As a youngster in NY, Ginni Callahan grew up canoeing and camping. Shortly after moving to Oregon, she undertook a short-lived canoe ride in the Oregon surf one January. Swimming back to shore behind the old Coleman, wearing waterproof boots and a jogging outfit, she learned the value of immersion gear, and paddling something with a closed deck.

Ginni Callahan has since built a life around her passion for sea kayaking and coaching. She guides and teaches for part the year in Baja, Mexico, part of the year on the lower Columbia River and the Oregon Coast, and travels to coach around the world when she can. In 2000, she founded Columbia River Kayaking, which has evolved into a guide-owned cooperative. She and her Mexican business partner Ivette started Sea Kayak Baja Mexico, the only Nigel Dennis Expedition Center in Mexico, and the only full-service kayak center in Baja, with rentals, retail, courses, tours, and a club.

For four years she organized the on-water instruction at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium in Port Townsend, then ran her own skills symposiums, the Lower Columbia Kayak Roundup (LoCo) from her 21-acre Puget Island farm “Slow Boat Farm" for 5 years. In 2012 she crossed the Pacific from Mexico to New Zealand with Henrick Lindström in his sailboat with 2 Romanys on board. She paddled a few of the shorter crossings between islands: Tahiti to Moorea, Tahaa to Bora Bora, a few in Tonga.

In all her spare time, she raises a market garden, writes, and hangs out on warm beaches.

BCU certs:

  • 5* Sea
  • 4* Surf
  • 3* Open Canoe
  • Assess level 4 Sea
  • Also ACA Advanced Open Water Instructor