Meet Our Guides!
Explore the waters of North Carolina with our tour guides!
My name is Julian “Juju” Calderon and I have fallen in love with being a kayak tour guide for Kayak Carolina. I’m currently enrolled at Cape Fear Community College and studying to get my associates so that I may transfer to UNCW to pursue studies in either communications or environmental science. I heard about this job through my sister, who is working at the Fort Fisher Aquarium currently. When she left, I was lucky enough to slip in and take her place. This job quickly became the best part of my day. One of those jobs is where you wake up as the sun rises and genuinely look forward to what the day has in store. This job has opened my eyes to the beautiful environment that I get the privilege of working in every day with coworkers who are just as passionate. Being out in nature, the hard-working staff and the people that choose to tour with us make this job so extremely special.
Hey! My name is Sam Fernandez and I’ve been a kayak guide for a little over a year now at Kayak Carolina. I am a student at Cape Fear Community College and an aspiring tattoo artist. I love to create art and be out in nature. My favorite thing about being a kayak guide is being able to go out, experience, and educate others on the outdoors.
My name is Ally Jones, and I am a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, with a concentration in conservation. My main interests are fire ecology, reptiles & amphibians, native landscaping, and wildlife biology. I love spending time outside and learning more about nature through hands-on experiences, which is why working as a guide for Kayak Carolina is the perfect job for me! Furthermore, I really enjoy teaching our guests about the wonders and species of North Carolina’s coast, as I feel many people do not realize how interesting and biodiverse of a place it really is. Currently, I’m involved in a study where we are trying to determine the presence of the Carolina Pygmy rattlesnake and other herpetofauna in Wilmington. I’m so grateful to live in such an awesome coastal town, and I love sharing it with our guests!
Hello! My name is Jaxon Williams, I am 21 years old and a senior at UNCW studying Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Conservation. Some interesting facts about me… I’ve lived in North Carolina my whole life, born in Cary, NC, and I have 4 pet snakes, 5 pet frogs, and a HUGE salamander. I love all things reptiles and amphibians, and I also really enjoy bird watching! I love spreading my passion for the outdoors and nature with new people, and Kayak Carolina has given me a perfect opportunity to do that. Spending the past 4 years here in Wilmington has given me great insight into the local restaurants and the best spots to hit while our guests are on vacation. I love telling our guests about all the wonderful things in Wilmington and surrounding beaches! Being a kayak tour guide is always exciting and each tour provides something different and fun every day. That is probably what I love most about being a kayak tour guide, no day is the same as the last.
Where Are They Now?
Catch up on what our former guides are up to!
Hello! My name is Elliot Stanford and I am a junior at UNCW studying theatre with concentrations in performance and dramaturgy. I think this major contributes to my personable character as well as my overall positive demeanor. It can help make even the safety lecture fun, or at least tolerable! I was fortunate to be a part of the 2021 summer season as a first time guide, let me tell ya we encountered every obstacle we could and passed with flying colors. My favorite part about kayaking is the peace of mind that accompanies being in nature and using your body. The tours themselves help you learn about and connect to your environment, which makes me feel like a more productive member of our community. When I am not in a kayak I am usually on the water with my surfboard, or playing music with my band Ridgewood. I find it incredibly rewarding to play shows that make people want to move around and expel any energy they may have within them. I also love talking about music with people as I have a wealth of knowledge that is ever expanding and I would love to learn more! I look forward to teaching you about our environment and the wonderful sport of Kayaking, thank you for choosing Kayak Carolina.
I am graduating from UNCW this May with a B.S. in Environmental Science with a concentration in Conservation, as well as minors in Biology and Business. While working at Kayak Carolina, I gained so much practical experience for future use in my field. From learning new skills such as knot tying, nautical skills, local island history, and extensive customer service experience. Working in a naturally beautiful outdoor setting with the added company of Angela’s adorable 3 dogs, you really get it all. I have loved kayaking since I was a kid so once I heard about this opportunity I was up for it immediately, and getting to combine that with tours and taking people to the islands was so rewarding just to see their excitement. After my time at Kayak Carolina, I will be heading out to Tahoe to work as a Research Associate for the US Forest Service.
Attached is a photo, I dont have one of me kayaking but I thought this was cute!
— Katy Johnson