#32 - 4260 Burbank Cresc. Victoria, B.C. Canada V8Z 6T2


Tel: (250) 885-5980




We operate year-around from our base, Victoria, B.C. on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This is a convenient jumping off spot for day as well as overnight tours to some of the most beautiful islands and campsites to be found in the Canadian Gulf Islands.

The Discovery-Chatham Islands which lie right on our "door step" for example, offer what many consider the best paddllig to be had on southern Vancouver Island, all within a 45 minute paddle from our Oak Bay base!





We have fallen in love with a new tour of the West Coast (our Rain Forest Tour). This all-encompassing tour combines hiking old growth trails, with river-running, ocean kayaking with beach camping. The world renowned West Coast Life Life Saving and Juan de Fuca Trails are located adjacent.




























We pride ourselves as being wilderness escape artists, who love what we do - which is to explore by canoe and by kayak the many unspoiled and tranquil places which still constitute much of our B.C West Coast heritage. We have been in the guiding business for over 14 years. On our vacations, my partner Sue and I like to do exploratory paddling trips abroad.


Blackfish Wilderness Expeditions has been a long-standing member of Tourism Victoria. We are also proud members of Earth Foot, a society dedicated to low-impact eco-tours- tour operations which are small in scale, owner-operated, locally produced, and culturally sensitive to the needs of locals. We are also in the business of making friends, rather than customers. Most of our camping tours are customized.

Our philosophy is to teach new skills, and to impart knowledge which will lead to a greater sense of awareness and respect for conserving our unique marine environment. We seek to expand  the  wilderness horizons and consciences of fellow adventurers,  wherever these trails may lead. Our underlying aim is to have fun, to make new friends and to develop the camaraderie and team work that only wild places and the challenge of broad ocean horizons can elicit.

Al Lubkowski is the Tour Operator and back-up Guide for Blackfish. His background is in regional and resource planning. But his life long interest has been in exploring wilderness areas by canoe and by kayak. His stint as a tour operator in Belize, is one example of this "wander lust". His building the 47 foot cedar strip canoe which Blackfish used as a kayak "mothership" is another example of Al's versatility and adventurous spirit.

Al's paddling experience is quite varied ranging from jungle rivers, Arctic waters and many parts of the Canadian Shield (click for a fun story of our Everglades paddle ).. In the last 15 years (through his last two adventure companies), Al has spent considerable time paddling and sailing closer to home- the West Coast. You will find him to be a fount of information on most everything you will see and experience while on his tours. You can rest assured that with his many years guiding and exploring local waters, he has trained his guides well. Both Al and his guides are certified with the Sea Kayak Guide Alliance of BC. (SKGABC).


Rita Slanina is Principal Guide and Co-Manager of Blackfish.  She is a certified guide with many years of experience leading paddling groups around Oak Bay, Pender and the offshore islands. . Her strengths include marine wildlife interpretation and paddlinginstruction. With Rita as your guide expect the unexpected – with her boundless energy, she never ceases to surprise and to inspire; to point out the unusual if not the humorous.

She is seen here with a kelp crab she found.

Ritta, is a coastal creature, born with a paddle in her hands (well almost). She was raised in Victoria B.C. and grew up poking and prodding through the tidal pools of the local coastline.  Through school outings she was introduced to kayaking and with her affinity for adventure and appreciation of an  active outdoor life style, quickly recognized that this gracefull water craft was a natural fit. Adventure based leadership courses followed as did her interest in working with both children and adults in furthering her quest for sharing her love of the outdoors and tourism.  

After high school Rita started working at the Gorge Rowing and Paddling centre- one of the 'GO' rowing and paddling centres of Canada, where she had the opportunity to guide tours of Victoria's inner harbour and Gorge Waterway.  She also learned to coach and steer dragon boats, and through these new skills became involved in children's nature programs on Esquimalt Lagoon.  Summer camps were also a part of her position at GO, and she discovered that teaching others the skills to get out on the water in kayaks was a growing passion fueled by seeing the smiles and confidence her paddling instruction brought to her student’s faces.

In 2009, Rita discovered the pristine beauty of Pender Island’s marine park and waterways and soon became hooked not only to living there but to exploring more of the islands surrounding. She spent the following four summers honing her guiding and instructing skills here.  Soon after, Rita gained fall/winter employment with Ocean River Sports- a specialty retail outlet where she could be immersed in paddling culture both winter and summer- while being gainfully employed the year around – a challenge for all guides. This experience gave Rita  a new perspective on a wide range of water craft,  adding  to her instructional capabilities.

Rita met Al, the owner/operatorof Blackfish Adventures  while working for him as a guide. Sharing common interests in promoting the marine environment and the protection of wild places, they have formed a close partnership. Rita expects to take over full operation of Blacfish Adventures in the near future.