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Dan Kukat

Owner & Captain

Dan started SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours 24 years ago. He wished to combine his love of being on the Ocean and his desire to live in Victoria with his interest in running his own business. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Dan traveled the world as a Tax Specialist focusing in the oil and gas industry. Now a certified Marine Engineer (not to mention Transport Canada certified Captain), Dan manages the operations and the maintenance for the SpringTide fleet. He also works tirelessly to further conservation efforts in the region to ensure the Whales will survive for many years to come. In fact, Dan wrote the original Marine Mammal viewing documents from which the current North American Guidelines are based.

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Joanne Kukat

Co-Owner and General Manager

Joanne graduated with a B. Comm from UBC, and pursued a sales career in the hi-tech industry with her first job being with IBM. Moving to Victoria was the best thing she ever did! “The eco-tourism industry is incredibly fascinating and rewarding – and so is working alongside the talented professionals at SpringTide; supporting University Co-op students; and collaborating with tour companies from around the world”.

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Ian

Captain

Captain Ian was born and raised close to Liverpool, England. After finishing his degree in Earth Sciences, he travelled the world extensively and soon found his passion for Wildlife and the Ocean. He has worked all over the globe; as Dive Master & Captain in the Cayman Islands and a Master Scuba Diver Trainer in Cozumel, Mexico.  Ian has chosen Victoria BC to settle down with his wife and kids! Ian says “I have immense respect for the Ocean and its Wildlife and I am truly privileged to work out there on a daily basis.”

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Dave

Captain

Dave has been a perfect fit for SpringTide Whale Watching since 2009, with his love of the Ocean and Marine Wildlife.  Recently retired from a career as a high school teacher, Dave escapes into the deep BC wilds every summer, to dive and fish with his family. Captain Dave also has a very interesting job captaining an Ocean-going ambulance at all hours of the day and night in the Southern Gulf Islands.

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Yves

Chief Mate & Captain

Yves was brought up on the St Lawrence River and after a long career in the Royal Canadian Navy, has spent 14 years working on Victoria’s beautiful harbour. He loves to take photos as he continues to explore the Ocean environment around Victoria. Look for some of the many images he shares with his passengers by checking the SpringTide facebook page!

Yves is a very talented wood worker and is the creator of the wonderful pieces you will see in our office.  We hope you will drop by to see them!  Yves enjoys travelling and meeting visitors from around the world when they join him onboard the Marauder IV.

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Geoff

Skipper

Geoff grew up on the boats his family sailed. He raced competitively on the international circuit for years before settling in at SpringTide Whale Watching where he’s been a Skipper since 2009. “Working at SpringTide is all about living a life on the water,” he says. He takes pride in helping our guests gain a deeper understanding of the need for conservation. Geoff has completed his Undergraduate degree and is now articling for his Chartered Professional Accounting Degree.  Last year Geoff was seen sharing his great sailing skills with the Paralympic Sailing Team.

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Cameron

Skipper

Cameron grew up in the warm dry climes of Penticton BC but moved to Vancouver to work for several years at Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Bit by the travel bug in a big way and when combined with his love of photography, Cameron left the west coast to travel the globe looking for beauty and adventure. He traveled extensively throughout Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Denmark and Cyprus working as Freelance Photographer and Travel Writer. Fortunately for us, Cameron has now settled in Victoria with his wife and young family.

 

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Mark

Skipper

Mark has been with SpringTide for two seasons now. As part of the crew, Mark enjoys the relaxed but professional atmosphere of the family-run business. He enjoys sharing his passion for the Ocean with our guests, wanting to instill a desire to protect, love and preserve the waters in current and future generations. In addition to Mark’s love of the Ocean, he also possesses a passion for travel. He began his adventures diving and climbing in Africa, which led to a seven-year around-the-world trip without flying. A pretty incredible venture! He has been across Europe, to the Arctic, across Russia, Mongolia, China, the Middle East, South America; to mention just a few. He eventually ended up in the Caribbean working as a Captain on luxury catamarans. Mark also volunteers as a medic on ski patrol, has taught sailing, delivered boats all over the world, is a rescue diver, a licensed Captain and Guide who has worked in many different countries and with many different cultures. Some of the other activities that occupy Mark’s time are sailing, kite-surfing, diving, playing music, camping, travelling, cooking, mountaineering, growing food, supporting small local events, and marine conservation.

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Marty

Skipper

One of Marty’s passions is hiking. Really big hikes. He is often found in the mountains on multi-day trips, exploring the wilderness and climbing peaks. He is our team hiking leader! On Sundays, you can find him exploring the vast network of hiking trails found in and around Victoria. Ask him for some recommendations if you are interested in  exploring some breathtaking views and unique places to stretch your legs.

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Gord

Naturalist/Biologist

Gord has been with SpringTide Whale Watching & Eco Tours since 2014. As with other SpringTide employees, Gord has traveled extensively through most of Canada, much of the United States, Mexico, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Norway, and New Zealand. Cuba’s next on Gord’s bucket list. What brought Gord to SpringTide you ask? Well Gord spent a lot of time working on and under the water while working at the Royal BC Museum. After retiring from the museum, he missed not being on the water so he jumped at the chance to work on the Ocean again. For Gord, the people at SpringTide are also great to work with – and of course seeing Whales every day ain’t bad!

Previous to his days with SpringTide, Gord worked at the Royal BC Museum for 33 years in the Marine Biology Department and Public Programs Department. He is still a Research Associate at the Museum and continues the research on marine life that he was involved in while employed there. When Gord does have spare time, he still loves to travel.

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Kat

Marine Biologist/Naturalist

Kat has been working with SpringTide since 2008, making 2016 her ninth season! Hailing from Victoria, Kat received her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Victoria. After she graduated, she travelled for a year doing research internships. She studied Humpback Whales in Alaska, Spinner Dolphins in Hawaii, and Whales on the BC coast. She recently completed her M.Sc. at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Kat’s research interests focus on bio-acoustics: using sound to gather information about how Marine Mammals interact with each other and with human noise. She can identify the calls of several Marine Mammal species, and even does impersonations! Kat loves being a part of SpringTide because she gets to meet people from all over the world who are interested in Whales, and enrich their experience by sharing her knowledge and passion. She also loves it when people come on-board wanting to just see Whales, and leave wanting to help save them!

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Laureline, also known as Charley

Marine Biologist/Naturalist

Laureline began her journey with SpringTide in April 2016. An avid traveler, she has been to all continents except Antarctica! But it’s definitely on her bucket list. Most notably, Laureline has visited Japan, Thailand, Fiji, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Spain, USA, Morocco, Tunisia and more. She has lived and worked in Australia, New Zealand, France, Portugal and Canada. What brought Laureline to Victoria (and SpringTide) were the Orcas. They are one of her favourite cetacean species and are, in her opinion, some of the most social animals on the planet. Working as a Naturalist Guide for SpringTide gives Laureline “a fantastic feeling as I can share my love and interest for animals and show people how amazing they are. Hopefully after a cruise with us, people will want to do more to protect the environment and the wildlife.”

Laureline has a PhD in Animal Behaviour with a strong interest for social, maternal and sexual behaviours. Her passion for marine biology has lead her to a career as a Biologist, Lecturer and Naturalist Guide for the last ten years or so. During her free time, you can find her sailing and snorkeling, or hiking and spending hours watching animals in the wild.

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Marcus

Marine Naturalist

Marcus, a native of Sweden, joins the SpringTide Team after working most recently in Iceland as a whale watching Senior Naturalist. Science and nature have always interested Marcus and he has an extensive knowledge of our feathered friends.   Searching for new exciting challenges led him to Canada and now to us!

Photography is a keen interest.  You will see Marcus’ remarkable photos on our facebook page… to the delight of all the folks joining his Marauder IV excursions.

Marcus makes both his colleagues and passengers laugh. His passion for wildlife shows in his guiding and we love his professionalism, enthusiasm and how he makes his tours not only interesting and educational but a lot of fun as well!

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Fiona

Guest Services Manager and Naturalist

Fiona has been with SpringTide since May 2011 and is usually found in our busy downtown office. Before her time with us, she lived abroad in Australia and Spain. She also travelled extensively through Europe, Asia and North America, moving to Canada from Ireland in 2007. Being with SpringTide allows Fiona to work with a great crew, meet people from around the world, and of course, go Whale Watching as much as she likes! “Whale Watching has been a passion of mine since I was a teenager.  I have Whale and Dolphin watched in six different countries in a total of 20 different places. I am a Marine Naturalist and I have been working in the Whale Watching industry in Victoria for the past 9 years. Vancouver Island is such a special place to me. If I am not Whale Watching you can usually find me hiking East Sooke Park, camping on the West Coast or Ocean swimming anywhere from Bamberton to Sooke. I love to be outside enjoying nature and looking for wildlife any chance I get. :)”
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Carleen

Carleen has been with  SpringTide for “forever! I was blessed to have been born into the Kukat family and have worked with SpringTide from the time I could first hand tools to Captain Dad.”  When Carleen isn’t in the office, she loves to travel. Most recently, she spent half a year in Beijing, China for an academic exchange. It was her first experience in an Asian country and left her with a deep love and respect for their way of life.   After recently getting into rock climbing, which she loves, she has discovered many incredible places to climb around Victoria. Most recently, MacAulay Point, where the climbing wall is right above the Ocean!