Shearwater University draws from a wide community of regional experts to offer the range of classes in our four schools. Each of our instructors is passionate about their area of expertise, and about sharing it with others who love boats, water and wild places.

Phyllis Woolwine

Director of Education and Lead Instructor

  • USCG Captain: Master Near Coastal
  • US Sailing Certified Keelboat, Cruising and Navigation Instructor
  • American Canoe Association Certified Coastal Kayaking Instructor
  • National Board Certified Teacher, Adult and Young Adult Science
  • MA, Multicultural Science Education
  • BS, Botany

Phyllis brings her passion and a lifetime of experience in boating, education, and natural science to her culminating life work, which is Shearwater University.

  • Passionate Sailor since age 5: Cruising & racing on both coasts
  • Kayaking and Canoeing since age 13
  • 18 years boating experience in SE Alaska. Piloted vessels of every size, from kayaks to 68-foot tenders, throughout the entire archipelago.
  • Kayaking leader for trips throughout Washington and British Columbia since 2011
  • Founder and Leader of Following the Raven, a sectional paddle through the Inside Passage from Seattle into SE Alaska
  • 14 years teaching high school science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science
  • 6 years University of Washington National Board Support Program Science Specialist
  • 3 years Instructor, University of Alaska Ketchikan: Botany, Natural Science Illustration
  • 4 years Teaching Associate, University of Washington: Botany, Plant Ecology, Taxonomy
  • Founder, Director and Instructor of Raven’s Backyard in SE Alaska: workshops in wild edible & medicinal plants, plant identification, nature drawing, with U of A credit option.
  • 14 years Scientific Illustrator and Instructor
  • 5 years naturalist and co-operator of Hyak Charters,  throughout SE Alaska
  • 5 years Professional Botanist for the USDA Forest Service, Tongass National Forest: Sensitive Plant surveys; Special Forest Products Coordinator.

Mike Mullenberg

Faculty, School of Sailing

Credentials & Experience:
  • President of Shearwater Yacht Sales
  • Certified Professional Yacht Broker
  • 20 years Owner, Main Sail Loft: Full service sailboat shop
  • Extensive experience rigging outfitting, repairing and maintaining vessels
  • 18 years developed and ran a sailing school and a windsurfing school
  • 25 years serving boaters 

Mike has been working with boaters for over 25 years.  His approach to yacht sales is one of consultation and education.  His approach to education is patient and understanding.  Through his work with boat customers and manufacturers, Mike has made a deep study both the industry and the vast array of boat designs and styles.  This explains his uncanny ability to speak knowledgeably about every aspect of a boat, from its large-scale design to its smallest details and engineering.

Andy Schwenk

Faculty, School of Sailing

Credentials & Experience:
  • USCG Captain: Master
  • ASA Certified Sailing Instructor
  • Owner, Northwest Rigging
  • 38 Pacific Ocean crossings (not a typo!)
  • 10 years Certified middle school teacher
  • President, Anacortes Marine Trades Association

Andy is a passionate sailboat racer, having logged thousands of days on the water, both inshore and offshore.  Over the decades Andy has competed in countless races on both coasts, from the Southern Ocean Racing Circuit in Florida and the Bahamas, to many races across the Pacific and in between.  Andy continues to race actively as he runs Northwest Rigging, keeping yachts of all sizes in good cruising and racing condition.

Martin Barker

Faculty, School of Kayaking

Credentials & Experience:
  • Kayaking since 1980 in England and the United States
  • Leading kayaking trips in the Salish Sea since 2010
  • Teaching sea kayaking skills since 2009

Martin’s patience, clear communication and attention to detail have helped kayakers of all skill levels achieve their goals.

Jack McLeod

Faculty, Raven’s Backyard

Credentials & Experience:

Jack’s incredible ability to read the landscape, and to capture it in exquisite photography, are the result of over 30 years of mountaineering and back country skiing throughout the North Cascades.  Jack has been a leader in science education reform in Washington.  His passion for the geology of Washington is expressed both through his photography and his deep understanding of the roots of the landforms, islands and waters we all so love in this region.