Supporting the operation and building a place for ecotourism on the coast.
Captain aboard SV Maple Leaf, Co-owner, CEO. 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
Maureen grew up, like most coastal children, influenced by the beaches, ocean, and rainforest of British Columbia.
After professional work in the journalism, publishing and high-tech industries, she joined her now-husband, Kevin, in building the eco-expedition cruise company, Maple Leaf Adventures.
Maple Leaf is a pioneer in developing conservation-based travel in British Columbia and Alaska. The company was designed from the inside out as an ecotourism company in 1986 — a long time before it was cool to be green. It has a reputation for superb quality and integrity, and as such, Maple Leaf’s principles are happy to talk about issues to
media — whether they be about the value of wildlife viewing versus trophy hunting; the value of conservation-based economies; or the astonishing come-back of baleen whales on the BC coast.
Maureen and her husband are not ones to shy from a challenge. They resolved to create a flourishing employer and force for good from their company that, as one flabbergasted person in 2001 said, “takes people in the fall, on a boat in the rain, ‘way up the central coast, to sit in the forest and look at a bear”. Twenty years on, they’ve won more than a dozen awards, grown the company to 20x what it was then, and they employ dozens of skilled coastal residents while continuing to build conservation business with their colleagues along the coast. All while maintaining two of Canada’s heritage vessels as certified passenger vessels as well as one newer expedition catamaran in one of the world’s toughest regulatory environments.
In addition to helping to develop and manage the company, Maureen is an experienced freelance writer and speaker. She is chair of the board of Raincoast Conservation Foundation, an amazing, science-based conservation group and one of the recipients of Maple Leaf Adventures’ donations.
She lives in British Columbia, Canada.
BA, University of Victoria
Assistant Bear Guide, Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC
Small Vessel Operators Proficiency, Transport Canada
Marine Medical and Advanced Wilderness First Aid, Alert First Aid
Marine Emergency Duties A2, Transport Canada
Fellow, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Marine Operations Manager
Jeff is a very experienced mariner and captain and a pleasure for our guests to sail with. Jeff grew up running boats along the coast since childhood, where his family operated a marina on Greater Vancouver’s North Shore.
He was the refit captain for Cascadia and has crewed aboard Swell and Cascadia during the trip operating seasons. He is Maple Leaf Adventures’ Marine Operations Manager, and serves aboard as captain or mate. Previously, Jeff served in various positions with the Canadian Coast Guard’s Pacific fleet, from Deckhand to Captain on almost every vessel type, and in management positions ashore.
Many years ago Jeff, along with his future wife Kim, played a key role in establishing the Canadian Coast Guard’s Rigid Hull Inflatable Operations Training (RHIOT) program. Jeff oversees the safe operation and maintenance of our vessels, and our marine crew training program.
Amelia joins the Maple Leaf Adventures team with a travel bug and a wealth of knowledge in the travel/tourism world. Her passion for photography led her to take the Applied Photography program at Sheridan Institute. After winning a photography contest with a trip to Thailand, Amelia realized that travel pulled at her heart more than commercial photography. Amelia has since worked for the tourism and cruise ship industry in New Zealand, Europe, Caribbean, Central America and Canada. Amelia’s passion for travel, beautiful landscape and environmental sustainability landed her here in Victoria helping guests at Maple Leaf Adventures. If you give us a call, you’ll be greeted by her friendly voice! When not working, Amelia can be found on multi-day hikes around Vancouver Island, gardening and planning her travels. Her goal is to set foot on every continent before she is 30 (only two left).
Adventure Travel Operations Coordinator After years of growing up boating and fishing with her family in the summer and big mountain snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies, Courtney’s passion for adventure led her to a travel and tourism diploma in Calgary, Alberta. Not long after college graduation, Courtney relocated to Victoria, BC, and enrolled in a BSc. in Marine Biology at the University of Victoria. While in university, Courtney worked for various coastal conservation and education organizations and as a research assistant on marine biology projects. Armed with a powerful toolbox of marine ecology, conservation and eco-tourism, Courtney began working in the whale watching industry in Victoria, sharing her passion and love for the local coast with guests from around the world. Courtney grew her skills and developed the naturalist training program and took on the role of safety training coordinator, working to ensure knowledge, safety, comfort and fun was incorporated in every trip on the water. Courtney uses her experience behind the scenes at Maple Leaf Adventures headquarters, as well as on the ships, as the Operations Coordinator. Her goal is to ensure bucket-list dream trips become reality for all Maple Leaf guests. Catch her at the office in Victoria, surfing or snorkeling in the cold pacific waters, deep in the old growth forest, or aboard the ships exploring and admiring our incredible coast.
BSc. in Marine Biology at the University of Victoria SVOP, MEDA2, ROCM
Chef. James joined the Maple Leaf Adventures team in 2013 and has been cooking on the remote west coast of British Columbia for 20 years. With a background in art and music James brings a strong creative edge to his culinary creations. A talented chef, James began working aboard SV Maple Leaf before shifting to MV Swell. Now, James can be found in the office, leading and supporting the other chefs with his immense knowledge of the areas and role as Food & Beverage Manager, enjoying the planning process as well as providing beautiful and delicious meals. Interesting fact: Jacques Cousteau is James’ hero. A fitting match for a man at sea.
Red Seal Chef Food Safe Marine First Aid Marine Emergency Duties A2
Operations. Hollie is our Adventure Travel Operations Assistant, working behind the scenes to make sure each expedition runs ship-shape for our crew and guests. Her passion for the outdoors was given space to cultivate when her family moved to a roomy farm outside of Nanaimo, where she kept horses and taught riding. She would go on to attend Westcoast Adventure College in Sooke which kickstarted her journey into wilderness guiding, culminating as an Expedition Lead for Natural Habitat Adventures.
Hollie got her first taste for the operational side of touring in the off-season, serving on the Board of Directors for the Commercial Bear Viewing Association and as Executive Assistant for the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance. Making the transition from guiding to operations felt natural to Hollie, and she’s excited to be the sort of person that she had relied on for so long. She’s seen the people doing her job from the other side and understands what it takes to make each trip a successful one. Hollie likes to live by a quote from Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, “it’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.” She thrives on the unpredictability of adventure travel and that’s where her problem-solving abilities come into play. If every trip was smooth sailing then they wouldn’t be quite so memorable!
SVOP – Small Vessel Operating Proficiency
WFR – Wilderness First Responder
ISPA Competent Crew Sailing
Marine Basic First Aid
CBVA – Level 3 Bear Viewing Guide
SKGABC- Level 1 Kayak Guide
Society for Ecological and Coastal Research Marine Naturalist- University of Victoria
200HR RYT Yoga Teacher Training