If you’ve been following us for a few years, then you already know this week’s staff spotlight. Matt Barnes is Sunny Cove’s senior most guide with 2018 being his 8th season working on these waters…yes, I said EIGHT years! With his many years of experience combined with his degree in philosophy, we all at some point or another seek out the wisdom provided by Sunny Cove’s senior citizen.
Originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia, Matt is a year round kayaker and has spent winters guiding or paddling in New Zealand, the US Virgin Island, and Baja and currently spends his winters back near his roots guiding and exploring the Georgia coastline. When asked why he has continued to guide after so many years, he explained, “Besides connecting me directly and frequently to the natural world, it’s genuinely life-affirming. When my butt’s in a kayak seat, I’m in my element. My tendencies towards cynicism and social aloofness dissipate. Leading people on the water makes me feel more effectual, optimistic, and human.”
Prickly at times, Matt identifies well with his Alaskan spirit animal…the porcupine! He has been a ‘closet’ guitar player since he was a young lad. Nicknamed the staff whale whisperer for the frequent whale encounters he often has, we all know Matt will someday paddle off into the sunset with some whales at his side never to be seen again…that is how the legend of Matt Barnes will begin. But in the meantime, we are glad to have him around and if you want to paddle with Seward’s senior most guide, come join Matt on the water!