Kristi Kucera’s job gets her on the water
written by Lauren Kramer
Kristi Kucera rises at 6:30 a.m. to move kayaks and gear to the launching dock at Bellingham’s Wildcat Cove. The owner of Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures, Kucera, 32, meets her guests for half- and full-day paddles at the cove, leading them on paddling excursions around the Chuckanut sandstone and out toward Chuckanut Island.
“Usually eagles are swooping off the madrone trees and we pass harbor seals dozing on the rocks,” she said. “My favorite is a low-tide paddle, when you can see intertidal life like sea stars, anemones and rock crabs scuttling about.”
Since taking the helm of the company five years ago, Kucera has been humbled and grounded by her time on the ocean. “When you’re out working with Mother Nature, there’s a lot that’s out of your control. The energy and force of the natural environment can change in minutes.”
Guests kayak up to 8 miles on a full-day outing, past palm trunk fossils from the Eocene Era, sights accessible only by boat or kayak. “The geology is amazing, and we sometimes see porpoises, sea lions, minke whales, orcas and lots of migratory bird species,” she said.
“I love seeing my guests’ reactions to experiencing all this for the first time—it makes it feel new to me, too. I get to work with new people from all over the world every day, and they teach me just as much as I teach them.”