Since 2008, Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours has been a key player in Campbell River’s whale watching industry, but our years of experience goes far beyond that. Founded by “Hurricane Jack” aka Jack Springer along with his partners Jennifer and Aaron, the three brought many years of experience with them as they started their new venture. Over the past 10 years the company has grown from one boat to seven and continues to expand and look for new ways to engage with guests. In 2018, Tyler Bruce and Stephen Gabrysh purchased the company and are excited to carry on the legacy left by the previous owners.
Owner / Operator
Tyler Bruce has grown up on the water. His early years were spent down in the Gulf Islands, before moving north and exploring Nootka Sound, Discovery Passage, and the Johnstone Strait. He's been involved in the commercial sportfishing and ski industry since 2001. He was the Assistant Slope Supervisor at Mount Washington Alpine Ski Resort, and was tasked with supervising a crew of 20 in day-to-day operations. He is also a commercial sports fisherman in Nootka Sounds Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait. Tyler has a Leadership and Safety Excellence certificate from ACSA, MED 3A- Marine Emergency Duties, Marine First Aid CPR/AED Level C, VHF Radio Operators License, and Small Vessel Operators Proficiency from Transport Canada.
Owner / Operator
Stephen Gabrysh has had a passion for the water since moving from Alberta in 1992. He is an avid fisherman, aviation enthusiast, and outdoorsman. Stephen lives in Campbell River and loves spending time with his family. His two daughters have been spending more time on the water and share his passion for the outdoors. His business background as an entrepreneur has grown a company from 30 employees to 75. Stephen has a Bcomm in Entrepreneurial Management from Royal Roads University. He also has MED 3A – Marine Emergency Duties, Marine First Aid, VHF Radio Operators License, Small Vessel Operators Proficiency Transport Canada, Multi Engine IFR Pilots License, and a Class 1 Commercial Drivers License.
Where does the name “Hurricane Jack” Come From? The vessel that was purchased first was one of the most stable and reliable boats built, a Hurricane 733. (Think Coast Guard Zodiac). Over the following 6 years Jack averaged 1200 hours per season traveling from Painter’s Lodge to destinations such Telegraph Cove and Alert Bay on daily Whale Watching expeditions, a round trip distance of over 200 miles. Places such as Quadra Island, Cortez, Marina, Hernando, Savery, Senora, Stuart, Maurelle, Thurlow, and Hardwick Islands became what is called his “back yard”.
The bright orange coloured Hurricane 733 was the first Zodiac tour boat in the area and from March through October, became a common sight on the water. Jack relied on local fishing guides concerning the Pacific White sided Dolphins, Porpoise and Orca sightings and in return Jack was able to give them weather, wind, and wave conditions in the areas the fishermen were headed. Jack communicated to the local fisherman via a VFH radio coloured zodiac traveling by at what seemed like neck breaking speeds, therefore became known as “Hurricane Jack”.
For over 30 years Jack has been exploring the waters of Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait. It is an area of incredible beauty and home to some of the most amazing creatures on earth. Jack wants to share with you and your families Pacific White-Sided Dolphin, Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Bald Eagles and of course the magnificent Orca.
Jack has a Bachelor of Education, University of Victoria and Majors in Outdoor Education & Physical Education. He also has Professional Development / Training, MED 3A – Marine Emergency Duties (current), Emergency First Aid- Industry, BC (current), CPR Certification Level A & C (current), Naturalist Certification, University of Victoria and a VHF Radio Operators License (current). S.V.O.P. (current).
We pride ourselves on having quality equipment and an experienced crew:
Zodiac Style Boats
We have the latest generation of 12 passenger zodiac style boats similar to those used by the Coast Guard. Private stand-up washrooms. Dry storage for each passenger under the generously padded seats.
Our 12 passenger covered boats give guests the luxury of a more comfortable covered ride with the freedom to get out and view wildlife from the two fully open decks. Heated indoor cabin, stand-up washrooms.
New and well maintained engines exceed current EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) standards.
Up-to-date electronic communication and navigation equipment, GPS (global positioning system), and electronic charting. New full length thermal survival floater suits that keep you warm, dry, and safe!
Each vessel is equipped with specifically designed underwater microphones enabling guests to listen to vocalizations of the Orca.
Each vessel is equipped with a 400 watt sound system with 6 speakers allowing the Driver / Naturalist to draw the attention of the guests to points of interest and share historical details while travelling.
All of our crew on the water is fully certified and goes through an extensive training program under the direction of Jack Springer and our existing crew. We are proud to have all of our captains be certified naturalists.
That Little Bit Extra
We provide the use of binocular, sunscreen, gloves, touques (hats), and goggles.
NIMMSA North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association.
Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours is committed to responsible wildlife viewing practices and is an active member of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.