Maple Leaf captains are highly-trained and have passed stringent exams set by the coast guard. They are experienced wilderness expedition leaders and coastal navigators with a love of exploration. And they are genial hosts who enjoy welcoming the world to Maple Leaf and this spectacular place.
An adventurer and explorer all his life and a professional mariner since the age of 18, Kevin is also the leader of Maple Leaf Adventures and one of its owners.
His experience as a geographer, backcountry park ranger and teacher all contribute to his leadership of one of the premier ecotourism organizations on the coast. Kevin continues Maple Leaf’s tradition of building the framework for ecotourism on the coast, and is an executive member of many respected industry organizations.
In addition to educating youth, Kevin developed and taught the Ecotourism for Entrepreneurs course for North Island College in British Columbia. His 5-year tenure as a negotiator on the central coast (Great Bear Rainforest) land use plan brings a rare depth of understanding to the area’s history and current situation.
Kevin’s extensive marine experience began with family cruising (under sail) while growing up on this coast. To pay for his university degree he took any job that involved being on the ocean. Skill and experience developed from years as: a rowing coach and sailing instructor, a Coast Guard rescue training officer and rescue boat coxswain, fisheries research vessel Captain, backcountry (marine) Park Ranger, sail training instructor, and Captain on passenger carrying vessels. He is one of the few Full Bear Guides certified by the Commercial Bear Viewing Association.
Kevin is a true man of the coast. He was raised on Salt Spring Island in the Southern Gulf Islands, and, following his formal education, he was employed for a decade by the B.C. government to steward the marine parks of northern Vancouver Island. He is a strong advocate for protecting the north coast.
As Maple Leaf’s owner since 2001, he has continuously explored the breadth of this, North America’s last great rainforest, from Victoria to Juneau. He is a genial host whose love of B.C. and Alaska’s wilderness places is infectious.
Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
BA Geography (University of Victoria)
Full Bear Guide (Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC)
60 ton Masters Limited (Transport Canada) 60 ton
Small Vessel Machinery Operator (Transport Canada)
Advanced Wilderness First Aid for Leaders (Slipstream)
CPR, Oxygen, AED
Dive Master (PADI)
Backcountry recreation and tourism representative, Great Bear Rainforest land use plan
Co-founder and director, Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC
Director, Wilderness Tourism Association of BC
Ashley was raised exploring the islands and inlets of the Salish Sea. A fourth generation ‘Islander’, her love for adventure was fostered by the various small craft her family enjoyed. Early on, Ashley learned to sail from her dad and was racing small sloops before she turned 11 years old. Her earliest experiences of hosting and guiding marine adventures were with her friends in her family’s boats in the Saanich Inlet and Southern Gulf Islands.
Although Ashley has participated in bear and whale research on the coast, fish diversity and habitat hold a special place in her heart. She loves to share her knowledge on all of these subjects.
Ashley’s experience at sea has taken her halfway across the Pacific Ocean, from Central America to Hawaii, as well as up and down the B.C. coast on many different vessels.
In addition to her eight seasons with Maple Leaf, Ashley has worked for marine and fisheries research organizations, non-government conservation organizations, and small environmental consulting firms. The S/V Maple Leaf has been a staple in Ashley’s experience on the coast and Ashley has sailed many thousands of miles aboard.
“The magic of the coast is all around us, it’s just a matter of finding it — and travelling at eight knots allows you to do just that,” Ashley says.
Ashley’s home is now in sunny Saltair, near Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, with her husband and dog, and many small boats.
Master 60 ton Limited
Small Vessel Machinery Operator-Restricted
B.Sc. in Geography from the University of Victoria
Post Graduate Diploma in Fisheries Biology at Vancouver Island University
Small Vessel Operator Proficiency
Marine Emergency Duties A2
Radio Operator Card – Maritime Commercial
Marine First Aid
Wilderness First Aid
Gwaii Haanas Guide
Captain. “You could spend your life exploring the waters of the Pacific Northwest and never see it all or become bored with it”. After sailing from the Sea of Cortez, Mexico north to Alaska, Dave is ceratin of this. After starting a degree in Marine Biology at the University of British Columbia, Dave soon realized that he preferred a career that gave him skills to be out on the ocean. He switched his sites towards a career as a Mariner and has since worked as a commercial fisher, a captain on commercial passenger vessels and with the Canadian Coast Guard. One of his favourite times in the coast guard was working aboard a fisheries science vessel helping a UBC student gather rockfish data for her Ph.D. David says that every time he sees a whale, dolphin, sea lion, eagle, bear or any other animal that make up the rich biodiversity of BC it thrills him. It is this thrill that he also loves to share with others. We are thrilled that he has joined our team.
500 ton Masters Simulator Electronic Navigation Small Vessel Machinery Operator – Restricted Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Radio Operator Card – Maritime Commerical General Operator Certificate Marine First Aid Marine Emergency Duties A1 Marine Emergency Duties A2 Marine Emergency Duties A3 Bear Guide
Captain. Greg Shea grew up on the shores of the Salish Sea in Nanaimo, British Columbia. He discovered his love of adventures in nature as a teenager, when he attended an outdoor leadership training program on Vancouver Island –something travelers in BC have been glad of ever since. A skilled and dedicated outdoorsman, Greg became a successful kayak guide, leading, scouting and developing trips for top companies in British Columbia, Belize and the Sea of Cortez. Greg has been sailing boats along the wild BC/Alaska coast for decades, and has been a crew member in the Maple Leaf family since 2005. He is very experienced at leading expeditions, and is a master mariner for Maple Leaf as well as possessing many wilderness guide certifications. He and his wife Jolie (a naturalist, writer and kayak guide) have been exploring the coast aboard their own sailboat, as well; first on their own, and now with their two children. Greg is also professional photographer and his photos have enlivened the pages of many magazines including Cruising World and Pacific Yachting. He and Jolie are frequent and favourite contributors to Pacific Yachting magazine. We believe that some of Greg’s greatest attributes — his friendly smile, his leadership, and his love of this coast — are matched only by his prowess at catching crabs, prawns and salmon. When not exploring the coast, Greg can be found with his family on Quadra Island.
60 ton Limited Simulator Electronic Navigation Small Vessel Machinery Operator-Restricted Small Vessel Operator Proficiency Radio Operator Card – Maritime Commercial Marine First Aid Wilderness First Aid Marine Emergency Duties A2 Gwaii Haanas Guide Food Safe Bear Guide
Captain. The sea has been the focus of Tavish Campbell’s entire life, and those who travel with him know they are in the presence of a man who doesn’t just “go out into” the marine world but rather lives and thinks within it. “I love everything about exploring the ocean, and more importantly, I love sharing that sense of exploration and learning with others,” he says. “I hope my enthusiasm for all life on this coast, both big and small, is contagious and encourages others to really notice and appreciate the natural environments we travel through.” Tavish is also intimately familiar with the coastal temperate rainforest and its ecosystems, and is one of BC’s few full bear viewing guides, certified by the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC. He grew up with his parents and sisters on a small island, accessible only by boat, just south of the Great Bear Rainforest, on the British Columbia coast. He and his twin sister began captaining their first trips as 13-year-olds in their little, 22-foot sailboat. He has had his commercial captain’s licence since he was 19. As a teenager, Tavish worked for six summers in BC’s commercial salmon fishing industry, and his understanding of fisheries provide a depth of understanding to his discussions about the coast. Since then his maritime experience and commercial diving experience have led him to 25,000 miles of offshore sailing, 8,000 of them as captain; underwater photography and videography contracts; and over ten years of sea kayak guiding, as well as working with Maple Leaf Adventures since 2009. In addition to his hard skills as a captain and leader, Tavish’s longtime knowledge of the coast, and his relationships from assisting coastal biologists and other researchers in the field, bring a wealth of knowledge to what he has to share with you. His strong family roots on the coast and his welcoming demeanour make him a thoughtful host for your trip60 ton LimitedSimulator Electronic NavigationSmall Vessel Machinery Operator – RestrictedRadio Operator CertificateMarine First AidWilderness First-Aid for LeadersBear GuideCPR with AEDMarine Emergency Duties A1Marine Emergency Duties A2Marine Emergency Duties A3Gwaii Haanas GuideSimulated Electronic Navigation LimitedFoodsafe
Captain. “There is nothing—absolutely nothing—half as much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,” wrote Kenneth Grahame, in The Wind in the Willows. Throughout Steve’s adult life, he has cherished this thought.
From “messing about” with his own sailboat, to sailing halfway across the Pacific Ocean on modern race boats, and living on board a 36-foot cruising sailboat for many years, Steve is truly a man of the sea.
Recently retired from a 25-year police service career with the City of Vancouver, Steve brings along the experience of having served 12 of those years as a member of the Marine Unit and in the last three years as Unit Trainer. During the summers, Steve spent six seasons captaining a commercial passenger vessel for local ecotourism companies, showing tourists the abundant wildlife inhabiting our waters.
A self-proclaimed “fitness nut”, Steve will often be found racing his road bike in one of many yearly Gran Fondo rides, running trails in our beautiful southern BC forests, or grinning from ear to ear out on his own 36-foot sailboat with family and friends, enjoying the wonders of the Southern Gulf Islands. With an abundance of marine industry recognized certifications, Steve has truly been one of the fortunate few who is able to combine his vocation with his avocation.
150 ton Masters
Simulator Electronic Navigation
Small Vessel Operators Proficiency
Small Vessel Machinery Operator – Restricted
Radio Operators Card – Maritime Commercial
Marine First Aid
Marine Emergency Duties A2
Rigid Hull Inflatable Operator Training
Canadian Coast Guard “Small Vessel Simulator” Instructor
Transport Canada approved instructor for SVOP, MED A-3 and Marine Radio Operators certificates
Alex has a devoted history with the Swell, as he has been an officer aboard her since 2011, including being a captain since 2014.
Growing up on the coast, boating its waters and diving its depths, Alex has a strong relationship with the marine environment he navigates in. He enjoys sharing his love of it, and his many stories of the Swell, with his guests. Alex resides on a farm on Saltspring Island, in the Gulf Islands, with his family.
150 ton Masters (Transport Canada)
SVMO-R: Small Vessel Machinery Operator (Transport Canada)
ROC-MC: Restricted Operator Course Martitime (Transport Canada)
Marine First Aid (Transport Canada)