Meet Your Tour Guides

Florida Master Naturalist William Kowalik

BILL KOWALIK – Master Naturalist UF|IFAS
Bill was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Satellite Beach and Merritt Island. An avid surfer and kayaker, his is love for canoeing and kayaking throughout the State of Florida resulted in the birth of Adventure Kayak of Cocoa Beach Inc. in the year 2000. Since then he has taken hundreds and hundreds of kayak tours through this secluded paradise in Cocoa Beach and Merritt Island. His knowledge and love for the environment and wildlife enhance your tour of the area. He is a down to earth guy that you instantly feel comfortable with.
Everyone likes Bill and we are sure you will too!

Florida Master Naturalist Ed Halm

ED HALM – Master Naturalist UF|IFAS
Ed was born in Morocco, Africa, to military parents and was raised in upstate New York. Growing up in the mountains, he was an avid adventurer and outdoorsman. Like his father and grandfather, he joined the U.S. Navy to see the world, right out of high school.

Having traveled and been stationed worldwide, Ed retired in 1995 as a Naval Survival Instructor, Master Training Specialist and Enlisted Warfare Instructor. Upon retiring to Central Florida, he opened up a local bagel shop and delicatessen. Shortly after, he was introduced to the world of paddle sports, bought a canoe and kayak…and his life has never been the same!

Ed worked for five years as a Chief Engineer for a large hospitality group in Cocoa Beach, Florida before realizing that paddling and a desk job do not fit well together. His entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and — two paddle patents later — Ed was living his dream.

As owner of Backwater Paddle Company, designing and manufacturing paddles became Ed’s job…but paddling remained his passion. To fulfill that passion, Ed assists Bill as a part-time kayak eco-guide with Adventure Kayak of Cocoa Beach, and loves every minute of it!

Dale Bailey - Kayak Tour Guide

Dale is a slow talking, nature loving fourth generation Floridian. His great grandfather came to Florida from Minnesota in 1886 by boat, down the Mississippi River.

Dale’s chosen profession as a Florida state licensed land surveyor and mapper permitted him to do his work outdoors and continue learning about the natural world. He loves learning, protecting, discovering, and sharing his knowledge of nature’s creatures and resources.

Dale also loves people. He likes to get to know the people who kayak and experience the natural habitat of the Cocoa Beach Thousand Islands. He comes home to tell his wife about the nice people, cute couples, darling children, and wonderful families he spent the morning or afternoon sharing nature encounters with.

He says the learns from the guests too. Trip people sometimes share information about their lives back home. Often people come from other countries and Dale learns about their customs, cultures, and previous nature experiences.

Dale is an avid fisherman. He began fishing with his father around the lakes in Clermont, Florida. He amazes his wife by telling her about the behavior of the fish with he could not see but determined what kind it was because of the actions on the strike and bait – even when it got away!

Dale respects and protects nature as he maneuvers the kayak trippers to appreciate the exciting close encounters. Book a tour to experience the creatures and natural habitats and ecosystems guided by Dale at ADVENTURE KAYAK TOURS OF COCOA BEACH.

Florida Master Naturalist Ashley Konon

ASHLEY KONON – Master Naturalist UF|IFAS
Ashley is a nature lover who has been working in wildlife education for 20 plus years. She has worked in many zoos and aquariums nationwide educating guests about the natural world. Spending time on her families cattle ranch in South Dakota herding cattle on horseback, she learned at a young age how to work hard and appreciate nature and animals. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Animal Science and immediately began working with large mammals in Zoos.  She is a Florida Master Naturalist and volunteers with Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute conducting dolphin research and stranding response. Ashley loves the water and spends her spare time enjoying it whenever she can. She also loves paddle boarding and exploring the backwaters of the Indian River Lagoon. She is an avid snorkeler and SCUBA diver.  A fitness guru, you can often times find her walking her dog in area parks, taking classes at the gym and teaching an occasional SUP yoga class. She is a true lover of nature, and reads any books she can get her hands on to learn more and enjoys sharing her knowledge with anyone she can.

Ashley has lived all around the country and learned about many different ecosystems. She has been in Florida since 2015, and likes it the best!