From his childhood explorations of coastal tide pools to working as a navigation officer on board Coast Guard ships, Mike’s life has always revolved around the ocean. A keen observer of all things marine, Mike grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. After studying marine biology at the University of Victoria, he worked as a commercial diver, fishing for scallops, sea cucumbers and the giant Pacific octopus, the world’s largest octopus.
In 1986, after working as a deck hand during a particularly stormy halibut season, Mike decided to turn his attention to protecting the ocean and its resources, instead of harvesting them. He joined the Canadian Coast Guard, and after 4 years at the officer training college in Sydney, Nova Scotia, he graduated with a bachelor of technology in nautical sciences. He worked as a navigation officer on search and rescue ships, aids to navigation vessels and icebreakers. His sea voyages took him to all 3 Canadian coasts, the High Arctic and the Panama Canal.
In 1990, his intimate knowledge of the British Columbia coast led Mike to work on various vessels, doing ecotourism trips as a captain and naturalist. After moving to Cortes Island in 1991, he worked as a kayak guide/instructor, sailing skipper and naturalist. He also taught seamanship and chart work on the island.
Mike and wife Samantha purchased the schooner Misty Isles in 1997, and they began operating as Misty Isles Adventures in 2002, leading historical and eco-sailing tours and guided kayak trips. Starting in January 2001, Mike expanded his field a little farther and spent time as a naturalist and boat driver in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Since 2006, he has worked the spring and fall seasons as a relief captain on a heritage sailing vessel, doing youth sailing programs in British Columbia’s southern Gulf Islands.