The Storm Riders series aims to celebrate the strength of our industry while highlighting some of the many ways businesses have overcome the challenges resulting from COVID-19. We are proud to showcase how the following businesses have adapted while celebrating the people who are at the heart of what we do. In this post, we hear from Natasha Baert-Hockin at Tofino Sea Kayaking.
Why do you do what you do?
I want to connect people with nature by using a kayak as a way to discover and explore the area in as a minimum impact way of travel.
What is your hope for the future of our region?
My hope is to see the area turned into a designated park that is managed by the traditional guardians and First Nation communities of the area working in collaboration with the tourism industry in Tofino.
What do you want people to know of your business?
That to experience the area you need to get out on the water and see what is beyond Tofino. That our guides are fantastic educators and people learn a lot about the area and gain a deeper understanding of what makes it so special. Kayaking is a very accessible activity and you don’t need any experience to get out on the water with a guide.
In your own words, please share “Travel matters because … “
Travel matters because it shows us the beauty of our world and the importance of protecting rich, diverse ecosystems and natural areas for people from all over the world to experience. Tourism is a viable economy that can support remote communities and offer jobs that allow people to share and teach others about the area so we know why it is worth protecting.
Other than your own business, what are 3 other businesses in your community that visitors should experience?
The main other business I recommend it Clayoquot Wild nature tours. It is a first nation run operation that brings a different perspective to seeing the area. I think anyone who goes out with this company is getting a very special and unique tour offered by people who have a history and knowledge that is significant. I also recommend Bravocados as they are making really good vegan fair at reasonable prices, so good. Lastly, I would recommend the Common Loaf Bake Shop as it is iconic Tofino.
The spark to own/work in this business must motivate you each day. – what are some of your past experiences that have contributed to this spark.
I love exploring the area by kayak as it is freedom to me and to see all the intertidal life up close is so fun. I really enjoy the response people have going out kayaking and how much they learn and enjoy themselves being in nature. I believe that connecting and being in nature is important for everyone especially if you live in an urban environment. If you connect with nature then you will understand the value in preserving these areas as part of our human well being. Nature and being in nature is essential to life and kayaking is such an adventure and intimate way of exploring this area, that is what inspires me.