Nicole Saulnier and her husband are the pilots and owners behind Georgian Bay Airways. As a career bush pilot, Nicole is more than qualified to fly the skies of Georgian Bay, allowing guests to experience the clear waters and scenic vistas of her home. Georgian Bay Airways offers a variety of airborn experiences, from romantic flights ending with a delicious lakeside dinner to a full air charter service, so you can skip the bumpy backroads to the cottage. Sound delightful? It is. Enter to win one of Nicole’s amazing flights for two in our Muskoka Must Haves Contest!
What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
Wake up 6:30am to my 2 ½ year old son
Breaky with 3 kids and hubby (a tag-team effort)
8:30 Take oldest daughter to JK, son to daycare, 9 month old comes to work (for now)
Open The Base – includes coffee shop/ice cream parlour, gift shop and air tour service
Check email and delegate as necessary
Review flight bookings for the day
Check to see how our Facebook fan base is coming along
Spend a few minutes on Twitter
Work on accounting|
Nurse baby and get her down for a nap
Work madly on whatever I can while she sleeps
Make sure plane is ready for upcoming flights – fuel etc.
Do a couple of flights – baby hangs out in the playpen
Nurse baby again
Pick up daughter from JK at 3pm
Bring her to work – productivity slows down a bit now!
Wrap up email correspondence
Review evening flights with staff and give direction for close-up
Pick up son from daycare at 4:30pm
Stop by The Base to pick up Daddy (unless he’s doing an evening flight)
Bath or playtime with kids
7:30 – kids bedtime
7:45 – check email
8:00 spend time with Hubby – watch a movie or something on the tube – Twitter if it’s hockey
10:00pm – BED!
What was your first job out of school?
After College (the first time) I worked in Brampton for an Ad Agency
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
People skills, people skills, flying skills.
What do you love most about your career?
Honestly? I love it when I fly a grumpy old man who thinks I should be making him cookies.
Do you have any warnings?
In business, don’t be naïve – there are snakes in the grass.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
I was always interested in being an archaeologist.
What do you love most about flying?
The sense of freedom and space when I am out there.
What is the best and most challenging thing about running a family business?
The best thing is working 7 days a week with my husband. The most challenging thing is keeping a personal life separated from our business.
If you could fly anywhere in the world other than Georgian Bay, where would it be?
Somewhere that required me to fly barefoot (ie Maldives, Bahamas etc.)
What’s your favourite spot in Georgian Bay?
Wow, there are so many great places. I guess I’d have to say The Limestone Islands. They are about 5 miles offshore from Snug Harbour. When you fly overhead, because they are limestone rocks, the water is blue/green like in the Caribbean, and it is crystal clear. You can see the natural formation of the rocks, and how The Bay washes huge rocks all around like pebbles. It makes me feel humbled.
What’s your favourite thing about flying in Georgian Bay?
I could do the same tour every day (and just about have been for 8 years) and see something new or different on every flight.
How did you decide to move from the city?
I became tired of the rat race, and wanted a slower pace and more natural surroundings.
What type of person would you recommend pursue a career in outdoors tourism?
You would need to be a patient, adventurous type of person, who can easily adapt to change and roll with the punches. You can’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, because you can’t just hire someone to do your dirty work!
What has been your most surprising flying experience?
When flying in Vancouver Harbour, BC I had something bob up where I was about to land – turned out it was a sea lion observing my approach! (Don’t worry, he got out of my way!)