You’ll find Remote Passages Marine Adventures in a photogenic red boathouse on Tofino’s small harbourfront.  Like many treasures that are well worth some extra effort, a series of stairs and a boardwalk lead you down from historic Main Street to the classic Norwegian-style building.  The setting is inspiring, as is the passion for education about whales and wildlife that has been driving owner-operators Don Travers and Kati Martini for over 25 years.

Hailing from Southern Ontario, Kati first visited Tofino in the spring of 1985.  She encountered whales, eagles and banana slugs on her first day on the coast, and spent the next several years as a national park interpreter, guiding thousands of visitors on the rainforest trails and coastal beaches of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  Don’s roots are in Victoria, but he travelled around the world, sailing both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans before returning to Vancouver Island and Tofino to captain a whale watch boat in 1989.

It was a much different world in the late 1980s, when wildlife was still viewed in captivity, and the concept of watching and learning about whales in the wild was new.  Enter Don and Kati who took the helm of BC’s original Zodiac touring company and developed a unique whale watching experience on the beautiful west coast of Vancouver Island.  Both were thrilled with the opportunity to bring guests from all over the world to encounter whales in the wild.  Don and Kati have a clear passion for connecting researchers to visitors, all in the name of conservation.  Words cited by an early mentor continue to resonate with Kati: “In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand…”  Remote Passages Marine Excursions supports the work of independent local researchers such as Dr. Jim Darling of the Pacific Wildlife Foundation – endeavours important to conservation planning for both Gray and Humpback Whales. Every spring, the whole crew at Remote gets behind hosting researcher presentations and sponsoring the Tofino Maritime Kids Day during the weekl-long Pacific Rim Whale Festival.

Much like the Gray whales, Don & Kati have an annual migration pattern of their own.  Every November, after a season of hosting and informing on the waterfront, they close the doors at the boathouse and head ‘off island’ to attend the UBC Marine Mammal Symposium – a replenishing day of presentations and updates by researchers and students from BC & Washington State.  At the other end of their winter, it’s off to Maui for Whale Tales, a leading Humpback whale research and education event hosted by Whale Trust Maui.

Away from the boathouse, you’re likely to meet Don and Kati on Chesterman Beach or the Common Loaf Bake Shop, enjoying sweets with longtime friend Maureen Fraser. Don’t be shy to ask about recent sightings of Gray whales or maybe of transient Orcas – because Don and Kati love what they know and want to share their passion for the wildlife that abounds in and around Tofino.





Updated Highway 4 Road Closure Schedule at Kennedy Hill