Company & Guides

Southern Sea Ventures began conducting sea kayak trips in Fiji and Australia in 1988 and have built up an extensive knowledge of paddling adventures. We have steadily grown to offer a global range of 31 different sea kayak trips around the world. Our guides’ expertise ensures safe and comfortable holidays whether you choose a ship or yacht-based expedition, a hotel-based kayak adventure or a kayak/camping trip.

Private trips are our speciality and we are pleased to be able to cater for a wide range of private trips in Tasmania, Turkey, Sweden, Panama, Fiji, Raja Ampat, Croatia, and Australia. Bring your own group and we can help you put together your own private kayaking adventure.

Our guides have many decades of experience leading sea kayak trips all over the world. We work with a select group of partners to provide local expertise in culture, language and history of the regions we paddle through.

Toby Story

Director, Senior Guide, Chief of Operations

Toby Story has been working for Southern Sea Ventures since 2005, guiding trips from the Tropics to the Polar regions. He has led trips in Norway, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Fiji, South Georgia, Antarctica, Tasmania, West Papua and the Philippines. Toby Story is a qualified sea kayak instructor and manages operations from Hobart, Tasmania where he is based. Toby has a MS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and is ever passionate about sharing the worlds great coastal environments.

Megan Grover

Trip Consultant

Toby Story has been working for Megan Grover has been involved in the adventure travel business for over 25 years. She has worked as a travel agency manager, in sales training for a major retail chain, reservations manager for an adventure wholesaler and has run the Southern Sea Ventures’ office for over 15 years. Megan’s travels have taken her to the four corners of the globe and she lists kayaking in the Antarctic as one of her highlights. Please contact Megan in our Sydney office with all of your enquiries.

Jane Newman

Trip Consultant

Jane Newman has worked in the travel industry in a variety of roles since 1996. Jane has specialised in travel sales, reservations and worked extensively with non profit organisations creating and implementing itineraries for their charity challenges. Jane has travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia, South America, Nepal, India, Morocco, Pacific Islands and Europe. She nominates her travel highlights as kayaking in the Antarctic and trekking in the Indian Himalaya, visiting remote mountain-top monasteries. Jane volunteers as a surf lifesaver on Sydney’s northern beaches and keeps fit by running after her three very active children!

Al Bakker

Founder, Chief Consultant

Al has paddled whitewater and sea kayaks for 42 years in North America, South America, the South Pacific, Japan, Australia, NZ, Antarctica, South Georgia, the High Arctic and Greenland, Russian Far East and all across Europe. He has led commercial sea kayak tours for the last 27 years and developed sea kayak, rafting and cross country ski programs in many countries. Al has organised and led sea kayaking adventures in the Polar Regions for the past seventeen years. Al is a qualified sea kayak instructor, Nordic ski instructor and examiner, swim instructor and examiner and holds swiftwater rescue and national lifeguard certification. He has worked as a helicopter ski guide, rafting guide and wilderness first aid instructor, and is a keen photographer. While Al has officially retired, he managed Southern Sea Ventures for more than three decades and remains in an advisory capacity.

Eamon Larkin

Senior Guide

Eamon comes from a background in adventure and outdoor education with over 15 years experience working with students and schools, now teaching and assessing potential guides. He has a passion for travel and trekking through various countries, learning languages along the way. Eamon lives on the south coast of NSW which he enjoys exploring in his sea kayak in all types of weather.

Sandy Robson

Senior Guide

Sandy Robson is Australia’s most experienced female sea kayaker. Sandy has led commercial sea kayaking trips in Australia and Fiji.  2019 will see her fourth season guiding for us in Fiji’s Yasawa Islands.

Daniel Stavert

Senior Guide

For over a decade Daniel has been guiding sea kayak expeditions around the world. From the cold and ice regions of Antarctica, Greenland and the high arctic, to the tropical waters of Fiji, Raja Ampat, and northern Queensland. A keen climber and kayaker, who brings a love of sharing human story, remote coastline, and wild creatures, to his work and to deepening the experience of others. This southern summer, Daniel looks forward to exploring the caves, cliffs, and beaches of Tasmania; a place rich in history, wildlife, and wilderness.

Dr Garry Miller PhD

Specialist Lecturer

Gary’s career spans over 40 years of research since he first studied polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba for his MA in Zoology. After completing his PhD in biology in 1986, he has spent many years studying and observing whales, seals, penguins and seabirds around the world. For 30 years, Gary has split his time between research and expedition leading in the polar regions. He enjoys sharing his knowledge, enthusiasm and experience with people from all over the world. Gary was also the scientific, penguin and Antarctic consultant (and sound recordist) for the popular film, “Happy Feet”. Gary is currently a visiting research fellow at the University of Tasmania.

Heather Kirkpatrick

Senior Guide

Heather Kirkpatrick has guided on many expeditions including sea kayaking, white water rafting and mountaineering in remote locations on all seven continents, after graduating from both science and outdoor education.  She lives in Tasmania where she loves exploring her local coastline and has even sea kayaked there across Bass Strait. Heather spent seven seasons teaching survival skills and training the Search and Rescue team on Australia’s Antarctic bases, lead many leadership programs for the National Outdoor Leadership School worldwide and has been a United Nations emergency logistician in global emergencies. She has lead sea kayaking trips in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Alaska and is looking forward to working with Southern Sea Ventures in 2021.

Matt Edwards

Senior Guide

Matt loves to explore and to show others the many natural and cultural treasures this world offers. Matt’s entering his third season with Southern Sea Ventures and will be branching out from the tropical waters of Fiji to the wonders of Antarctica. Matt’s a resident of British Columbia Canada where he spends his winters working as a ski guide, he’s a graduate of the Thompson Rivers University Adventure Guide Diploma and a Level 3 Sea Kayak Guide. After a long cold winter in Canada, Matt’s excited to be returning to the tropical waters of Fiji. He believes the cultural experience combined with the tropical wilderness of the northern Yasawas creates an adventure that’s difficult to beat. When not guiding Matt keeps himself busy pursuing his other passions surfing, whitewater kayaking and ski mountaineering.

Enrico Carrossino

Senior Guide

Enrico runs our Italian and Corsican sea kayak programs and with his incredible knowledge of Italy and passionate love for his country he makes our sea kayaking adventures a smorgasbord of cuisine and culture. He is a certified whitewater and sea kayak instructor in the US, Italy and Switzerland. He speaks English, French and Italian fluently. Genoa is his home but he lives in both the Ticino region of Switzerland and Genoa, Italy.

Josko Matusan

Senior Guide

Bio coming soon.

Henry Murray

Senior Guide

Henry Murray is our Fijian expert. Born in the Yasawa Islands he has guided kayak and fishing trips in the Yasawa for more than two decades. Henry’s intimate knowledge of all the reefs and outdoor cooking experience adds an extra special quality to his trips.

James Thorp

Senior Guide

James Thorp has been working for Southern Sea Ventures for the last couple of years, guiding trips in the Tropics. James has a world wide resume leading and instructing whitewater kayaking, whitewater rafting and sea kayaking programs in the polar regions, Nepal, India, Mexico, South America, Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Australia. He is an accomplished outdoor instructor and generally balances out his year teaching wilderness first aid courses and guiding and managing sea kayak programs. In his younger years James competed for Australia in national and international whitewater kayaking. He currently calls “home” his sailing boat in far North Queensland.

Bob Powell

Senior Guide

Currently living in the U.S., Bob Powell is the director of the Institute for Parks at Clemson University and an Associate Professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management and the School of Agricultural, Forest, and Environmental Sciences. His research and outreach program has taken him to over 40 countries and 6 continents and focuses on park and protected area management, ecotourism, environmental education, and biodiversity conservation. Prior to receiving his PhD from Yale University in 2005, Bob worked for many years as a whitewater and sea kayaking guide. Also a former U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team member, Bob has led commercial sea kayaking expeditions to Antarctica, South Georgia Island, Fiji, Greece, Galapagos Islands, Everglades National Park, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Baja, and Alaska. He has also led whitewater kayaking and rafting trips across the USA and to Chile, Australia (Tasmania), New Zealand, Nepal, Turkey, Grand Canyon, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Bob enjoys sharing his passion for the natural world, whether leading sea kayaking trips, instructing college courses in conservation, or paddling whitewater steep creeks in the Appalachian Mountains.