Outfitter Spotlight: Horizons Adventures
Horizons Adventures has been guiding and training sea kayakers since 1995 in their northern Great Lakes region and all over Canada…
Rick Wise founded Horizons Adventures over two decades ago. They’re based in Whitefish, Ontario, just above Lake Huron’s North Channel near Sudbury.
Horizons Adventures Guides Kayak Tours
A large part of Horizons’ business is guiding sea kayak tours in their region of Canada: Georgian Bay, the North Channel of Lake Huron, and Lake Superior. These can be day trips or multi-day trips combined with camping, and are split into Level 1 or Level 2 adventures.
One of their unique Level 1 offerings is their Art of the Benjamin Islands 4-day/3-night kayak trip:
“Every day we paddle our kayaks in a new direction and stop to capture the essence of that moment in a watercolour sketch or on film (photography), then return to our base camp in the evening. What a wonderful way to learn to paint your own picture.”
Art instruction and materials are included, along with delicious meals and all gear.
The Level 2 trips paddle over some exposed open water and areas likely to experience some wind and waves. The Whales Back trip even includes Paddle Canada skills certification along the way.
Instructor Training all over Canada
As a top-tier instructor with Paddle Canada, Rick and his team offer training and instruction right in their area as well as on both the east and west coasts of Canada.
There are all kinds of reasons why kayakers want instruction: for their personal kayaking enjoyment, volunteer opportunities with paddle groups, guiding opportunities with kayak businesses and in order to become instructors themselves.
Whatever their reason, Rick and his team will help them reach their sea kayaking goals.
One of his favorite experiences has been working with kayakers in the remote Inuit community of Inukjuak on Hudson Bay. He and the elders of the community are focusing on the under-30s there to teach them their kayaking roots and train them in paddling skills and wilderness first aid.
Rick has been able to donate a couple kid-size kayaks to the people there, as well as help them get some kayak gear at-cost. As they continue this partnership, he hopes some of them will be able to make the trip down to his area, too.
Why Rick Loves His Work
It’s easy for Rick to pinpoint why he loves what he does every day: “It’s the people you meet and spend time with.”
Three of those people have especially stood out in his mind:
- Catherine came on three kayak trips while she battled bowel cancer, one with her daughter.
- Daniel brought his son and son’s best friend on a trip kayaking the Killarney area of Georgian Bay. He had been battling ALS, but was still able to paddle.
- Kirk had cancer in his joints, but didn’t let that stop him from fulfilling his kayak pursuits—including becoming a kayak instructor in his last year.
All three have since passed away. But they’ve left an indelible mark on Rick and his staff because of their determination and courage.
Rick’s favorite place to kayak? “Wherever I am at the time!”
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