About Us

Our Story


At Alki Kayak Tours, we are committed to the conservation and preservation of Puget Sound as a working marine ecosystem that supports the industries of Seattle as well as the spawning salmon headed up the Duwamish River. Our guides provide an additional set of eyes on the Sound looking over its well-being for preventable ecological harm. We utilize the best management practices and focus on leaving the smallest possible ecological footprint when operating tours.

Our tours are a forum where the Puget Sound community and tourists alike can discuss and learn about the history and ecosystems of the Sound. Our guides offer meaningful commentary with the goal of having every paddler leave with a greater understanding and appreciation of this unique corner of the world.

Meet Our Staff


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GREG WHITTAKER

Greg began guiding sea kayak tours in ’99 in the San Juan Islands with Sea Quest Expeditions and Zoetic Research, while spending the winters up in the mountains. Greg has sat as the tourism representative for the Washington State Oil Spill Advisory Council and was involved in the Citizens Advisory Committee for the City of Seattle’s Shoreline Master Program.

Greg also began an outdoor store in West Seattle, Mountain to Sound Outfitters.  Providing top notch gear and advice for people is a passion that continues as he develops additional sustainable tourism opportunities.

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KARA WHITTAKER

Kara has also been sea kayaking since 1999 and is the first to point out any bird sightings on the water (she earned her PhD in urban bird ecology)! She is the Staff Scientist and Policy Analyst at the Washington Forest Law Center and volunteers to help monitor and promote the conservation of local Purple Martin populations.

Kara is also a part of the Alki Wildlife Habitat Project and has recently completed a native garden on the shores by the kayak shop.  Check it out when you are visiting!

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AMANDA LEE

Amanda lee was born in Honolulu, HI spending her youth in and on the water sailing, surfing, kayaking, and much more.  Amanda has managed Alki Kayak Tours for the past 5 seasons, within that time she has become a Level 3 ACA Instructor for Kayak and SUP, an American Red Cross Instructor and a SUP Ambassador for Pau Hauna Paddle Boards.  She enjoys multi day trips and long distance paddle boarding.  When not on the water she is spending time with her dog Rufio camping and adventuring.

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CHRISTINA JONES

Born and raised in Texas, Christina has always been a “water bug” and plays multiple water sports including water skiing, swimming, diving, underwater hockey, and kayak polo. She was on the Underwater Hockey Women’s Elite Team USA representing the USA at the World Championships in South Africa in 2016! After moving to Seattle in 2012, she has become an avid sea kayaker and is an ACA Level 3 Instructor and BCU 3 Star Paddler. When not on the water, you can find Christina at the bottom of a pool, on the top of a mountain, or buried in a book in a local park. Christina is the new acting guide manager at Alki Kayak Tours and enjoys kayak camping trips. Come join her on the Blake Island Overnight Tours or one of her kayak classes!

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BETSY KELSO

Betsy was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia. She grew up sailing, canoeing and kayaking in the Pocono Mountains and on Long Beach Island, NJ. She has always been drawn to water, especially the ocean and spent every possible moment of her youth swimming and surfing in the Atlantic. Her lifelong passion for marine ecology led her to Northern California where she earned a masters’ degree which focused on the fasting physiology of the northern elephant seal. Bets recently moved back to the PNW from Colorado where she was teaching biology at Metro State University of Denver and conducting wetland education and research in Breckenridge. She enjoys sharing her excitement for the natural world with others and looks forward to a continued career focused on marine ecology research and education in the Puget Sound. In her free time Bets loves hiking, kayaking and standup paddle boarding with her standard poodle, Otter. This is her first season guiding with Alki Kayak and she is delighted to be part of a knowledgeable and fabulous team of hard-working individuals!

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ANNE MCCULLOUGH

Anne McCullough is a community organizer, urban planner and spirited explorer of urban and natural environments. Anne recently moved to Seattle from St. Louis, MO., for a position as the Executive Director of the First Hill Improvement Association. Working in Community Development, Anne’s passion lies in facilitating creative strategies that incite community empowerment, activate public space and address social issues. In St. Louis, Anne was a steward of the Mississippi River, guiding canoe expeditions in the muddy waters of the Mississippi. She looks forward to exploring the waters of the Puget Sound alongside the great team here at Alki Kayak Tours.

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SOPHIA ALFRED

Having grown up in the glorious PNW Sophia has her fair share of outdoor passions including kayaking, hiking, backpacking, climbing, mountaineering and snowboarding to name a few. She has been tour guiding at AKT for the past two years and is returning again to make it another adventurous season on the water! In addition to kayak tour guiding, Sophia is also ACA Kayak Level 1 & 2 certified and a licensed massage therapist. Her favorite aspects of sea kayak tour guiding is the unique opportunity to share knowledge and excitement for marine life in the area as well as providing a safe, fun, educational environment for guests of all ages and backgrounds!

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RICHARD LAPLACE

Born and raised in the Caribbean, Richard has had a love for marine life for all his life. After pursuing a Bachelor’s in Marine Biology he decided to take a break from higher education and joined us at Alki Kayak Tours last year as a guide and rental staff member. This is his second season with us and he looks forward to sharing his love for the water with anyone who stops by.