Michael Balise

Outdoor Odysseys Guide, Michael

“Our guide, Michael, was low key, had an extremely pleasant nature and put safety first. Although we had kayaked before, it was not over long stretches of open water but Michael was careful to keep everyone together (and he consulted weather reports and tide conditions continually). It can’t be easy to please seven different people but Michael did an excellent job in giving us our alternatives for each day’s activities and then seeing that everyone was happy.”  – Guest on 3 Day Kayak Tour

Michael was born and raised north of Seattle, and mis-spent his youth sailing small boats around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.  Somehow he graduated from the University of Washington by studying glaciers in exotic locales.  As a father he got a (slightly) bigger boat, and raised his children by looking at tide pools and sailing various places between Seattle and Alaska, mostly in a series of gales.  His wife talked Michael into getting a kayak which is better for looking at tide pools, and he has finally learned to avoid bad weather.  For his day job he teaches math and oceanography, and spends his spare time visiting his boys in Seattle where they ignore his advice.  His favorite kayaking moments are kayaking with whales and icebergs in Greenland, and when a young guest in the San Juans spotted a seal lying on the seafloor right under our kayak!  Michael is happily married to Magda who he cheerfully admits is better looking and has a spiffier Eskimo roll.  Michael has worked for Outdoor Odysseys for six years and has lived on San Juan Island for the past 25 years.

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