25 years WOW! A realization of how none of this would have been possible today without all of you. You’ve all become part of my/our “Adventure High Family” and not just a guide that spent time here. Each of you is special to us and will always be a part of any success that we have now and in the future.
This year the usuals will be working again – myself, Linda, Ryan, Carly, Susan and Elliot. So what has everyone been up to? Well, I’ll try to update you as best I can.
Know about’s of what folks are doing’ (the good gossip):
This past summer I was surprised by a visit from a dear friend, who I hadn’t seen in over 20 years. David Gray, his wife Ellen and two boys came to the island on a tour of the East coast. It was great to have them visit and spend an evening catching up. My first year getting the company set up, Dave spent the summer helping me out, so we had lots to talk about. His two sons, along with my son are about the same age, so they got to meet and hang out. Both of our boys also have the same name, which is pretty cool.
Once again, I had the opportunity to spend part of the winter in Antarctica, kayaking in one of the most beautiful spots on earth. I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many great people, all with unique stories and backgrounds. After spending the last 10 years travelling to the polar regions (Arctic & Antarctica) you would think it would start to get “old”, but it never does. There is always the awe of being in a place that so few people ever get to visit. I am very fortunate to have this opportunity in my life. Dream team lives on!
Linda spent the winter on the island with our kids. She got to enjoy the longest winter Grand Manan has seen in many years! With the acquisition of the Compass Rose Heritage Inn, she has been very busy getting things ready for the summer. Linda will be running things at the Compass Rose and excited to start this new venture. Our son, Brady is going to be working there with her and he is excited about the pay cheque!! He does have experience, as he worked there last summer helping out in the kitchen and doing yard work. I can brag him up, as he was always ready to work and would stay late in the evenings to make sure everything was done, realizing as a teenager on summer vacation, I’m sure he would much rather be hanging out with his friends.
Last summer we had Ryan Munro, Sarah Hrdlicka and for the last part of the season, Scott McCormack working with us as kayak guides (and so much more). As it turns out, they were such a dream team, they along with myself went to Antarctica to guide in the southern ocean. They all have their own stories to share about their time in Antarctica.
Scott and Sarah spent their winter in Antarctica, went down the end of October and returned home (Montreal) late March. Since they spent the entire season working, they were able to take a couple of weeks in the middle of the season to travel. Uruguay was their destination of choice. This summer they will be off doing their own thing – spending time in Montreal, BC, NS and all points in between. Hopefully, with a visit here on Grand Manan. Scott is also busy promoting his new album. The band is “More Please” so go and check it out.
Ryan also spent October – March in Antarctica. During his down time he spent time in Argentina brushing up on his Spanish and I’m sure so much more!! Rumor has it he is a “karaoke master”…NOT, but that apparently didn’t deter him. Don’t give up your day job Ryan, because you are great at that…lol He will be back with us this summer, putting his talents to work for us. Always a favorite with guests, he will once again be your guide on the water.
Carly Fleet – a true Grand Mananer, she has been a great asset to us! She is willing to help in any aspect of the business, kayak guide, waitress at the Compass Rose, carpenter, painter, etc., if there is a job to be done she is “your man”. While she spends the summers on Grand Manan, the rest of the year is spent travelling the world and we always look forward to her return so we can catch up on her many adventures. She is currently enjoying the tropical weather in Cuba, unlike the rest of here! The last continent for her to discover is Antarctica….who knows, maybe she’ll end up working there as well. It appears to be the trend that if you work at Adventure High, you can work there as well.
Beth Johnston has been helping us out for the past few years – mostly with multi-day trips and the larger groups. She lives in Fredericton most of the time, but always seems to be heading out to guide trips all over. This past summer she and her partner Paul headed to Nahanni River, NWT for some paddling and be all accounts it was a great time that was had by all. Look forward to catching up with you this spring.
Elliot Shepherd, an Adventure High institution. He has been with me and the company since the very beginning. While he is still around and willing to help out, he spends most of his time at his other job with Coastal Transport and spare time you can find him either on Wood Island or with his girlfriend.
Susan Ballantyne is back in Ottawa living in the “real world”, but we’re pretty sure that she is daydreaming about the time she can be back on Grand Manan and paddling again.
Fred Tustin, who was with us for many years, is back at his home in Ontario. This winter had to be a dream come true for him. A true lover of the snow, I’m sure he has spent MANY hours, days and weeks on the slopes. I think he may love skiing more than kayaking!! Would love to hear from you Fred and let us know how you and the family are doing.
Michelle Reid another guide that was with us for a number of years is finally back in New Brunswick. She and her partner, Kyle Agnew (who also worked here) spent a few years in the Northwest Territories teaching. They were some very lucky students, as both Kyle & Michelle have such terrific personalities that they touch the lives of all those around them. They even spent a few months in St. Kitts this past fall working. This year Michelle is working with Outward Bound, so she will be once again working on Grand Manan and we are looking forward to catching up!
Brian (Kyle’s dad) also spent a season guiding with us. We like to keep it in the family. He is currently in Moncton – as far as we know. However, he never stays in one place for too long. Whether it be travelling up north or weekends at his camp, he loves being in the outdoors, enjoying nature and making friends. He, along with Kyle and Michelle, came down this past summer for a visit Hope to see you again this summer to catch up.
Our life long friend, Mark Mykytyn is back in New York. Not sure how he survived the winter, as anyone who knows Mark, he is not made for cold. August on Grand Manan is cold to Mark! He generally makes it to the island for at least a visit and is always willing to help out when needed.
Soni Gatta is now living on Campobello Island with his wife Jana. After intensive training in Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, he is now working as a fisheries officer, with the plan to return to Grand Manan.
Tammy Taylor is now living out west, but still hear from her on occasion. She has spent some time travelling and generally enjoying life.
Darryn Stevenson is living and working in Ontario as a teacher and coaching as many sports teams as possible. Married life seems to suit him and is the proud dad of 2 beautiful children.
Chad Cote is living in the Yukon and I’m sure living an adventure. We enjoyed the time he spent with us and would love to see him again.
Rob Landa, the last we heard has headed out on his dream adventure of sailing but the biggest news is that he is NOW married. Best of luck to you both and maybe you’ll be making Grand Manan one of your port of calls?
Sarah McDonald is still living and working on Grand Manan. She is the captain for the whale watching company – Whales & Sails. Next time you are on Grand Manan, make sure to book a trip with her.
Jen Hutchison came for one summer to guide many years ago. She ended up moving here, bought a house and is a manager for one of the salmon sites.
To any former guides, if you are reading this and I didn’t mention you by name, please get in touch and let me know what you are up to. Would love to hear from all of you.
Over the years we’ve had lots of great staff working with us and the following are some of you that we’ve not been in touch with for awhile: Sheila, Joe, David P., Jeff, Patrick, Sara Rydl, Ben Gammi, Kurt Adams, Celidh, Heather, Annie, Terri, Bruce, Sam and Drea Latford. However, Sam we do keep tabs on you through your mom (Susan Ballantyne). Would love to hear how you are all doing, so let us know what’s going on in your lives! Hope everyone is well and enjoying life to the fullest and keeping safe in your adventures.
AGAIN there are so many great people that have worked here and all their time and talents have helped to create Adventure High into the business it is today. For that I thank you, couldn’t have done it without all of you!!!
ll another summer has come and gone and it’s time to update you on what everyone has been doing and what plans they may have for the winter.
We sat down and tried to figure out how many people we’ve had working with us and think it’s around 34, but please let us know if we’ve missed anyone – 24 years is a long time to remember! A walk down memory lane brought back some really good memories and funny stories. A realization of how none of this would be possible today without all of you and what unique talents/skills each person utilized in the company. You’ve all become part of our “Adventure High Family” and not just a guide that spent a summmer here. Each of you is special to us and will always be a part of any success that we have now and in the future. Any stories, pictures, etc. that you have, we’d love to hear/see so please feel free to send them along!
Know about’s of what folks are doing! (the good gossip)
Kevin Sampson (our illustrious leader) is packing his bags and running off to meet the penguins. It’s time once again to head out for Antarctica and paddle among the iceburgs and spectacular wildlife. Keep checking our blog, as he will be posting pictures and letting us know about his adventures there. The past year has been busy for him, working in Toronto during the spring, offering his services as an instructor/trainer for specialized rescue & rope training. He is a man of many talents! His time in Toronto was broken up with trips home to Grand Manan for some family time. During his time home (summer) he was incredibly busy running the business here and doing home renovations in his spare time – which he really doesn’t have. The end result though is a new bedroom and solarium on the deck. Again, a very talented guy
Linda Stackhouse is the one “behind the scenes”. Although no big travel plans in the immediate future, she is planning on taking advantage of Kevin’s skills and enjoy the new bedroom and solarium! This summer had her learning some new skills (which she wasn’t sure she wanted to learn) and is now proficient in painting, sanding, staining and varnishing. She swears if Kevin has any more “projects” she is going to run away from home.
Elliot Shepherd is still with Coastal Transport and during his “week on”, he can be found hanging out at the ticket office or down on the wharf when the ferry docks. His off-week he is either paddling (he apparently doesn’t care how cold it is) or off to Wood Island and the family “camp” – his home away from home. He keeps busy with all his hobbies. Although his big news is that he is now a very proud “grampy” to a beautiful baby boy. Congratulations Elliot.
Ryan Munro is back home in Florenceville for now. However, he does have a special interest here on Grand Manan, so we expect to see him around the next couple of months. In January he will be following in Kevin’s footsteps and heading down to Antarctica and see what all the fuss is about. He will be guiding kayak tours and is sure to have lots of stories to share when he gets back. Ryan will be back again next summer to work, so be sure to drop by and see how his winter was.
Mark Mykytyn has left us for New York where he is working at getting the family home ready to sell – a huge project and one we don’t envy him. Mark is not a fan of cold weather, so not sure how he will survive the winter, maybe he can manage a trip south to warm up. Will let you know if we hear of any gossip from him.
Susan Ballantyne is now back in Ottawa living in the “real world”, but we’re pretty sure that she is daydreaming about the time she can be back on Grand Manan and paddling again.
Perry Harvey is working on the island at the local hospital, where he keeps everyone in check! We think they must like him at work, as there is always a funny story to be told about him. This fall has been a big adjustment for Perry as his “baby girl” went off to university, but she’s making it easier for him by coming home at every opportunity to visit (although we don’t think it’s him she’s coming to visit).
Fred Tustin is still in Ontario with his family. Knowing him, he is just waiting for the snow to fly so he can get out on the slopes. He’s our very own “snow bunny”. We’ve been in touch through email and sounds like he’s had a great summer with his family – Catherine & Zach. Lots of time spent camping, paddling and visiting with his extended family – sounds relaxing and just what he deserves. Hopefully we will see them back on the island next summer, fingers crossed.
Beth Johnston has been helping us out for the past few years – mostly with multi-day trips and the larger groups. She lives in Fredericton most of the time, but always seems to be heading out to guide trips all over. This summer she and her partner Paul headed to Nahanni River, NWT for some paddling and I’m sure she will have some great stories to share above this experience. Look forward to catching up with you next spring/summer.
Patrick Cook is now in Nova Scotia and working at one of the local churches as a pastor. We manage to run into him once in awhile, as he has family here on Grand Manan and he drops by for the occasional visit. Hope all is going well with you and your family!
Soni Gatta still lends a hand with the kayaking whenever he can, but he is a pretty busy guy, so we feel fortunate when he can help out. Always a favorite with our guests, he just has a way with people and we all love him! He is still on the water, but now in a fishing boat, can’t help but think that it has to be way more fun in a kayak – but possibly the fishing boat pays better!!
Brian Agnew is still living in Moncton, but you’re lucky to catch him at home. Now that he’s retired, he is making up for lost time (spent at work) and is enjoying all the adventures he can. Whether it be time at his camp, travelling around to visit family or out on one of his own adventures, you can be sure Brian is having a great time. We missed you this summer, hopefully will catch up with you next season!
Kyle Agnew (Brian’s son) and Michelle Reid are still together (longer than a lot of married couples) and are now both teachers and working in the Northwest Territories – hope I got that right, if not please let me know. They were an awesome team when working here and we still miss them. Their mutual love of the outdoors has them fitting right in, as they are in an isolated community and all entertainment seems to be outdoors – snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing – you get the idea. Their students are very lucky to have them as teachers.
Tammy Taylor and Chad Cote were both working here at the same time and last we heard both were in the British Columbia area (although Chad moved back & forth between BC and the Yukon). Haven’t heard from them lately, so if you’re reading this send an email, text, facebook or whatever and let us know how you’re doing. Your big smiles and laughter are missed – both of you!
Rob Landa, the last we heard has headed out on his dream adventure of sailing around the world. Best of luck and maybe you’ll be making Grand Manan one of your port of calls?
Darryn Stevenson is still in Ontario teaching and from the sounds of things coaching (what exactly I don’t know). His family has grown and he has two children that are now both in school. Nothing like having children to show you how fast time really does go. We haven’t seen him or his wife, Kim, for awhile now, but they claim that they are coming to the island for a visit. Talk is cheap my friend.
Jenn Hutchinson is still working here on Grand Manan at the salmon sites. She is a manager and doing very well for herself. She and boyfriend, Brad, bought a house and apparently have made Grand Manan their home. Who can blame them? No better place to live.
Sara Rydl, Ben Gammi, Kurt Adams, Celidh, have all worked with us over the past 10-12 years, but as happens in life, we’ve lost touch. Hope you’re doing well and if you read this, please drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing!
Drea Latford we hear from every once in awhile. She is now a teacher and has been travelling all over the world. Keep in touch and happy travels!!
Sarah MacDonald is another one that is still on Grand Manan. She is captain of one of the whale watching companies here and she has also bought herself a house, so I guess she isn’t going anywhere too soon! We see her quite often, usually in the company of her beautiful dog, Molly.
Over the years we’ve had lots of great staff working with us and the following are some of you that we’ve not been in touch with for awhile: Joe, David G., David P., Sheila, Heather, Annie, Terri, Bruce, Sam. However, Sam we do keep tabs on you through your mom (Susan Ballantyne). Would love to hear how you are all doing, so let us know what’s going on in your lives! Hope everyone is well and enjoying life to the fullest and keeping safe in your adventures.
If we have left anyone out (we really tried to remember everyone), let us know and will follow up with you too!
Well it is now 2010 and our season has begun. I can’t believe how fast this year has gone. This past winter has been a busy one with lots to share with you
This year the usuals will be working again – myself, Linda and Elliot. So what has everyone been up to? Well, I’ll try to update you as best I can.
Know about’s of what folks are doing’ (the good gossip):
Elliot now has a new sailboat to play with (actually it’s his brother’s boat, but he has use of it), so not sure how much time he will actually be kayaking!! He is still working with Coastal Transport and spends as much free time as he can on the water and Wood Island pursuing his interests. He also bought a house this year and has been very busy with the renovations.
It goes without saying that Linda and I will be here, since this is where we live and work.
We are excited to have Michelle Reid returning this year, it’s guaranteed to be a good time with her around. Many will remember her as she worked with us for 3 summers and always manages to come down for visit. However, she is not returning alone – her boyfriend Kyle will be working here as well. We have met him a few times and is a really great guy and we’re sure he will be definite asset. They are both from Moncton and have been attending university in Fredericton. This spring they have been working in British Columbia, tree planting. Kayaking will be a welcomed break to them They will be bringing their dog, Huxley with them, so it will be a friend for our dog, Sol. I’m sure our dog will show Huxley how to get to the beach for a swim, without waiting for someone to take them.
Another new addition to our staff is Jeff Bergen. He recently moved to Grand Manan with his family from Manitoba and is going to work with us on a part-time basis. Jeff has an art studio in Seal Cove, so be sure to drop by and take a look at his paintings. We’re sure you will be amazed.
As for myself, it has been a very exciting winter. I got the opportunity to travel to Antarctica and the Chilean Fjords with Clipper Cruise Lines, and there is just not enough time to tell you all the things I got to see and do. But be warned that I did take over 4000 pictures and if you ask me about my trip, I may just feel the need to show them to you. Upon my return to Canada (March) I was able to spend a few weeks in Toronto with my mother, which was great.
While I was off having adventures in the land of penguins, Linda got to spend a few quality weeks alone with the boys – lucky her!! I’m sure she has lots of adventures to share with you as well. Our son Isaac is now 11 and started middle school this year, so that was a big change for us. Brady is now 15 years old and is very much looking forward to spending the summer kayaking. Brett is 18 and is just waiting for school to be done so he can be free of homework and studying (not that he spent too much time doing that). He just plans to sleep and hang out with his friends.
Tammy Taylor, who spent the past couple of seasons with us has moved out to British Columbia to be with her sister and brother-in-law, who we understand are expecting a baby. Tammy will be a great person to have around, we know as she was wonderful with Isaac. Tammy, let us know how things are going and what you are up to.
Chad is back in the Yukon to work this summer after spending the winter traveling through South America. Sounds like a rough life to me! He plans to return to university in Victoria, BC in the fall and maybe someday he will actually finish (just kidding). Best of luck in everything Chad and we’d love to see you back this way, even if it is just to visit.
Mark Mykytyn, always a favorite with us and anyone who has ever paddled with him, is now in Vermont (last we heard). He was back last summer to help us out and it was great to have him. Will be giving him a call soon to see what he is up to and any adventures he may have had over the winter – can’t imagine him spending an entire winter in the snow and cold. He thinks it’s cold here in July and August. Hope all is well Mark.
Jenn Hutchinson and Sarah MacDonald only spent one summer kayaking but are both working on Grand Manan. Sarah is captain on one of the whale watching boats and working with her family. Jenn is working in the salmon industry, with no plans to leave.
Sheila is still living and working in Toronto with her partner and daughter. I had the chance to visit with them and can officially say their daughter is a real cutie.
We received an email from Rob Landa and he is still in British Columbia, but is in the middle of preparing to sail around the word. Sounds exciting! Let us know how things are going with that.
There are so many others that we have worked with over the years and sorry that we can’t mention all of you. Would love to hear from everyone and find out what you are up to.