Bruce in kayak.

"We specialize in small group travel, which minimizes environmental impact, increases safety standards and allows for personalized, enriching and authentic experiences."

— Bruce Smith, founder and owner, Seascape Kayak Tours Inc.

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SEASCAPES – Fall 2010

The newsletter for the SKT community


Deer Island, New Brunswick: A cool wind is blowing from the northeast as I paddle slowly out of the harbour. The slight swell is soothing as I make my way out to the islands. I’m smiling. Today is my first opportunity to paddle solo in over a year.

While paddling silently, I reflect on the summer that has so quickly come and gone. I think about the sense of community, the adventures, the laughter, the smiles, the wildlife and the beautiful weather. Our guests all make a personal connection to our special place, and for this my heart is happy…

Two porpoise break the surface in front of my boat and I continue to smile. It takes a tremendous amount of work to bring a Seascape experience to life and I am fortunate to have a very talented and committed group of people to join me in this mission. They share my passion for paddling and for the Bay of Fundy.

I want to thank our team for all the hard work and diligent attention to detail with every aspect of our programs on Deer Island over the past five months: Frank Postma, Katinka Postma, Guy Quinn, Dave Laverty, Emilie Laverty, Tim Hanford, Sandra Luken, Tammi Winchester, Mabel Ketchum, Chris Hoyt, Lauri Nemetz, Glenn Munro, Deb Hum, Tom Peters, Joe Twardowski, Shana Wallace, Nancy Conley, and our marketing guru Frances Figart who works so hard to get the Seascape message out. Thank you all for your contributions above and beyond this summer… Without you, Seascape would not be possible.

Two seals follow me back into the harbour, almost as if to make sure I land safely on the beach… Prior to landing, I look out at the water and whisper a quiet thank you for the opportunity to connect with this special place…

Pura Vida


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Upcoming trips: Costa Rica & beyond

If you are planning your winter vacation, consider joining us in our southern base on the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, or in the Caribbean for a new mothership kayak experience in the Spanish Virgin Islands. Here are some trips you can join:

Dec. 23-Jan. 3 Holiday Pacific Paddle and Cloud Forest Pre-Trip Extension

Start in the magical Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve staying at a private lodge where researchers study the endangered Three-wattled Bellbird. An important character you’ll meet is Debra Hamilton, conservation biologist, mom, Bellbird research specialist, owner and manager of a small bookstore and café, and director of the Costa Rican Conservation Foundation. She has devoted her life to studying the rare and endangered bird species that make the mystical Monteverde Cloud Forest their home. Then travel to the Nicoya Peninsula for a 5-day camping and paddling experience with sea turtles, tropical white-sand beaches, and turquoise waters of the magnificent Pacific. “Bruce has an exceptional understanding of the marine environment in general and local environment in particular and is able to impart that to his clients during the trip, teaching in a way that is low-key and focused,” said Elizabeth Hertz of Maine, who participated in a multi-day Costa Rican paddling experience. “He paid close attention to group dynamics and facilitated cohesion and bonding within the group. He developed individual relationships with each of us on the trip and, through these individual relationships, was able to create special moments for each of us that stand out in our memories of this wonderful trip.”
US $2,500 tax included per person. Click here for details.

Jan. 7-15 KaYoga: El Espiritu del Mar

Clients who have taken this trip with Bruce and New York-based yoga instructor Lauri Nemetz can’t stop talking about what a great combination it is. Sandwiched in between sunrise and sunset yoga sessions on a white-sand beach, you’ll paddle around islands and through arch formations in the Gulf of Nicoya. “Lauri’s yoga instruction is warm and supportive. She also pays an extraordinary amount of attention to each individual, tailoring every pose to each person’s needs and abilities. But her caring doesn’t end when the yoga practice closes. She’s always watching, always caring, always supporting,” says Sharon AvRutick, of Pleasantville, NY, a participant on the January 2010 El Espiritu del Mar: KaYoga in Costa Rica.
US $2,350 tax included per person. Click here for details.

Mar. 13-19 Spanish Virgin Islands Mothership Kayaking in Puerto Rico

Seascape invites you to discover an exciting new paddling destination, the latest in our SeaStar Collection Trips. Join Bruce Smith on the 90-foot Wanderbird, a classic North Sea fishing trawler built to rigorous Dutch standards, and explore the lesser known Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques via daily kayak excursions. “We offer eco-tourism cruises that reflect our great reverence for the natural world and its creatures,” says Captain Rick Miles of the Wanderbird. “All of our projects are carried out with the well being of the wildlife and environment as our first and foremost consideration.”
US $2,449 per person through Beyond Boundaries Travel. Click here for details.

Jan. 17-24 & April 6-13 Las Islas del Golfo Pacific Paddle

Enjoy 5 days kayaking, 4 nights camping in the Islas del Golfo de Nicoya, an island archipelago comprised of small fishing hamlets, lowland tropical dry and humid forest, mangrove estuaries, the crystal clear Pacific and abundant wildlife. Local contact is a critical component of ecotourism; you will encounter friendly local people in the small fishing villages. This is the real Costa Rica.
US $1,990 tax included per person. Click here for details.

Bruce Smith wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Please join us in celebrating: It was announced August 13 by New Brunswick’s Environment Minister Rick Miles that Bruce Smith is the winner of the Department of Environment’s Lifetime Achievement Award, one of six Environmental Leadership Awards presented annually to individuals, groups and businesses in New Brunswick that demonstrate exceptional leadership in the enhancement and protection of the environment.

I deeply appreciate the support and confidence placed in me by the Department of Environment and by our provincial government in honoring me and the entire Seascape team with this important recognition,” said Smith, who founded Seascape Kayak Tours in New Brunswick in 1994. “My passion is to raise awareness about environmental issues such as ocean pollution and industrial projects that threaten the West Isles Archipelago of the Bay of Fundy, an ecosystem just as diverse as the rainforest, and one that provides habitat for four types of whales and a host of other marine wildlife. Hopefully this recognition can help me in protecting it.”

Read the press release

Seascape presents at eco conference

Bruce Smith spoke as part of the Tour Operators Roundtable at The International Ecotourism Society conference in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 8-10. The Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC) brings together 500+ business leaders, industry professionals and community stakeholders, and features dynamic sessions, public forums and social functions that offer insights into the latest sustainable tourism business strategies.

“In an era of companies merging and getting bigger, and having the mantra that ‘bigger is better,’ Seascape has always decided to stay small and manageable. The size of the company, I believe, has allowed us to do a lot of things that larger companies, corporations, adventure travel groups, are really not able to do,” Bruce said during the presentation. “People who come and paddle on our programs become friends… and when we work with local partners in Newfoundland or in Costa Rica, it’s like having family.”

Next year’s ESTC will be hosted by Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA, September 19-21, 2011.

View video excerpts from the talk

Copy written by Bruce Smith and Frances Figart

Photo credits: Bruce Profile and 2010 Summer KaYoga Group: Frank Postma; Bellbird: Lapa Rios; Quesera Sunset, Estuary Paddle and Hermit Crab: Mike Postma; Whales: Laurie Murison.