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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Becoming Part of the TribeNovember 16th, 2017

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Deer Island, New Brunswick – Summer 2017

IMG_8467Deer Island, New Brunswick – Summer 2017

 

The final trip of the year was an incredible full day on October 21… sunny, sweet, warm, soft breezes…a special gift. Thank you Digby and Kirsty for traveling all the way from Spain and Toronto to find a sense of place in the West Isles… This brought a very busy season to a close on Deer Island… It was the season for guests returning for the second, third and fourth time … Rick and Kira who celebrated their honeymoon with me 15 years ago in Costa Rica (a story for another time) wanted to introduce me to their children and therefore returned to Deer island for an overnight expedition in July… This was a fantastic experience… The full circle… I never take it for granted how special our unique paddling experiences with visitors can be… When you share an adventure with people in special environments; stories/ memories/friendships/connections are created… People are touched by our paddling environments and the beautiful, sensitive encounters with wildlife that we provide… A community or tribe of passionate people is created…

In the middle of June we ran our second Coastal Kayaking Leadership program for Dartmouth College outdoor programs from New Hampshire, USA… I will draw from a participants’ reflections in order to provide an understanding of the impact resulting from this experience…

“When I signed up for this trip, I was mostly looking for the thrill of paddling on vast and unpredictable sea water. It is only after the trip with some time for reflection and introspection that I realize this trip is about so much more…Community building , learning about marine ecosystem, navigating tides and currents and contemplating marine protection for this region and its challenges. With this amazing group of friends, mentors and teammates around , we have come along way from not knowing each other to forging a community that cares about each other. I was impressed by the design of this program, which was able to bring out leadership, sense of ownership, community and kayaking skills… In the future, I will look back one day and realize that this was a turning point in my life. This trip has shaped me into a new person.”

IMG_8509This is the third year we have run a program for inner city youth from Saint John… The students come to the Island for three days of paddling, leadership, counseling and community life where everyone is expected to participate equally… The connection with a natural environment provides young people with time to reflect on their life and the path that lies in front of them. It is very satisfying to see the growth that occurs over the short three day period… The spirit of the eagle is always watching and guiding us along the way …

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In September, prior to the close of the season, I decided to go on a personal, solo journey… I paddled out to Casco Island to spend 4 days to be close to the Creator… sunrise, sunsets, moonbeams, twinkling stars and firelight… this surrounded by eagles, whales, porpoise and seals… I was alone but not lonely in the least.

This was also a cleanse (no food and very little water), however I returned full of light, positive energia and understanding.

As a tribe of passionate people who have experienced this magical place, we need to come together and work together to protect it… This I believe should be the primary goal of ecotourism: To introduce visitors to a unique environment… to develop an understanding / awareness – sense of place and to engage in the protection thereof.

As I transition to operating our winter paddling experiences in Costa Rica, I consider what makes this small , central American country, one of the happiest places on the planet… there are many reasons; close relationship with the natural world, a strong sense of spirituality, close relationship with family, physical activity and a healthy diet. One additional factor is that Costa Rican’s are happy living within their means… This is an important theme to adopt if we are going to work towards a sustainable future.

I would very much like to take time to share my gratitude and give thanks to everyone who traveled to Deer Island for a paddling experience with us this past summer…I would also like to thank the team of exceptional folks who brought our unique adventures to life (Guy, Harry, Angela, Madison, Julie, Joe, Greg, Anke, and Greg and Annette… exceptional people …). We look forward to seeing familiar faces in the future… to share the stories, memories and connections. I invite you to join us on our paddling adventures in Costa Rica and Canada, and to help us to protect our special marine ecosystems.

Love and courage

Bruce

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