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ECO Guides

The guides at ECO are some of the best in the industry, and it is they who will make your experience with us truly unique. Each one of our guides has completed our intensive Guide Training program, which spans a period of 8 months. They are certified by Paddle Canada, and have been trained and certified in Wilderness First Aid and Leave no Trace Ethics. Over the years, we have trained and certified over 65 guides, and there are currently 35 of them in the area. Our guides are professional, conscientious, and experienced. Below is a list of some of the guides you will meet on the water.

Dave Adler

  • Has been paddling for over 30 years
  • Dave took his first guide training program in 1990. He created the current ECO Guide Training program with his good friend Mark Kelly in 2001.
  • Memorable experience: For a while I lived on the San Blas coast of Panama. One evening I was approached by three Kuna Indians in a four person dug-out canoe. They had heard there was a white guy on the island who could paddle, and brought an extra paddle for me to use. We paddled all night. The paddle is in the office at ECO.
  • Advice: Don’t forget to breathe.
  • Read more about Dave

Krista Beardy

  • Has been paddling since 2005
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2009
  • Memorable experience: Rainy Saturday Morning sighting of 2 whales around privateers pass. Or a couple of dozen herring jumping over the front of my boat after being startled by a seal.
  • Advice: Relax. Take it slow. And never forget to look around—you never know what you might see.

Simon Brown

  • Has been Canoeing since he was a kid, Sea Kayaking since 2000.
  • Simon was a founding member of ECO’s first guide training progam in 2001.
  • Memorable experience: Paddling back from the Bay Landing on a night when the phosphorescence were so strong that you could see a clear picture of the ocean activity 10-15 feet below.
  • Advice: Request Simon.
  • Fluent in French.

Ron Bulmer

  • Has been paddling since 2001
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2007
  • Memorable experience: It’s so hard to just pick one experience but the night paddles were amazing… just seeing the phosphorescence and just sharing the experience with a group of paddlers is something I won’t forget. Rates right up there with watching the “young bucks” playing in the “big water” and enjoying their sense of fun and appreciating the level of comfort and skills on display. I have to mention that being rescued by Dave with the “hand of god” after sliding down backwards on a giant swell, then going over, was memorable too. I was happy to have at least attempted my roll out before being rescued.
  • Advice: Listen to advice of the more experienced, respect the water and enjoy that incredible connection to nature that we never seem to tire of.

Kirk Dauphinee

  • Has been paddling since 1995, but only seriously since 2005
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2009
  • Memorable experience: The Slurp ‘n Turf Surf of 2009, any time I go night paddling, paddling on the mirror in Back Bay and being followed by seals near Kelly Ledge.
  • Advice: Stay loose and relaxed and have fun.
  • I do speak French, and I’m a Geocacher for any Cachers needing a guided Geocaching trip.

Liz Hardy

  • Has been paddling for since 2005
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2010
  • Memorable experience: Our open water rescue session, which I loved! It was a huge confidence booster to know how qualified we all are to rescue each other and ourselves in waves, while having fun! I also really enjoyed our night navigation session, where we learned to stay on a course in the dark. It is an amazing experience to know where you are going but are not able to see a thing in front of you. Later in the evening the stars came out and the phosphorescence were sparkling—truly amazing.
  • Advice: Relax and enjoy the day! The guides at ECO will take care of you and do their best to show you the joy of paddling in Lower Prospect.

Ghazi Jarrar

  • Has been paddling since 2009
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2012
  • Memorable experience: a rainy day north of Vancouver Island. Early in the day, we were lucky enough to paddle with two separate pods of orcas. Our luck only continued as we paddled into the ghost-town of Namu, ushered by three curious dolphins.
  • Advice: Life is short, paddle hard!

John Jennex

Lisa Jones

  • Lisa is originally from Montreal, but fell in love with Nova Scotia four years ago. After five seasons of guiding adventures, ranging from white water rafting, to fishing, and now sea kayak guiding, she still gets excited to hit the water. She has guided on the St. Lawrence River in Montreal and the Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand, but is convinced that Lower Prospect has the best day paddling in the world. Back for her second season with East Coast Outfitters, she is keen to share her love of Nova Scotia, fog and all, with everyone on her tours.

Eleanor Kure

  • Has been paddling since 2001, but enjoying adventures in the sea since 2005
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2010
  • Memorable experience: was along the coast of the Cape Breton Highlands, racing with a pod of Pilot whales for 30 minutes…then having a mother and baby gracefully jump in tandem alongside.
  • My best advice for a first time kayaker would be to let your knees make good contact with the inside of the kayak. It stabilizes you within your boat and then you can let those hips wiggle and enjoy the feel of the waves and the movement of the water.

Sue Lawrence

  • Has been paddling since 2002
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2008
  • Memorable experience: Waking up during Wilderness Remote First Aid (WRFA) training on the Beach of Hearn, opening the flap of the tent, seeing the sun bounce off the calm ocean and watching the lobster boats…gorgeous.
  • Advice: Have instruction before you jump on the water and make sure you have all your safely gear.

Martin Lender

  • Has been Canoeing since he was a kid, Sea Kayaking for the last 7 years.
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2006
  • Memorable experiences: Harvest Moon Paddle, Getting lost in the Fog (before I became a Guide), Sunset Paddle around Shannon and then enjoying the phosphoresence in Cub Basin. Surfing in Clam Harbour, the seals in Blue Rocks.
  • Advice: Relax your hips, and have a fun time.
  • I speak English and French and I make a mean coffee on the beach.

Mike MacDonald

  • I have been sea kayaking for 7 yrs. Previous to that I had been canoeing for many years.
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2007
  • Most memorable experience was taking the wilderness firstaid course and learning how to deal with different situations on the water.
  • Advice: Be aware of your surroundings and always think safety.

Jenn MacLatchy

  • Has been canoeing since the ’80’s, and first took up kayaking around 2003
  • Completed the ECO Guide Training Course in 2014
  • Her love for guiding began at a summer camp in the Gatineau Hills where she took youth on hikes and paddles and shared a love for exploring all the wondrous and interesting things that nature has to discover.
  • Has paddled in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario, and would like to paddle in all the other places too.
  • Is a story-teller philosopher academic trying to unravel performative layers of landscape and traveling across Canada and the US to present her findings at conferences.
  • Is a circus acrobat, loves climbing trees, picking cranberries, doing handstands on interesting geological features, and talking to stray cats.
  • Advice: Stay curious!

Peter Meagher

Rusty Neal

  • Rusty started paddling as a kid in her family’s red canoe. In her twenties, she became a recreational kayaker. She still owns and paddles one of the original made in Nova Scotia Tiekan kayaks. Rusty completed the ECO guide training in 2006/07 while in her fifties. Rusty especially enjoys paddling with new paddlers. Her advice to anyone just beginning to kayak is “relax and enjoy.”

Marc Patry

  • Has been paddling since 2003
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2008
  • Memorable experience: One time a whale surprised me by surfacing about 10 feet from my bow. This happened very close to home (and ECO) in Terence Bay.
  • Advice: If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.

Cliff Pratt

  • I grew up with a canoe paddle in hand and made an abrupt transition to a double blade sport in 2006, and my canoe has never forgiven me.
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2006
  • Memorable experience: Sea kayaking off the coast of Cape Breton, where a pod of pilot whales followed us for a few Kilometers. They were very friendly and curious.
  • Advice: Paddling into wind can be as fun as paddling on the calmest day all you need to do is have a song in your head to help the time pass, I like 70′s Top 40.

Dan Robichaud

  • Dan is an avid sea kayaker with a Canada Paddle Level 2, Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid, & Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics certification. Dan obtained his training and continues to be a regular Guide at East Coast Outfitters and offers tours in both English and French. With a combined passion for bushcraft & storytelling, Dan has spent the last few years researching the rich history and coastal ecology of Lower Prospect, and maintains his own blog (http://acadiankayaker.blogspot.com) which features photography and a custom map of the area.

Karl Vollmer

  • Has been paddling since 2009
  • Completed the ECO guide training course in 2010
  • Memorable experience: Paddling in the heavy fog after our open water rescue assessment. Limited visibility but a beautiful day none the less, we were flanked by herons through the narrows and were able to enjoy the peace and quiet as we paddle all the way to the top of roost and then into the little lake inside Roost Island and then back around the outside of Burnt Island.
  • Advice: It doesn’t matter where you go, or what you do in a kayak as long as you’re having fun.

Dwight Welch

  • I paddled a canoe for years, then switched to sea kayaking about 6 years ago.
  • Every paddle trip is memorable – fortunately most are good memories. One of the most memorable trips was paddling an inland lake system in the spring just as the ice was breaking up. Through the course of the day we saw at least 20 eagles.
  • My advice to newcomers – take a few extra minutes with your guide at the beginning of the trip to learn basic steering and boat handling. It will make the remainder of your trip much more enjoyable
  • As a former biologist, I worked outdoors but was often too busy to appreciate it; now that I’m office-bound kayaking is my way of enjoying the outdoors whether paddling alone or guiding.

Stephanie Wells

  • Has been paddling since 2012.
  • Completed the ECO Guide Training Course in 2013.
  • Memorable Experiences: Dave Adler and I taking singer
    James Taylor and his son Henry kayaking that windy day in
    Seabright. While taking a tour around Betty Island on a beautiful
    blue sky day, we came across two Sun Fish that let us paddle along
    with them.
  • Advice: Always follow your inner truth that leads you to your dreams!
    As it is for me, I hope being on the water connects you to your inner
    self, bringing you to who we truly are: love, passion, laughter and joy
  • Update: Working as a Sea Kayak Guide with AquaSports Qatar in Doha, Qatar.

Adam Zita

  • Adam has been paddling canoes since he can remember and he has been a canoe instructor since 2001. He’s been sitting lower in the water in a kayak since 2010. Adam has many years of outdoor adventure facilitation experience and has guided many adventurous biking, hiking, canoeing, rafting, fishing, and kayaking tours over those years. He is also on the volunteer board of Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia and the Shelburne Kayak festival and a regular instructor at the Cape Breton Paddlefest. During the winter months he guides sea kayak tours on Coiba Island in Panama
  • Adam completed the guide training course in 2011 and is the Operations Manager for ECO and an assistant instructor with the program
  • Memorable experience: Spotting a minke whale from the shore then paddling out to find it. Sitting in my kayak while it swam in circles around me. Passing under my kayak and cresting out of the water many times.
  • Advice: You never know what you can’t do unless you try first. And when you try you realize there is nothing that can’t be done. The only difference between an adventure and an ordeal is your attitude. So start with positive attitude and your adventure will be epic!

 


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