At the Water’s Edge Adventures was created from a love and passion for the Johnstone Strait, Broughton Archipelago and North Vancouver Island as a whole. Founded by Wesley Gibson, a Level 3 SKGABC (Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia) guide who has paddled the Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago for work and pleasure since 2013. We are the back-to-nature kayaking company, prioritizing adventure over luxury. AWE Adventures is excited to facilitate experiences in one of the most diverse and incredible kayaking destinations in the world.
Although we operate in the home of the killer whale, our team at AWE Adventures loves this area for the entire ecosystem — from the 40-ton humpback whale to the imperceptible microscopic plankton. The northern resident orca population lives on top of a food chain that rivals the tropical jungles in biodiversity. Come and discover the diversity that supports this environment and explore the entire cast, not just the celebrity orca. With cold, oxygenated Pacific water, the prolific bald eagle, the hooded nudibranchs and the bull kelp, this unique ecosystem has helped shape who we are today and we believe it can do the same for you.
We aim to help people appreciate the entire harmonious ecosystem of the area. As much as we would like to promise you the sighting of killer whales, their movement varies with the seasons. No one has control over any natural wildlife, no matter how much we try. We prefer to be honest and let you know now that we cannot guarantee any wildlife encounters. We like to let nature take its course rather than trying to chase the whales, who sometimes prefer not to be seen. That said, we will try our best to take you to the ideal spots and patiently observe.
Let us share our passion for this magical area with you on an adventure that will leave you changed forever.
Wesley Gibson, Owner/Guide
Wesley is a Level 3 Sea Kayak guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia. Growing up near the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada, Wesley sought out the alluring west coast after completing his schooling in adventure tourism.
After cutting his guiding teeth on the Sunshine Coast of BC, Wesley spent the following years paddling extensively through the Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago for both work—as he guided and managed one of the largest kayaking operators on Vancouver Island—and play, of course.
In 2019, Wesley opened At the Water’s Edge Adventures to share his passion and dream to facilitate experiences in this paradigm-shifting environment.
Rob Watson, Operations Manager/Lead Guide
As one of the most experienced guides in the area, Rob Watson brings a decade+ of experience in the Johnstone Strait. After migrating from Ontario in the early 2010’s, Rob has spent nearly all of his time either playing in or learning about nature. An avid backcountry skier, kayaker, biker, and more, he is also nearing the completion of his double major in Ocean Sciences and Marine Biology at UVIC.
A favourite of his friends, peers and guests, Rob is one of those guys who could have made a go at professional sport. Instead, he followed his dreams to the oceans and mountains where his passion pairs mightily with nature’s beauty to facilitate an uplifting experience you will not soon forget.
Dave Hilder, Level 3 Guide
If not for a quirk of fate, Dave Hilder would be found onstage behind the drums, performing worldwide with his band. Lucky for us, Dave’s path took a turn west away from international stardom and straight into the glorious mountains and ocean of British Columbia.
After years spent honing his craft in and around the Johnstone Strait, Dave is now amongst the most experienced guides in the area. His passion is ignited in seeing nature bring out the inner children in his guests. Hundreds of days and nights immersed in this area have only increased Dave’s excitement as he is most likely to cheer the loudest and the first to dance when the wildlife comes a-knocking.
Those who head out with Dave are guaranteed to experience a multi-day face workout as the constant smiling and laughter comes part of the package.