Kruger Escapes | About Us
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About Us

Welcome to our family, and our dream.

After a lifetime of outdoor pursuits, we worked, imagined, schemed, and dreamed…driving ourselves toward the creation of Kruger Escapes. We worked to gain the scope of experience required for enjoyment and safety. We imagined a livelihood that would give voice to our passion for adventure and joy in a day well spent. With the help of family and friends we pulled together the endless details required. 2018 will be Kruger Escapes’ ninth year… we’re excited to welcome you aboard!

Captain Karl Kruger taught himself to windsurf at twelve years old and worked his way up to 420s, Lasers, Hobies and a variety of Keelboats…always yearning for a better ride. He began teaching sailing when he was 17, and has taught intermittently ever since. Karl now holds a United States Coast Guard 100 Ton Master’s License with Sail and Tow endorsements. He has lived  in the great Pacific Northwest for 20 years, cruising extensively in the San Juan Islands and  Canadian Gulf Islands. During the Summer of 2009, with his wife and young daughter, Karl sailed aboard a 36’ sailing vessel up the Inside Passage from Orcas Island, WA to Ketchikan, AK and back again. Karl and his family loved the daily adventure of investigating remote coves and beautiful beaches. It was on this trip that the dream of marrying skiing/ surfing and sailing was cemented in his mind and heart…North of Orcas there is over 900 miles of mountains you can sail among…

On land, Karl climbed his first Adirondack High Peak when he was three years old. He remembers it well. He climbed the rest of the High Peaks before he turned twelve. Karl began cross-country skiing when he first walked, and has forgotten his first bruises from learning to Alpine ski. Since then, he has guided rock, ice, and alpine climbing. He has climbed significant routes in every mountain state, skied where it matters most, and raced on both skis and alpine snowboard. Karl also worked as a ski instructor, served on several Search and Rescue organizations, and has worked for the National Ski Patrol. He holds current certifications for CPR and Outdoor Emergency Care. Karl holds a B.S. in Environmental Science/ Toxicology and an A.A.S. in Ecology and Environmental Technology. He worked as an intern for the Dept. of Ecology in Bellingham, WA, and was an instructor for several EarthWatch International trips in the Skagit Valley.

In the 2017 Race to Alaska, Karl became the first person to paddle the 750 mile race course on a Stand Up Paddleboard. Visit our Team Heart of Gold page to learn more.


First Mate Jessica Kruger has a diverse sailing background. She served as a crew member on the Tallship Lady Washington for two years, first as a volunteer and then as a ship’s officer. During this time she sailed nearly every day, cruising the Salish Sea and down the coast to California. Since then, Jess has lived aboard four different sailing vessels, sailed extensively in the San Juan Islands, the Canadian Gulf Islands, and cruised the Inside Passage in Summer 2009.

In 2014 she sailed up the West Coast aboard the S/V Winkapew (Wing-KAH-Poe). Jess brings a long distant past life as a baker in Bellingham to the ship’s galley, and loves planning meals and desserts tailored to individual needs and preferences. Each year she adds new meals to Kruger Escapes’ repertoire. Jess holds a B.S. in Biology/ Ecology with minors in both Dance and Chemistry. Jess is passionate about dance and choreography, and is lucky enough to be dancing and performing with a fantastic group of dancers on Orcas Island. This past Spring, Jess passed all of her USCG Captain’s license exams. Next on her list is submitting her Captain’s license application to the Coast Guard!


Activities Director Dagny Kruger moved aboard a 36’ sailboat when she was five months old. She grew up loving her “boat home,” has excellent balance, and knows all about climbing in and out of dinghies. She took her first multi-day sailing trip when she was five weeks old, and knows a thing or two about diesel mechanics. She moved aboard Tomahawk when she was two years old, and knows every inch of the boat (on and off the deck). Now living aboard Winkapew, she has a new set of rig tricks. Her favorite destinations include beaches, beaches, and beaches. A place with ice cream never hurts either.

Captain Don Rowe is a third generation sailor carrying the quintessential seamen’s trifecta – an old soul, young heart, and an insatiable appetite for adventure. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Barcelona, but book-travels alone could hardly satisfy, and he’s since explored the wild spaces and native cultures of over 40 countries worldwide.

Don is a sashimi master and professional chocolate maker who loves to share his passion for delicious food and lively conversation at any opportunity. In 2017 he completed the Race To Alaska by Northwest Maritime Center as a member of Team The Adventourists. This year, he’ll trade the keys to his long-standing chocolate factory for a life at sea – filled with sailing, spearfishing, surfing and the best of company.

And oh, if you happen to catch Don gazing off into the distance for any prolonged period, he’s probably imagining a parallel universe in which Sir David Attenborough narrates his every move as an accomplished marine biologist specializing in rare penguin species. But don’t worry, if you entrust him to Captain your voyage, you’ll be in the most attentive of hands.

First Mate Hannah Tuson-Turner was born and raised on Orcas Island and calls the Pacific Northwest waters her home. At age seven she began skippering her dad’s fishing boat, learning how to steer the small boat through chop, reel in salmon, and pull crab pots from the waters of the San Juan Islands and British Columbia. At the age of thirteen, after participating in a few summers of sailing classes, she became a volunteer sailing instructor and discovered joy in sharing the sport with others. Racing dinghies through high school and college allowed her to travel and exposed her to exciting levels of competition and camaraderie in the broader sailing community.

Hannah attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she sailed for the UH Rainbows Sailing Team. While in Hawaii, she lived aboard a sailboat in Waikiki, taught a variety of outdoor classes, and gained greater sailing experience with offshore racing and cruising. Between 2007 and 2012, after learning to scuba dive and surf, Hannah lead hikes, kayaking excursions, and beginning surf lessons all over Oahu while working towards a degree in Sociology and Political Science.

After college, Hannah made a commitment to teach sailing and coach racing professionally. For nearly four years, she worked out of yacht club programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. She also worked part-time on a charter catamaran out of the the NorCal coastal town of Half Moon Bay. In late 2015, Hannah returned to the Pacific Northwest. Back on Orcas Island, Hannah now teaches and coaches seasonally for the Orcas High School Sailing Team and the non-profit community sailing center on Orcas Island. This year, she led the Orcas High School team to Nationals. She holds a US Sailing ‘Level 3 Coach’ certification and is working towards a US Sailing ‘Instructor Trainer’ certification as well as her Captain’s License.

Samantha Martin has called the San Juan Islands home for over eleven years. After spending most of her childhood sunburned and hot in Arizona, she immediately fell in love with the water and tall trees of the Pacific Northwest while attending college. Sam received a Master’s degree in Forest Ecology and Soil Science from the University of Washington and has worked for many years in the forests and native grasslands of San Juan County- helping private landowners ecologically manage their forestland and working to protect rare plant species. She loves talking about plants and encourages any questions about the ecology of the islands! Ten years of boating between Shaw, Orcas, Stuart, and Waldron Islands has provided Sam a familiarity with the islands that only comes from time spent in a place.

Sam has honed her cooking skills over the past 11 years as mom of two kids and loves to take a cookbook to bed like a good novel. When she is not working at the local San Juan Islands Conservation District, she is living her dream of being part of a group of local dancers on Orcas Island and looking for new adventures. She is excited to be part of the Kruger Escapes crew this season!


First Sea Cat Ragnar is named after a pirate, but her favorite pursuits are napping in the sails, watching the antics of folks with fishing poles, and chasing tennis balls. She has navigated her life aboard three different boats, vastly prefers sailing to motoring, and has only fallen in once. She loves fresh crab, and is a favorite among kitty lovers with allergies, as she is surprisingly hypoallergenic.