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.

Latest Post from the
Client Corner

Posts Tagged ‘New Brunswick’


Feliz Año Nuevo.

We thought it was time to post a new blog entry, finally! I think we have definitely transitioned to Tico (Costa Rican) time.

I am very happy to introduce you to a new member of the Seascape team. Nick Hawkins, who hails from New Brunswick, will be working on an internship / assistant guide basis in Costa Rica for the next several months. Nick is a marine biologist, keen naturalist and wildlife photographer. His enthusiasm for facilitating connections between guests and the natural world is clearly evident. Look for Nick’s photos to appear with blogs and Facebook posts in the future. Bienvenidos, Nick.

We hope that you will join us for a warm water escape in Costa Rica this winter.


Hello friends! My name is Nick Hawkins; I am a biologist and naturalist guide from Fredericton, New Brunswick. I first heard of Seascape last summer, when I lived in St. Andrews, NB, and worked as an interpreter aboard the whale watching boat the Quoddy Link. I contacted Bruce via e-mail and expressed my interest in guiding. We then met at his place on Deer Island, where we discovered that we shared a similar outlook on ecotourism, sustainability and what it means to be a nature guide. Before I knew it I was packing my bags for Costa Rica, booking a flight for the 7th of January.

After arriving in San José, I traveled west to the Nicoya Peninsula, to Tambor, Seascape’s Southern base. I was happy to leave the busy urban areas, thick with tourists, cars and construction. I watched it all disappear as I took the Paquera Ferry across the bay of Nicoya. Bruce met me on the other side and we drove along winding roads to Tambor Tropical. The resort is made up of small luxury suites built of exotic hardwood such as teak and bloodwood. They are nestled under a tranquil grove of large palm trees, directly adjacent to the ocean. The suites are spread out over the property, which is teeming with life. I unload my gear and talk with Bruce, trying to ignore the urge to seek out the sounds of the strange animals all around me. Bruce senses my anxiety and sends me for a walk up the estuary, the Rio Panica, which empties into the ocean next to the resort. I grab my binoculars and guidebooks and set-off up the river.

By this point I am well aware of the level of biodiversity in Costa Rica, but am yet to experience it. What I find on that thirty-minute walk will forever serve as a defining moment in my life, when I am introduced to the biologic potential of a tropical forest. I am greeting by a plethora of bird life…I count and record 26 new species in this short amount of time and miss dozens more. Flocks of Snowy Egrets glide over Tri-colored and Little Blue Herons, which run and lunge after small fish. Brown Pelicans and Royal Terns plunge into the surf in pursuit of small fish. A Ringed Kingfisher gazes down from his fishing perch; this species is the largest kingfisher in the Americas, twice the size of the familiar Belted Kingfisher. Small forest birds flutter through the tropical growth, their yellows, blues, and oranges mixing with the red blossoms of flamboyant trees. Hummingbirds zip in all directions, freezing in place momentarily to grab a sip of nectar. Scissortail Flycatchers and Tropical Kingbirds perch high up on the treetops, bursting from their resting place to snag flying insects, before returning to their perch in wait for the next suspended morsel. I am absolutely floored by the abundance of life, and I haven’t even left the resort yet. What awaits me in the depths of the protected habitat soon to be explored fills me with an excitement I haven’t felt since I was a young boy.

The next morning Bruce takes me to Curú Wildlife Refuge, from which most of the kayak trips depart. A 20-minute drive from Tambor, Curú contains Costa Rica’s first private National Wildlife Refuge. When we arrive at the center of Curú ,I hop out of the truck and gaze around at the tropical paradise that surrounds me. The only way to describe Curú is that it looks and feels just like you’re in Jurassic park, a real lost world. The forest floor is littered with coconuts, which cover the ground like the leaves we rake off our lawns in the fall. Hermit Crabs are nearly as abundant as they scurry throughout the undergrowth. Something catches my eye… I look down and watch as a Spider Monkey climbs onto the back of the truck and sits on the cab. She reaches out and holds my hand in a compassionate, human-like gesture. I am completely dumbstruck. Her name is “Trina,” a rescued spider monkey who now calls Curú home. White-faced Capuchin Monkeys leap from tree to tree in the canopy overhead, which shades the forest floor from the strong sun.

We carry the kayaks through a narrow corridor of palms, which opens up to a long beach surrounded on both sides by steep hills. There is no one on the beach, except the crabs throwing sand out of their burrows and a few sunbathing iguanas. The bay is full of Brown Pelicans and magnificent Frigate birds, all diving and swooping to catch the masses of sardines that have come into the shallows. We launch our kayaks directly into this swirling mass. The Frigate birds soar within feet of my head; they remind me of pterodactyls with their huge angular wingspans and relatively small bodies. They dive down and snag fish from the surface with impressive agility, never wetting a feather. The Pelicans have a different tactic, they plunge head-first into the shallow water, dozens at a time, bobbing to the surface to snap down their catch before taking off.

We paddle our way through crystal clear water, watching as flocks of birds fly against the steep backdrop of tropical forest, which bounces the many sounds across the bay. It is like being in a giant amphitheater set in the Cretaceous period, a place forgotten by time. Bruce leads me to a small secluded beach at a point of land called Quesera; palm trees lean over powder white sand and turquoise water. This is the beach where we will be setting up our base camp for the multi-day expeditions. From here we will do day trips to the surrounding Tortuga Islands, named after the sea turtles that lay eggs upon their beaches. Stingrays, Dolphins, Moray Eels, Flying Fish and giant Manta Rays also guard these islands.

We paddle back towards the undisturbed panorama of hills, valleys and beaches. Not a man-made structure is in sight. I begin to realize that Tambor and Curú may be Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets, amazing destinations away from the masses of tourists and busy urban centers where a private adventure in pristine habitat is still possible.

Seascape strikes twiceSeptember 27th, 2010

Peter Farley is a 50-year-old professional having worked in New York City’s advertising industry for the last 25 years. He resides in New Jersey and when not working, his interests turn to kayaking (often on the Hudson River), photography, cooking and he’s now beginning to dabble in road bicycling once again. Here is his guest blog:

I recently returned from Seascape’s Deer Island base in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. For those not familiar with this area, we’re talking eastern Canada right above Maine. This was my second trip with Seascape Kayak Tours, the first having been to Costa Rica in January 2010, where I experienced my first KaYoga retreat (yes that’s kayaking and yoga as complementary exercises – not Yoga IN a kayak – that’s a whole different story).

Deer Island is simply one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. I chose to drive from my home in North East New Jersey and am glad I did because I got a much more intimate and close experience with the land as I drove north up to Campobello Island, where I crossed over into Canada. Reminiscent of SE Alaska, where I lived and worked many years ago, the cove where Seascape is situated is breath taking. Upon arrival I was met by a stunning double rainbow, which was a harbinger of good things to come. RAINBOW OVER DEER ISLAND BY PETER FARLEY.

The program run by Bruce and his team here is highly organized, professional and fun. Rising early to do Yoga, followed by a healthy breakfast and then off to kayak in the stunning Bay of Fundy is a great way to start the day. Lunch is usually had on some distant beach where you can watch whales and other wildlife pass by. Afternoons find you paddling back to Seascape’s cove past the beautiful scenery, soon to be followed by a restorative yoga session and a fabulous dinner, complements of Mabel and the rest of the staff. It bears stating that the staff at Seascape is top-notch in all regards. They are very talented, warm, funny people who are a pleasure to spend time with. All too soon the weekend was over and I was driving south back to the everyday grind. However, that was tempered by a new-found contentedness and fond memories of fun times with a great group of people in a beautiful part of the world.

The January trip to Costa Rica had actually been a surprise birthday present from my family. And while I had done fair bit of kayaking and had dabbled lightly in yoga, this was a whole new thing. I really wasn’t sure what to expect and was a little concerned about my capabilities especially on the yoga front. Happily I found that my neophyte status in yoga was easily accommodated. While I’ve been on numerous tropical and northern vacations, I had never been on a trip like this; traveling solo to meet 5 other people I didn’t know for a 9-day camping, kayaking, and yoga trip.


What I found was something that had been dormant for quite a while. Namely a spirit of adventure; that special connection that develops between people when they establish an impromptu community on a tropical beach, or anywhere for that matter; the rewards that come from challenging yourself in a different way and the chance to step away from the stresses of everyday hectic life in a way that is personally grounding and reaffirming.

It is easy and perhaps convenient to go on a “typical” vacation with attendant luxury or throngs of other people. But often you return as you had come. For me, it is and was altogether more fulfilling and memorable to leave the crowds behind and experience something unique with the small number of very talented, funny and warm individuals who comprise and attend Seascape trips.

To Bruce, Frances, Lauri, Frank, Katinka, Mabel, Guy and Dave. Thanks. They say lightning never strikes twice, but it seems you have found a way to keep things sparking quite well.


Perfect Sunset trip for Facebook winnerAugust 24th, 2010

As the Facebook winner of the Sunset Trip for Two Kayak Adventure from Deer Island, I feel so lucky to have been part of the contest – and then to win, was just wonderful.

My husband and I took our trip on Friday, July 30th. The day was perfect for kayaking with minimal winds, sunny and warm. Bruce and Katinka prepared our group for the adventure with paddling instruction, basic rules for sea kayaking and a look at the maps of our various points of interest. We were honored to have the company of porpoises, several seals and sea birds and a family of eagles. We enjoyed a light snack served on the beach and got to meet and talk to our co-paddlers. Bruce and Katinka were able to answer any questions thrown at them and were very informative of the nature and environment in and around the Bay of Fundy. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend Seascape Kayak Tours to everyone. We are talking about a potential trip to Costa Rica with Seascape to explore the waterways there….Thank you so much for this unique opportunity. We had a lovely time!

~Beth and Joe Smith, Saint John, New Brunswick, Facebook Giveaway Sunset Paddle