Get To Know Us
We believe that the small contributions of many can make a big impact.
That’s why we’re proud to put our financial resources and team support behind the many charitable, economic, and research & conservation organizations that work hard to protect and preserve our natural environment, and improve life for animals and society alike.
John DouglasGeneral Manager, Owner
John began his career in the marine industry over 30 years ago. Now General Manager and vessel Captain, he holds a Master 500GT Near Coastal certification, Small Vessel Machinery Operator (SMVO), and has completed programs in Marine Emergency Duties STCW95 and Marine First Aid.
Lauren WilkinsonManaging Director
Lauren oversees the smooth operations of Marine Transport and Orca Spirit Adventures, including finance and marketing. She has been with the organization for over 15 years.
Victoria-born Sarah Keenan has spent her life pursuing her passion for the natural world. From summer through fall, she’s a Naturalist with Orca Spirit Adventures, and always eager to share knowledge, tell stories and point out her favourite animals on tour. Winter finds her guiding show shoe tours in Whistler. Sarah’s dream is to eventually captain her own vessel and lead wildlife tours in less explored corners of the world.
Laura Crowe-HutchonSales Manager
Laura grew up in Vancouver, spending her summers exploring the waters of west coast on her family’s sailboat, and loving the closeness of wildlife. After obtaining a BSc Combined Biology and Psychology at the University of Victoria, she joined the Orca Spirit business development team, focusing on local tourism, corporate travel, and public relations.
Rachel ThompsonOffice Manager
Rachel was born and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the youngest of three siblings. Her love for soccer and competitive swimming led her to obtained a diploma in Health and Fitness Promotion. and a Bachelor of Science, Disciplined in Kinesiology from Western University and Brock University in Australia. Rachel moved to Vancouver Island for the summer but was captivated by the coastal beauty. With Orca Spirit for four years, she keeps our office and operation running smoothly.
Alex FormanZodiac Captain
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Alex moved to beautiful Victoria, BC five year ago. He joined our pod in 2012, working as a naturalist aboard our covered vessels. Alex holds MED A1/A2, SVOP and ROC-MC certifications, and recently completed his biology degree with a concentration in marine biology at the University of Victoria.
Rachael MerrettSenior Naturalist
Rachael grew up in the prairies of Saskatchewan, but developed a love of the ocean—and killer whales after visiting the west coast as a child. She completed a Degree in Biology before continuing her education in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation and Marine Biology at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. A marine naturalist with Orca Spirit Adventures for nine seasons, Rache loves educating visitors from around the world about the beautiful yet fragile Salish Sea, and its diversity of marine life.
Matt BurnabyZodiac Captain
Working with people in nature has been a lifelong aspiration for Matt. He began studying the west coast’s diverse ecosystems when he was 8 years old, and joined the Gulf Islands Center of Ecological Learning as a naturalist when he was only 15. Originally from Salt Spring island, Matt is one of our experienced zodiac drivers.
Breanna has been with Orca Spirit Adventures for over six years. She flawlessly managing all aspects of customer service, from the initial point of contact, to greeting customers and responding to enquiries. Breanna also handles organizational logistics, including maintenance of the gift shop, and coordination of boat crew and fleet.
Kade was born and raised on Vancouver Island as the middle child in a big family of six. His father was the engineer on a fishing boat out of Ucluelet and northern west-coast of BC, so he spent a lot of time on the water, fueling his passion for wilderness and the ocean. In his spare time, Kade can be found outside playing frisbee and baseball with friends.
Brett KelleyChief Mate
Once a mariner, always a mariner! Brett is a graduate of the Camosun College Marine Program and works at Orca Spirit Adventures has a First Mate on the Orca Spirit II and Pacific Explorer. Brett’s favourite whale is L115-Mystic and is fascinated by the evolution of the hunting skills that whales learned.
Walter Cadwallader & Mabel WilsonOwners
Walter joined Orca Spirit Adventures in 2003 after many years in the commercial fishing industry. Mabel’s background includes multi-generation ownership of larger vessels. They tap into their extensive marine experience to bring exciting ideas and streamlined processes to the business.
Leaders in responsible Eco-Tourism