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

Credentials:
  • USCG Captain: Master Near Coastal
  • US Sailing Certified Keelboat, Cruising and Navigation Instructor
  • US Powerboating Certified Powerboat Cruising 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.

Experience:
  • 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
  • 8 years teaching sciences at University of Washington and University of Alaska

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.