joolee's forty

forty days. forty stories.

never fall out of the boat

by Don Wray and Tina Green

Don and Joolee out of their boats in Prince William Sound, 2009

First from Don:

“Jooooleeeee!!”  I probably screamed like a teenage girl.  Kayaking in Prince William Sound, it was Joolee’s “check ride” as a Lead Guide with our company — though her paddling skills far surpassed mine.  Maybe that’s why I squealed for her as the waves tried to knock me out of my kayak.

But her boat was just as precarious in the confused seas and high winds.  We were both in sporty little single kayaks.  At least the clients were doing fine in their big double boats, blissfully unaware of the situation and how their Guides were getting worked!

Our clients (god bless ‘em) are often a little “situationally unaware”.  The one time Joolee actually did get knocked out of her boat she was back in it before they even knew…and they were just wondering “Why is our Guide’s hair wet?”

And second from Tina:

Joolee and Tina kayaking in Prince William Sound

Joolee and Tina kayaking in Prince William Sound

Sense of Joolee: I smell earth, sweat, Bill and sometimes soap.

I feel her at my back. I feel the energy she gives when I need it and the solid strength within every hug.  I feel her gorgeous butt when I slap it.

I hear the laugh that makes everyone else laugh too even when they’re not sure why. I hear jokes that are funny because she’s telling them.  I hear thoughtful and original ideas.  I hear her talking to me in every email –  “yes, yes, I’m famous. (sigh) sometimes it bores me :O), heheh”

I taste the food she brings me when I’ve been working too hard to eat, and the coffee she makes when I invite her over for it and get too distracted to make it.

Joolee and Tina enjoy lunch on a rare dry day in Prince William Sound

Joolee and Tina enjoy lunch on a rare dry day in Prince William Sound

I see Prince William Sound – Joolee cooking dinner in the rain wearing her wet clothes, PFD, spray skirt and a big smile.   I see the favorite wool Icebreaker top that she wears every day gradually developing holes.  The next season I see it every day again – sleeves cut off and worn over her new favorite Icebreaker shirt.

I see the twinkle in her eye and the mischief in her smile.

I see a badass with style.

And third, some things the guests of Exposure Alaska have to say about Joolee:

Joolee is truly a Legend…. She is a true professional and has such an extraordinary way with people that makes them feel special,well taken care of and appreciated. This rare talent, her experience, personal attention, care and consideration were much appreciated and went a very long way to making this the trip of a life time… Please do pass on my thanks and gratitude, her effort and special way is exceptional and was much appreciated.

Joolee had the patience of a saint and a fantastic attitude. She is obviously very experienced and professional. She knows how to get things done and worked extremely hard over the 9 days. She was a fun person, easy to talk to and engaging. She got us where we needed to be when, provided very good advice on packing questions and was extremely helpful throughout.

What truly made this trip exceptional was the hard work of Joolee, Chris and Emily. Their positive, outgoing and engaging personalities made this trip one the highlights of my life. Thanks for an AMAZING time and some unforgettable memories!

Doing the Hokey-Pokey on the tundra says it all. Yukie and Joolie, I still miss you both!

Thanks for not making me feel like an old dude or a dude-ranch dude. You both made me do much more than I thought I could.

Joolee and I sang songs (ha). Joolee had everything very organized and kept us on task. She was excellent at being able to get me out of our tent when it was raining and cold (kayak trip) and be glad that we did!Thank goodness the sun came out!  Cannot say enough about our guides, they really made the trip outstanding. It was well organized and very professional.

Staff on the deck of the guide hut at MICA Guides, Alaska

Guide staff on the deck of the guide hut at MICA Guides, Alaska

All our hosts, Joolee, Emily and Chris were great! During the entire trip I felt they did everything in their power to make our experience the best it could be. They all seemed to enjoy being with us andsharing the experiences. I especially want to comment on Joolee. I’ve been fortunate to go on a number of what people would call more traditional first class trips, without question Joolee was the best host I have ever had. She always knew what to say or do to make the experience the best it could be.

Joolee was phenomenal. It really makes a difference when competent, informative guides set the stage for the rest of the crew. She maintained an infectiously positive attitudes that shaped the entire experience. She was extremely helpful, assured safety, and answered most questions posed.

In one word, fantastic.  Funny, easy to get along with, and down to earth. One key quality is finding the positives in every situation.

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4 comments on “never fall out of the boat

  1. joolee
    March 7, 2012

    Don and Tina!
    Ok, that first reply is not a cryptic message…I left the computer unattended, and that was there when I came back. The reason that I paused in my response is that I couldn’t find the words in my brain! I’ve looked everywhere…downstairs, at the ski hill, under the seats on the bus, but I am so blown away by what you’ve both written that I don’t even know if sufficient words exist to express how wonderful YOU are…the content was of course, head-swelling :O), but also…you both write so well (and so differently)…your styles compliment each other just like they do for MICA/Exposure! And including client comments put this over-the-top joy-inducing…can’t wait to see you (soon!)–get ready to have your guts hugged out!

  2. Tina
    March 9, 2012

    Just be thankful we didn’t mention your HVF (high volume feet). Don has also recently discovered he has slender ankles…

    • billjirsa
      March 9, 2012

      slender ankles sounds pretty sexy, Don!

    • joolee
      March 10, 2012

      Au contraire, my Dearie! My bootfitter THIS season gave a Donly “Hmmm” when I prepared him for my high-volume feet. He says I actually have normal-sized feet with narrow heels, and he fitted me for SCARPAs. I chose them, too, but then I found a screaming deal on Dynafits! My feet ain’t fat! I have a new lease on life!

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