/her)
Dominique grew up in the urban canyons of New York City and has been seeking out more natural spaces ever since. She’s worked as an educator, guide, and/or instructor of various outdoor activities for over fifteen years, including rafting, horse wrangling, skiing, mountain biking, whitewater canoeing, backpacking, etc. She has lived in almost every region of the country, along with having traveled to almost every continent, and has worked for non-profit environmental advocacy groups and public schools. Her love of sea kayaking began on the rocky shores of the Maine Coast, where she led multi-day trips for teenagers, and she has been so delighted to take that passion to the expansive and wildy biodiverse Salish sea. During the winter you can find her up at the Mt. Baker Ski Area, teaching skiing and snowboarding, and in the summer months she is also a guide for Dig Deep Bike Tours and a coach for Radical Roots MTB. She loves spending as much time outside as possible, and can’t wait to get out and paddle with you!
Kristi Kucera • Previous owner • Guest Guide (she/her)
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 University students, skiing Mt Baker, mountain biking, traveling with her spouse and daughter, frying up a breakfast miracle, spending time with friends and family or paddling some of the worlds most beautiful rivers.
Sharmon Hill • Founder • Super Guide (she/her)
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 in Kristi 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.