Meet Our Guides!

Explore the waters of North Carolina with our tour guides! 

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Julian

Bryan Bishop

Bryan Bishop has been paddling with Kayak Carolina since 2001. He brings plenty of local knowledge to his kayak tours as he teaches marine science at a local high school. He loves to show the guests the wonders of the marsh ecosyetem and always finds something new he hasnt seen before. He has lead kid camps and many other programs. He is excited to meet you soon!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Julian

Julian Calderon

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 UNC Wilmington to pursue studies in 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. A job where you wake up as the sun rises and genuinely look forward to what the day has in store. This position 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 Kayak Carolina so extremely special.

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Julian

Chris Elam

My name is Chris Elam, I am from Atlanta, GA. I have been in Wilmington for 6 years now and in August will be moving to Asheville. I have loved the two summers I have spent kayaking and feel totally at peace on the water. Can’t wait to see you out there!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Sam Fernandez

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.

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Jared Pelegrin

Hey y’all! My name is Jared, and I’m a junior at UNCW studying Environmental Science. I just moved to Wilmington this summer after going to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, for 2 years. I have been Lifeguard/CPR/AED certified since I was 15 with the American Red Cross and briefly with the Scouts of America before I became an Eagle Scout. In the future, I hope to focus on botany, particularly dendrology, or marine biology.

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Kolby Rendon

Hi, my name is Kolby Rendon and this is my first year as a guide! I love being outdoors and on the water! I recently graduated from UNCW with a BS in Environmental Science and I love to share my knowledge about the local wildlife and native plants in our coastal communities! I’m Lifeguard and First Aid certified.

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Erin

Erin Clark

Hi! My name is Erin and this is my second summer as a Kayak Guide for Kayak Carolina. I am a senior at UNCW finishing my bachelor’s in environmental science. I love all things wildlife and adventure! I have a strong passion for birds and conservation, but I love to talk about anything related to nature, so ask me questions! On top of being a kayak guide I am also a waitress at a local vegan diner and certified in wildland firefighting. Hope to see you on the water!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Ally

Ally Jones

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!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Clara Tosh

HEY Y’ALL! I’m Clara Tosh one of the guides at Kayak Carolina! I hope to see you on one of our paddles to Masonbouro, Sharks, or Zeke’s! I’m an earlier riser so catch you at sunrise! I’ve kayaked on both coasts of the U.S. and many places in-between! Seeing the wildlife and having the relaxation on the water is the best!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Grace Potvin

Hey! My name is Grace Potvin and this is my first year as a guide for Kayak Carolina. I am a rising senior at UNCW majoring in Exercise Science and Minoring in Yoga Studies. When I’m not on the water kayaking I love teaching yoga classes as well as spending time on the beach. Being a kayak tour guide I am able to combine my passions of staying active and my excitement about our planet with everyone. My favorite part about this job is that everyday is different, there are always new shells to find, sea creatures to see and people to be met!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Joel Powell

My name is Joel Powell, I am an aspiring UNCW student with my heart set on Marine Biology and Oceanography. I grew up in Rocky Mount, Virginia in the middle of mountains and cow farms but all my free months were spent in Topsail with my grandparents where I grew to love life by the water. So after working for three years out of technical school at a job that felt pointless I packed up and moved to Wilmington to go back to university and eventually found myself at home with Kayak Carolina! Working here has helped me learn extensively about the costal environment that we live so close with, and has given me even more of a passion for the ecosystem around us. I hope to share this experience with anyone ready to grab a paddle and join us, see y’all on the water!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Dan

Dan Conti

My name is Dan Conti and I am an undergraduate at UNCW studying Environmental Science with a focus on conservation. I was born and raised in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, and spent my summers in Kill Devil Hills, NC where I first found my passion for the Ocean. Working as a tour guide for Kayak Carolina is the perfect fit for me as a person and as a student, spending time on the water and teaching people about our local ecosystems makes my day every day. The only bad thing I could say about Kayak Carolina is that they should’ve hired me sooner!
Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Jaxon

Jaxon Williams

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.

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Cate Richards

Yooooo whats up its nature Cate. I am a student film director by day and also a kayak guide by day. So I’m pretty good at taking photos and videos while simultaneously identifying birds, spitting facts, and paddling. I was a huge tomboy growing up; camping, hiking, climbing trees, and catching critters so I have always been drawn to the outdoors. After working a summer at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte as a guide, I knew the guide life was for me. Come down and see me for a good time on the water!!

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Joshua Deming

Hey! My name is Josh (River Josh) and I am a first year guide here at Kayak Carolina. I am originally from Raleigh but moved to Wilmington for school. I am a senior at UNCW studying environmental science and biology. In my free time I like to play music with my friends and spend time outside (with bug spray on).

Carolina Kayaking Tour Guide - Sam

Amanda Holmes

My name is Amanda, I’m a current graduate student at UNCW studying Environmental Studies and Education. I am originally from Eastover, NC and have lived in Wilmington for 2 years now. I grew up playing outdoors and have spent many years working for a conservation corps building trails, planting trees, and restoring different ecosystems along the eastern US. My favorite thing about being a kayak guide is being out in nature and exploring the wonderful treasures North Carolina’s coast has to offer.

Former Guides:

Where Are They Now?

Catch up on what our former guides are up to!

Krishna Tiwari

My name is Krishna Tiwari and I am a recent graduate from UNC Wilmington with a Masters in Environmental Science and Public Administration. My goal is to achieve a career in wildlife conservation and education, and work towards natural resource management.

My hobbies include kayaking, hiking, long-boarding, tennis, soccer, movies/TV shows, hanging out with friends, and enjoying the city of Wilmington. I love to get out on the water, go birding, and simply enjoy the natural history of an area. I look forward to being your kayak guide in the future!

Current Position:

I am currently a field technician for Tanner Environmental Services in northern California. As a field technician my duties include hiking to remote locations to survey along transect lines for the Northern Goshawk and Spotted Owl. We perform the surveys in teams of two, use acoustic calls to attract the goshawks, and collect population/identification data. My ultimate goal is to continue working towards wildlife conservation and I look forward to what the future holds!

— Krishna

Katy Johnson

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!

Happy kayaking,
— Katy Johnson

Elliot Stanford

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.

— Elliot

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