San Juan Kayak Expeditions ‘Passes The Paddle’ To Bicycle Adventures

Posted February 8, 2021 at 5:30 am by

Contributed Photo. Tim and Sally Thomsen.

By Louis Dus­trude, San Juan Update

After 40 years of oper­at­ing San Juan Kayak Expe­di­tions and 33 years of guid­ing mul­ti-day trips, Tim Thom­sen has sold the busi­ness to Todd Starnes, own­er of Wash­ing­ton-based adven­ture com­pa­nies Bicy­cle Adven­tures, Ever­green Escapes and Sacred Rides.  Cole Wil­son, a long-time guide with the com­pa­ny, has been hired as the oper­a­tions man­ag­er here in Fri­day Har­bor. (Cole is no rela­tion to oth­er Wilsons on the island.)

Tim found­ed the busi­ness in 1980, the orig­i­nal islands’ sea kayak out­fit­ter. He spent 33 years per­son­al­ly guid­ing three- and four-day trips in the San Juan Islands, and 13 years guid­ing sev­en- and 10-day trips in the Sea of Cortez. He mar­ried Sal­ly Kerr in 2007. She con­tin­ued as Island Rec direc­tor at that time, join­ing him in the kayak expe­di­tion busi­ness in 2015. 

Sal­ly Thom­sen said, “We are con­fi­dent that our past guests will con­tin­ue to enjoy the qual­i­ty of ser­vice they expect from San Juan Kayak Expe­di­tions under Todd’s lead­er­ship and long-time employ­ees of our business.”

Tim said, “Todd’s expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of adven­ture trav­el with a focus on non-motor­ized activ­i­ties were espe­cial­ly appeal­ing to us.”

And Todd said, “This is a per­fect fit. Tim and Sal­ly are fan­tas­tic to work with.” 

Bicy­cle Adven­tures has been oper­at­ing tours in the San Juan Islands for 36 years and every tour takes a break from the bike to enjoy a day of paddling.

San Juan Kayak Expe­di­tions can still be reached at, 360–378-4436; and, PO Box 2041, Fri­day Harbor.

Sal­ly was the first full-time direc­tor of Island Rec from 2000 to 2015. She was pre­ced­ed in the posi­tion by Cin­di Bak­er as part-time direc­tor. She ini­ti­at­ed a great many of the key pro­grams that are still going strong and are now part of the com­mu­ni­ty fab­ric, includ­ing Music on the Lawn, the teen Hal­loween par­ty, Com­mu­ni­ty New Year’s Eve, the Father-Daugh­ter Dance, and many oth­ers. Island Rec under her lead­er­ship took over the annu­al 8.8 race dur­ing the Coun­ty Fair from the Jour­nal, which had in turn tak­en it over from the for­mer Island Record, and which was start­ed in 1978 by the late Joyce Sobel. 

With her guid­ance, Island Rec also took over man­age­ment of sev­er­al island parks, most recent­ly the John O. Linde Com­mu­ni­ty Park. She left before it offi­cial­ly opened but was there for work­ing out the agree­ment with the anony­mous donor, the school dis­trict and the Fri­day Har­bor Ath­let­ic Association. 

Sal­ly and Tim expect to con­tin­ue liv­ing on San Juan Island “as long as life allows,” while spend­ing much of the win­ter in Baja California. 

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One comment...

  1. Wish­ing you both health and hap­pi­ness in your new endeavors.

    Comment by Ann on February 8, 2021 at 6:00 pm

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