artwork by Jennifer Spore
I came into my role as a guide in 2013 (which you can read more about here). From the outside, it looks like the most relaxing job in the universe. Paddle around and do yoga all day! Sign me up! But like with any job, there are some challenges.
So here's the dirt: Paddling for 10 hours a day, in the hot sun and carrying equipment that reaches 90lbs is physically exhausting. At the peak of the season we work 7 days a week, stretching for 60 days, sometimes putting in 12-14 hour days back-to-back. (Last summer, I reached 90 hours in one week.) We are on-call from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm most days, and we can run as many as 6 lessons in one day. The worst may be when the Weather Channel decided to hype up stories about sharks and the tourists boycott our beaches and then we don't have any work at all.
Creating a positive experience for every customer requires loads of training, and the teamwork of many sets of hard-working hands. No matter how many flat tires we get, or who calls out sick, we do our best to provide everyone with the kind of experience and the positive memories we all hope to have when we're on vacation. It is no small task, but watching that flower bloom is nothing short of a miracle... and I can't help myself but to keep coming back for more!