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About us


Your host and guide

For 19 years I owned and operated a sea kayaking company called Spirit of the West Adventures. The excitement of launching a new business and guiding its success was terrific – but part of that success meant I was spending more and more time in my office, and not enough time with what I really love: the wildlife and nature of our beautiful coast.

I needed a change. So I sold the business to my partners of seven years, and took the next two to muse on my own next steps. I sailed my boat up and down the coast, went on a hitch hiking trip across Africa with a close friend, and spent quality time with my beautiful parents. 

In the end I came full circle to what I know best, with the proviso that I could do things differently this time. I could build a camp in an area that I love, the Broughton Archipelago. I could create something that gave me more of what I’m coming to value – adventuring combined with comfort! I imagined something like an African safari camp more than a backpacking tented camp. 

And I could run my business in a new way, with no office to get locked into all summer. I wanted home base to be in camp so I could answer an email or two and then join our guests for a whale watching excursion. I wanted to keep things small so my guests and I could really enjoy an intimate experience in a spectacular area. To me that means sharing experiences with my guests, not hearing about them on Trip Advisor! 

In the summer of 2015 I along with along with 15 volunteers from around the world, lovingly created the Orca Dreams whale watching camp. Our beautiful site is located on my favourite beach on White Beach Pass on Compton Island, the home of the MamMamalilikula-Qwe’Qwa’Sot’Em First Nation.

This is a place where whales can be seen playing out front 24/7. Where I can go catch a fish and cook it up for dinner. Where I can interact with my First Nations neighbours and talk about real things like where the halibut are biting, or that huge wind storm we had last night.

Most importantly I can share this area, and my dream, with new friends from around the globe.

And with that we welcome you to Orca Dreams!


Lead guide

In 2010, in a quest to follow his passion of spending time on the ocean Ryan drove west from Ontario until he found his new home on a small Island off the Vancouver Island Coast. It is there he continued his career as a lead sea kayak guide with John’s former Company Spirit of the West Adventures. When John started Orca Dreams in 2016 Ryan followed soon after to become Orca Dreams lead guide, interpreter and host.

Ryan's passion for the wilderness started at a young age when he helped his parents in their international guiding company as a young interpreter. His parents company took him to Africa, Asia and South and Central America where he honed his skills as a wildlife guide and interpreter.

Ryans greatest passion has been the ocean and he has spent much of his adult life above it or below it. Ryan has been a dive instructor in all corners of the globe and takes any chance he can to explore new and beautiful places both above and below the sea. Ryan currently spends his off season guiding sea kayaking and boat trips in the Antarctic with Quark Expeditions. We look forward each summer to hear of his past months adventures in the southern latitudes.

When Ryan is in-between work he can be found on his off the grid homestead located on boat access only Sonora Island, a small bit of paradise between Vancouver Island and the mainland mountains.


Food and camp manager

I grew up in Winnipeg, where I learned to live by the seasons, I spent my summers foraging on Lake of the Woods in north western Ontario. When I was 19 I left home to travel the world, and discovered my love for cooking.

I learned to sail on Quadra island when I was 21 and then went to work as a helmsman aboard the Naga Pelangi, a charter boat in the Andaman sea, in north Malaysia. I moved back to the west coast full time 4 years ago at 22 and bought my own Sailboat. I have been living off grid on Read island for 3 years and have been passionately learning to live off the land through gardening and wild foraging.