Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Adventuress: Wilderness Adventures for Women in BC

I've always been a big fan of the Oceanside region of Vancouver Island, located on the east side of the island. Several summers ago, I met up with certified kayak guide and instructor Jan Kretz in Parksville. As the founder of Adventuress: Wilderness Adventures for Women, I wasn't surprised to see that her front yard was filled with kayaks!

Jan purchased her kayaks in 2003 and has been conducting all women paddles ever since. OK, she says she "will take guys," but for the most part her business is geared toward women. And she's no stranger to running a business. With a degree in tourism and recreation, she's done everything from running a bike shop in Florida to being in the business services management field.

But being out on the open seas is what really speaks to her. The combination of beautiful nature and meeting people has made Adventuress the perfect fit. "Kayaking is my path and my passion," says Jan.

Open year-round, the Adventuress paddling calendar is loaded with kayak adventures. The trip menu lists day tours, including full moon and sunset paddles; multi-day trips; and even "transformative journeys."

Among the two-day trips are Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, August 16-17 and Girls & Guys Just Wanna Have Fun, August 6-7. The cost for each is $259. Other adventures include trips to the Gulf Islands, Broken Group Islands, Johnstone Strait and Desolation Sound.

All tours include kayak and gear, basic instruction and safety orientation. Prices start at $49 for a 2.5 hour introductory lesson and paddle, and custom tours are available in addition to the scheduled tours.

Certified kayak guide and Adventuress owner Jan Kretz
Photo by Sue Frause