Guides in the Limelight

We’ve always thought we had some pretty stellar sea kayaking guides here at Outdoor Odysseys. Whether they’re teaching guests how to paddle, modeling spray skirts, spouting knowledge about bull kelp and gooseneck barnacles, or whipping up another Dutch oven masterpiece, it often seems there’s almost nothing they can’t do.

These past couple of weeks were proof of that.

Award-winning photograph of kayakers and eelgrass, taken by OO guide West Howland

One of our newest guides, Scott Leighton, drove down to Portland, Oregon last Saturday to audition for this season’s American Idol. He and another OO guide left for Portland early Friday morning (following Scott’s karaoke debut on Thursday Night at the Rumor Mill!) and attended the Idol tryouts the following day. Although he did not get to move onto the next stage of the show, Scott did get the chance to perform in front of the judges—he sang Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ in Love”—and found the whole thing to be a pretty incredible experience.

Well, Hollywood, your loss. We get to hear Scott sing all the time—as do many of his guests. Come on one of our San Juan Island sea-kayaking tours, and you might be able to convince him to put on a live performance for you! (From what I hear, it’s not all that hard to do…)

In other news, West Howland, a second-year guide with Outdoor Odysseys and an excellent photographer, also received some exciting news this week! One of his photographs, taken off the coast of San Juan Island, placed second in a photo contest put on by FRIENDS of the San Juans, an organization dedicated to protecting the natural environment of the San Juan Islands. West’s photograph will appear in an upcoming FRIENDS newsletter, and West himself will receive a nifty orange hat or apron for his hard work.

As for the rest of us…Well, you just never know! Come join us for a kayak tour and see what other kinds of tricks we can pull out of our hats (or visors, as the case may be—some of us prefer visors).