Sea kayaking guide in Puerto Natales, Chile
Interviewed: February 2008
Puerto Natales, a coastal town near the southern tip of the South American Continent, looks into beautiful fjords, or narrow channels, of the Pacific Ocean. This amazing seascape makes it an ideal location for sea kayaking. Cote Marchant (25), the only woman sea kayaking guide in town, paddles wild Patagonia’s sea confidently. “I was a city girl, worryied about sand getting in my clothes and afraid of bugs,” said Cote. Her life changed when she visited Torres del Paine, Chile’s world heritage national forest. “Since then, I wanted to be in nature and work outside. My journey to become an outdoorswoman had begun but the road was rough.” Cote had to overcome sexism in the outdoor arena to establish herself as a well-respected kayaking guide. “Someday I want to create a respectful environment where women won’t feel the need to prove themselves [among men]. I want to support women who want to build a career in the outdoor industry.”
See the photos
Cote’s impact on Miho
I hoped to give back to Cote and her community by sharing her inspiring story far and wide. To that end, I published an article in Black Sheep, Patagonia’s travel magazine, about Cote’s experiences in the male-dominated sea kayaking field. I was greatly encouraged when the editor of the magazine told me that my article had motivated her to include more diverse role models in her publication.