Photo of Laurel Archer.

Laurel Archer

Whether it be on a sea kayak trip along the coast of Haida Gwaii or Vancouver Island, working with Wild Women incorporates all that I love about expedition paddling.

I see women freeing themselves of their fears and cares, stroke by stroke flying over sea-green waves, challenging themselves physically with great joy and learning about the ocean environment tide pool by tide pool. On sun-soaked beaches, under tall cedars and Sitka spruce, taking on the tasks of camping by the sea we share our thoughts and dreams, ups and downs, laugh uproariously and grow from being together. I find that women-only trips give me the opportunity to share more of what I have to offer as a sea kayaking guide and instructor. Women dive into the experience, deeper and collectively. Challenges taken on seem more meaningful and satisfying to all. The nature of adventure is embraced and so many “firsts” inspired. The magic of travelling by kayak is truly appreciated, every seal or porpoise sighting enjoyed as much as the last. Over my 28-year career as a canoe and kayak guide, paddling instructor and guide trainer on the river and the ocean, I’ve seen many changes in the outdoor adventure industry. For one, the percentage of women leading and participating in expeditions into the wild has increased dramatically, and this makes me extremely happy!