About Crystal Seas and the Crystal Seas Team
Crystal Seas Kayaking got its start in 1994. Founded by Johannes Krieger, the company provided single day kayak excursions in the San Juan Islands. Not long after, we expanded our program to include multi-day camp-to-camp and inn-to-inn sea kayaking tours.
The 2000s brought new opportunity. With growth in mind, we created TerraTrek Bicycle and Multi-Sport Vacations, our premium bicycle tour branch. The parent company later purchased, San Juan Excursions, offering whale watch and wildlife cruises. The company also expanded to offer tours in Bar Harbor Maine, the Florida Keys, Florida’s Everglades, and Costa Rica. After 11 years exploring in these locations, we brought the focus back home.
Today, Crystal Seas operates solely in the San Juan Islands. Our tours include sea kayaking, bicycling, and blended tours that combine biking, kayaking, hiking, and whale watching cruises.
Since the early days, Crystal Seas overarching goal has been to deliver an unforgettable San Juan Islands experience with best of the best treatment. The heartbeat of the Crystal Seas experience is our guides and staff. Each guide is selected for their leadership skills, integrity, sport and environmental knowledge, and enthusiasm. We all work hard, play hard, and are dedicated to making every guests’ experience top notch. Our team is one of the most experienced in the kayaking industry and we continuously educate and challenge ourselves to higher levels.
Whether the adventure is in the water or on land, we always keep your experience in mind. From the quality of food we prepare, to accommodations and gear, to the people we bring aboard as guides, we aim to exceed your expectations.
Crystal Seas also believes in giving back to our community. As much as we possibly can, we buy local products and produce, and hiring our team from the islands. The company also donates to a variety of programs and individuals on the islands that focus on education, health, environment health, and animal rescue.
Meet Our Guides
(started in 2019) - Andrew was born and raised on a small island in Southeast Alaska. During his time in Alaska he spent most of his life on the water and coastal mountain range. After he graduated high school, he became a sea kayak guide in Alaska. Eventually, he headed to New Zealand to travel and be a kayak guide down under! These days, Andy spends his time traveling around the world during the off season to places like Germany, New Zealand, Mexico, and Austria. He loves to answer all your questions about wilderness in the Pacific Northwest and kayaking.
(Started in 2002) - Office manager- Angie runs our T-Shirt Shop and office in downtown Friday Harbor. She grew up in the San Juan Islands and loves living here because of all the wildlife she gets to see just on a simple drive to town! She loves to explore the world and has been to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central America, Germany and Thailand. She'll help you choose which tour is best for you through e-mail and phone calls and give you advice about where to dine and stay. She has been sea kayaking San Juan Islands west side since 1992 and is happy to help you plan a trip for your family.
(Started in 2018) - Field Director/Guide - Annie was born and raised in the mountains of upstate New York. When she was younger she loved whales and knew she wanted to work and live around them. Getting people outside and experiencing nature has always been important to her. In addition to guiding she also does behind the scenes work supporting guides and maintaining gear. You can find Annie sending tours off on their adventures, resupplying on a beach or welcoming them home.
(Started in 2021) Austin started his outdoor background in Scouting. He has always loved guiding people in the outdoors, in a variety of sports. Austin has been a Washington local his whole life. In the off season you can find him riding his mountain bike almost every night after work, rain or shine. He has always been a bit of a nerd about gear. He has always enjoyed putting his kayak on top of his car to go paddle anywhere in the Puget Sound.
Brooke grew up spending her time on the lakes, rivers, and forests of Michigan. She graduated from Central Michigan University in 2015 with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Science all while spending almost every weekend biking, rock climbing, skiing or ice climbing. She spent her summers working at camps teaching youth how to kayak, canoe, sail, and paddle board. After graduating, she spent a year in Colorado working with youth and their families in the outdoors, inspiring environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. She then took that mentality to Duluth, Minnesota where Lake Superior and the St. Louis river provided a perfect playground to kayak and whitewater raft. Since moving to Washington, she has fallen for the Salish Sea and the wildlife that call it their home.
(Started in 2006) - Owner/Operations Manager - Carrie is the behind the scenes person who makes sure everything is running perfectly while you are on your trip. She is in charge of making sure our gear is in top working condition and that your guides have the support they need. You may eat some of her famous homemade pesto during a picnic lunch. Carrie grew up boating on the lakes, rivers and coastlines of Maine. She became a registered Maine Sea Kayaking Guide in 2004 and has since spent her time exploring coastal regions around the world. She has been sea kayaking in New Zealand, Australia, Bermuda, Costa Rica and guided tours in Mid-Coast Maine, North Carolina, the Florida Everglades and now the San Juan Islands. Carrie is also an avid biker and has been on 2 different month long road bike trips. In 2018, Carrie became a certified bike mechanic after completing a training course with United Bicycle Institute. She is a recreation and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys sharing her love for outdoor recreation with her guests on Crystal Seas and TerraTrek Tours. Carrie, her husband Isaac, and their 2 darling daughters call the San Juan Islands home.
(Started in 2015) – Casey always has a blast on outdoor trips. Born and raised on San Juan Island, he has a natural interest in the amazing wildlife and outdoor potential of the area. After receiving his degree in Outdoor Recreating and Leadership from Colorado Mountain College, Casey has tried to spend as much time as possible in the outdoors. Skiing in Alaska, rock climbing in deserts of the Southwest, and kayaking in the San Juan’s are some of Casey’s favorites and locations.
(Started in 2019) Gunnar is a seventh-generation islander; born and raised on San Juan Island. He later moved to Orcas Island and graduated high school there. Gunnar has a love for the many beautiful hidden spots on the island, as well as an adoration for the marine wildlife found here. You can find Gunnar sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking, biking, one wheeling, snowboarding, or just sitting at the beach enjoying life. Gunnar is currently attending Portland State University, as well as working at a yacht tender dealership in the off-season. As a guide, Gunnar likes to get to know his guests on a personal level, which is his favorite part of the job.
(Started in 1994) - Founder/Owner - His first time to kayak in orca waters was when he was five years old with his father along the shores of San Juan Island. He began guiding tours at the young age of nineteen. What started as a summer job, turned into a lifetime career. Today you will find Johannes planning tours for our guests or guiding a trip along the west-side of San Juan Island. You will always sense his commitment to providing our guests with the highest quality kayak and bicycling tours imaginable. Mail keeps pouring into the office addressed to Johannes, reminding us of how ‘top rate’ Crystal Seas has become. Johannes is on the San Juan Island Parks Commission, the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee and with the San Juan Island Kayak Association.
(Started in 2018) - Mariah spent her youth hiking, biking, skiing, fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, and exploring the wilderness of Colorado. Growing up on a farm near Grand Junction fostered her love of animals and the outdoors, but she was frustratingly out of reach of her true passion; the ocean. In 2015, she moved to Bellingham, WA and began her Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at Western Washington University. Mariah quickly fell in love with the Pacific Northwest, and excitedly used her college resources to study the life of the Salish Sea from seagrass to seals. She received her Marine Naturalist training at Friday Harbor's Whale Museum in the spring of 2018, immediately prior to spending her first summer as a kayak guide with Crystal Seas. A whale fanatic, Mariah can't wait to introduce you to the names and stories of the local Orcas, as well as all of the flora and fauna that make the Salish Sea so special.
(Started 2021) Tim grew up in Virginia and grew up backpacking around Shenandoah with his family. He earned a degree in Conservation Biology from SUNY ESF in upstate New York. While studying there, he was able to spend his summers at Nanjing Forestry University in Jiangsu, China, describing new species of frog and doing venomous snake research. He loves thermaling in his paraglider, freezing on the side of a mountain, or chasing cobras around a jungle. Tim's fun personality shines on his 2-6 day kayak camping tours.
(started in 1998) - Tim just loves to mess around in boats. He is not only a sea kayaker, he is also a canoeist, a sailor, and an oars man. Tim has kayaked in 18 states including Hawaii and Alaska, 6 Mexican states, and 3 Canadian provinces. During the summer evenings you can find Tim kayaking San Juan's west side or river kayaking on the mainland. In the winter you can catch him surf kayaking in Sayulita Mexico and working on photography projects or skiing with his brother. Tim would love to spend some time on the water with you. As Tim always says, "See you on the water".