About Us

Meet Bill and Sharon


Sharon, (Bill’s wife), has spent her life on the water growing up in Prince Rupert and the Comox Valley. She loves being on the boats, despite getting stuck in the office all too frequently.

Sharon is an avid scuba diver, skier and photographer, often found with her 300mm long lens strapped around her shoulder.

As the admiral of the fleet, Sharon ensures that each guest has a unique and memorable trip. Her knowledge and experience comes from decades of work at various travel trade shows and volunteer hours as a director for local Destination Marketing Committees.

Where would she rather be? As a self proclaimed “Disney Junkie” Sharon has been to Disney Land and Disney World, more frequently then she cares to admit, however Vancouver Island is still where her heart is.


Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Bill started into the marine tour world after changing careers as a commercial diver and paramedic. In 1994 he started a tour company with one small zodiac on Hornby Island which quickly grew. Bill loves running the zodiacs and says, “the stability and low profile of zodiacs makes you feel like you’re much closer to the action”, it was this experience that led Bill to be destined to marine tours.

In his spare time, Bill is an avid traveller having visited Egypt, Fiji, Micronesia, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti and Indonesia. In his spare time he can be found deep inside underwater caves or on the slopes of Mount Washington and also working as a part time Paramedic in the off season. When asked about his favourite place to explore, ”hands down the Grizzly Bears of Bute Inlet, British Columbia. The turquoise river and glacier carved mountains of rugged untouched landscapes just north of Vancouver is the most beautiful landscape on the planet.”

Operating since 1994 

Together for 27 years they have been working to share special part of the globe with visitors from around the world. From one small boat on tiny Hornby Island we have grown to a four vessel, two locations and a dozen professional and enthusiastic crew members. Whether it is a Grizzly Bear Expedition, a quick trip to see the Humpback Whales breaching, or exploring the beautiful reefs in the Discovery Passage, the crew at Big Animal Encounters love to share the uniqueness of our wild big animal experiences. Every trip has its own surprises, from educational to exhilaration, that will be etched in your memory and a part of your stories for a life time.