Hayley Shephard

Adventurer, Excursionist, and Storyteller

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Adventurer, Excursionist, and Storyteller

Being born and raised in New Zealand, having owned, operated and lived on a 31ft sailboat and now residing on an island in the northern regions of Vancouver Island, it seems Hayley has spent her entire life surrounded by the sea. Her profession as a teacher extended gradually into the wilderness and as a guide and naturalist, Hayley has lead people of all ages into the world’s richest natural environments on wilderness expeditions and nature tours.

She spends her winters in the far south on the frozen coastal edge of the Antarctic continent; her summers include exploring the Northwest Passage, Baffin Island and various other islands and regions of the Canadian High Arctic as well as piloting vessels in the remote, northern inlets of the Pacific Northwest. Here she guides people on excursions in grizzly and black bear habitat, and leads marine tours in the waterways where killer whales and humpback whales are frequently sighted. In Hayley’s earlier guiding career she lead 7-10 day kayaking expeditions in the coastal paradise of Baja in Mexico, and the inside passage of British Columbia, Canada.

While guiding and gallivanting around Islands by kayak, Hayley enjoys capturing the true essence and spontaneous splendour of nature through photography and writing. Her images and adventure articles have been published in various magazines; she has travelled the globe with entertaining slide shows and recently had published her very first children’s book entitled Leave Only Footprints. Furthermore Hayley delights in travelling alone to culturally rich countries such as Africa, Middle East, Nepal and Bolivia where she is drawn towards schools in remote villages and there she is often invited to teach.

Hayley Shephard’s slide shows and presentations take you on an extraordinary journey into the wonders of our natural world encompassing the epic adventures she often performs by sea kayak and frequently alone. From regions as remote and dramatic as Antarctica to the coastal waters of Canada, Hayley will take you there eloquently and tastefully, using stunning images, inspirational story telling and music.

A solo sea kayak expedition on exposed coasts has become Hayley’s specialty. With meticulous planning, attention to detail, and her willingness to take calculated risks, Hayley has been successful with two epic journeys alone by kayak along the wild, west coast of British Columbia, Canada.   Her curiosity with different cultures and landscapes and her desire to become intermit with these elements, enticed her to spend 6 weeks peddling (not paddling) through the mountainous regions of Bolivia and Peru, by bicycle, alone.   Adventures of all kinds have challenges and triumphs – comfort levels are pushed, skills and abilities tested and often you are forced to confront your worst fears.   Your attitude and response towards these times is what makes or breaks a situation. Hayley’s presentations embrace both the physical and emotional aspects of solo adventuring.

Hayley captivates audiences of all ages with her humorous, heartfelt, and passionate approach.   Her admiration and care for wildlife and the natural environment is reflected in all of her images and story telling.   She will motivate you to seek your own adventures, inspire you to pursue your own dreams and entice you to appreciate and admire the wonders of our awe inspiring world.

No Opportunity Wasted

Combining photography and awe-inspiring stories from her expeditions, Hayley explores the fundamental principles of living with passion, purpose and vitality. She challenges you to step outside your comfort zone to rise above self-imposed limitations. In her role as Expedition Leader, Hayley regularly helps people overcome their personal fears to accomplish their goals -- things they've always dreamed of doing, but which they have put off for years. In this high energy keynote, she shows you how to ditch the excuses, plan bravely, move carefully, use fear as a compass, to embrace the unknown!

Teamwork – Key to High Performance

In this talk, Hayley shares practical stories from her adventures and work as expedition leader to show you how to move from a “disorganized group” to a “high functioning team” – Commitment, Alignment, and Relationships. Along the way she unearths key elements of excellence in leadership and teamwork, providing a strategy for systematically breaking down barriers and achieving your goals. Hayley explores the importance of collective responsibility, constant communication and clear goals, and she takes you inside both the disastrously malfunctioning teams and highly polished crews she's worked in. The clear message is by working together, everybody achieves more.

An Adventurer’s Guide to the Importance of Risk Management

Using images and tales from her adventures, Hayley reviews the fundamentals of risk management, and then digs deeper, sharing specific strategies and lessons. Risk is a variable that must be constantly monitored. Human fatigue and error, along with single-minded focus on only the biggest hazards, can lead to tragedy. Most major accidents do not result from a single catastrophic failure, but rather from a culmination of small, seemingly innocuous mistakes. Hayley's scenarios provide strategies on avoiding such pitfalls. With preparation and planning, even seemingly intolerable risks can be overcome. Hayley advocates nurturing a culture of safety, providing guidelines on how to determine risk and to act accordingly.

A Maiden’s Voyage

The first woman to solo sea kayak around Canada’s Vancouver Island, Hayley shares her epic 67 day expedition which took her to remote, surf beaten beaches on the exposed west coast. One evening after 8 hours of constant paddling, she was unable to land due to 3 grey whales foraging, blocking her entry!

A Sacred Passage

Hayley presents an inspiring evening of stories, music and stunning images on her solo sea kayak journey around the rich and wild coast of the remote Queen Charlotte Islands where her skills and courage were tested like they’ve never been before.

Working with Whales

Hayley's interest and knowledge for marine mammals, particularly killer whales (orca) emerges as she presents her experience as a research assistant on the movements and vocalizations of Canada’s northern community of orca.

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