Founder & Head of MORYAK and Coach
Yuri has never really quite fulfilled the stereotype of the typical outdoor guide, who must of course have grown up roaming the wild mountainsides, breathing good fresh air, and drinking milk from the family dairy cow. The common thread which runs though his life is more one of a hunger for adventure and freedom, and it is this which ended up driving him to become a sea kayak guide. For Yuri, life has been anything but a straightforward path from A to B. He’s always been a wanderer and a seeker – someone who has never been able to cope with living a conventional, sedentary life for long. As an ethnologist, he first spent time with the Inuit of Arctic Canada. He then spent time in Siberia and Mongolia where, alongside carrying out research for his Ph.D. at Freie Universität Berlin, he also led regular canoe tours for several years.
Yuri’s greatest strength is the enthusiasm with which he approaches things. His motto is “all or nothing”. Compromises just aren’t his thing. And this enthusiasm infuses his cooking too: like no other, Yuri loves the challenge of conjuring up wonderful dishes together with his companions on tours and camps, and doing so with the simplest of equipment. For more than a few of our regulars, this in itself is reason enough to come back for another Moryak tour. Whether it’s Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Northern European, or Eastern European, whether it’s meat-based, fish-based, vegetarian, or vegan, whether cooking over a campfire or using gas, following a recipe or just making it up as he goes along, Yuri leaves hungry paddlers happy and satisfied – and does so with the greatest enthusiasm.
Yuri’s versatility in the kitchen is matched by his versatility on the water: he’s not the sort who likes to specialise on a region, a specific kayaking environment, or a style of paddling. Yuri is more of an all-rounder, who’s just as happy surfing and messing around doing technical paddling as he is leading expeditions. Thanks to countless trips to all sorts of different coastlines, he has gathered an enormous wealth of experience, and for Yuri, the next trip is always the most exciting one yet.