Scott Cunningham:
Scott is a biologist (with a doctorate in molecular biology) and sea kayaker who has explored explored the Atlantic coast by canoe and sea kayak for over two decades. In the summer of 1980 he circumnavigated the entire coastline of Nova Scotia in an open canoe, and in 1982 he established Coastal Adventures. He has written of his experiences extensively in articles for outdoor magazines and has published Sea Kayaking in Nova Scotia, a detailed route guide (revised in 2000). He has photographed our coastline extensively and his work has appeared in several magazines and books depicting the region.
Cunningham has also been instrumental in developing sea kayaking standards and has recently developed Canada’s first national sea kayaking program for the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association . He was the first Senior Instructor Trainer for the CRCA and currently chairs its sea kayaking development committee. He is also a Senior Instructor with the British Canoe Union (5*) and has paddled extensively Germany, France, and Great Britain.
Scott is also an avid naturalist (and co-founder of the Halifax Field Naturalists). His specialty is the mushroom flora of the region.


Gayle Wilson:
Gayle studied fashion design at St. Lawrence College, in Kingston, Ontario and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1988. She has worked in costume design at the Stratford Festival Theatre and Neptune Theatre and from 1989 - 1993 worked in the Textile department of NSCAD. She has also designed, produced and marketed her own clothing.
Gayle began working with Coastal Adventures full time in 1994, bringing an artistic bent to complement the science background of her partner. She is a talented sea kayaker and instructor. attaining BCU Instructor status (traveling to Jersey, in the Channel Islands) and Instructor Trainer with the CRCA. She has guided numerous sea kayak tours in Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland.
With Coastal Adventures she encourages local schools to introduce young students to an active life style through kayaking. She has volunteered her time and offered CA equipment at no cost to this end.
Gayle and Scott live in Tangier with their daughter Sadie, Snowbell the cat, and Mitzi the dog where they all happily operate Coastal Adventures.




  Coastal Adventures sea kayaking guides comprise an eclectic mixture of personalities, backgrounds and skills. However they have common thread with their desire to explore the outdoors, and to introduce others to the unique world of sea kayaking, and have a fun time doing it. They are all talented trip leaders, certified in wilderness first aid and sea kayaking.


Alex Embree:
Alex’s interest in people, world politics and geography has lead him on travels to the former Soviet Union, Japan, India, France and Spain.He has an insatiable interest in the esoteric about him and if you wish to know the capital of Brunnei, Alex is your man.His work experiences include jobs in the oil fields of Alberta, a masonry crew in the south of France, and a landscaping firm in Nantucket. Although he spent his early years sailing he took up kayaking when young, and since the age of 17 he has worked during the summers for Coastal Adventures. He is now our senior guide. Alex is currently in second year law at Dalhousie University but he promises not to sue.



Genny Killin:
Armed with her Certificate of Costume Studies from Dalhousie University, Genny Killin started her workaday life in the wardrobe departments of live theatre, doing stints at Neptune, Theatre New Brunswick and the Stratford Festival.She currently works at the CBC, where she is has been the Senior Set Decorator on many nationally aired shows such as THEODORE TUGBOAT, STREET CENTS, and the BETTE MACDONALD SHOW. She also has a BFA in painting from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her interest in kayaking started 12 years ago and she spends much of her free summer time guiding for Coastal Adventures and collecting valuable paddle points.



Peter Oickle:
Peter obtained his degree in environmental Planning at NS College of Art and Design and then worked as a rural and urban planner for the Municipality of Lunenburg for almost two decades.Following a leave of absence where he cycled much of New Zealand and Australia, as well as southern Africa, he changed his career path and founded Atlantic Canada Nature Safaris. For the past several years he has lead hiking tours throughout Atlantic Canada and Ireland. His knowledge of the local fauna and flora is in depth, but is grasp of the art of pun making (the lowest form of humour?) is astounding. He is also an experienced sea kayaker and trip leader for Coastal Adventures.



Serge Savard:
Serge hails from Quebec, where he has been involved in many aspects of sea kayaking: retail, designing and manufacturing, and outfitting. He has run sea kayaking tours to Anticosti and even further afield (Fiji and Alaska).He is also an experienced river canoeist and has organized and lead numerous trips to northern Quebec (including the George River into Ungava Bay). He has been instrumental in developing sea kayaking in his native province and is currently a member of the SK Program Development Committee of the CRCA (and is a CRCA Senior SK Instructor Trainer). A not insignificant “atout” is Serge’s flowing locks and lilting french accent.


Simon Jansen:
Several years ago Simon Jansen arrived from the wide-open forests and fields of the “old country” to densely populated Newfoundland, where he promptly impressed the locals at the Community College of the North Atlantic (in Corner Brook) with is savoir-faire in matters of the wilderness. After a stint in the warmer climes of Nova Scotia Simon has returned to Newfieland but still guides for us both over there and back here on the continent. Simon’s charm and wit is only exceeded by his organizational talents wit (a trait of all Germans, of course). Always in a good mood and helpful with the punters, Simon has become one of our lead guides and is a talented instructor (PC SK Level 2).



Shawn Wilson:
Shawn began as a young lackey at Coastal Adventures, assisting around the base and helping out on trips. His enthusiasm is boundless, always cheerful and chatty. After a stint with the Goth culture, a bass guitarist with a local band, a fling with film editing, and a stint at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Shawn is now a full time guide with us. During the off-season he works at the Trail Shop in Halifax saving pennies for a world trek, which is taking him to New Zealand and Australia.





Cookie Hudson:
Cookie has been an indispensable part of Coastal Adventures since it’s inception. In fact, some would say that she really runs the show. While you can’t determine the weather you can decide what you and your clients will eat. This is a very important aspect of our business and Cookie is responsible for purchasing and organizing the food for our tours. She also is our baker, preparing a marvelous assortment of which cookies, cakes and breads for us to enjoy when savouring gourmet meals in exotic campsites.







In addition to our regular staff we often call on others when we particularly busy. Some will be guides from afar but others will be those whom we affectionately call our “hanger-on's”. These are friends who are good paddlers and who, in exchange for a “free” trip, come along to add both their good nature and humour, as well as their particular expertise. If they did not have “real jobs” these helpful people would also make excellent full time sea kayaking guides.


  Nancy Worthylake:
Nancy’s real job at a school board superintendent where part of her work consists in holding teachers hands and helping them understand that a job with good wages, incredible pension plans, and quasi-unlimited time off isn’t really all that bad after all. During her summer vacation she discovers the thrill of sea kayaking and the joy of helping out with Coastal Adventures. Her energy is boundless and her patience knows no limits (did I say that she works with teachers?)
  Paul Wolfe:
An Eastern Shore lad all his life, Paul has only recently discovered the coastal world just beyond his doorstep and, after rigorous training with Coastal Adventures, he has reached the much sought-after status of “hanger-on”. In his other life Paul runs several “dollar” stores (from where we obtain the majority of our Christmas gifts) offering various, modestly overpriced, trinkets from (mostly) China. For the environmentally unaware he will be more than glad to supply you with bottled water from who knows where (China, perhaps?). He may even bring a case on a trip.
  Dan Graham:
As Deputy Minister of Natural Resources (Nova Scotia) Dan walked the fine line between catering to those who would clear cut the entire forest (no one complains about the scenic vistas in Scotland, do they??) and those who believe that all trees should be hugged (they have feelings too, don’t they?). Now as a retired public servant has time to do some real work, such as practice his music, woodworking and volunteer in various community organizations. He also finds time to impart his wit and wisdom, and keep Cunningham in check, on the occasional Coastal Adventures outing.
  Jason MacKinnon:
A member of the Canadian Forces Search and Rescue he is trained in medical emergency rescue, diving, parachuting, and mountaineering. Originally from Inverness, Cape Breton he has been posted across Canada and now resides in Kingston, NS. Having been introduced to sea kayaking while living on Vancouver Island he took up paddling more extensively upon returning to Nova Scotia four years ago. A CRCA level I instructor he teaches courses and assists on trips when not busy rescuing others. His dashing demure compliments his sense of MacGyver resourcefulness beautifully. Don’t miss the opportunity to trip with this Cape Breton hidden treasure.

Dawne MacLeod:
We sometimes call Dawne our social director, as her good nature and sense of humour will lift the spirits of the crowd in even the most spiteful of weather. No need for the other guides to remain awake socializing around the campfire after a long day kayaking if Dawne is in the picture. Dawne, who rarely has an unuttered thought is a true delight to have along. In her real job, Dawne is a high school physical education teacher where she entertains the class while keeping the educational bureaucracy on its toes.

  Roy de Vries:
Roy is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), who has managed information technology projects around the world. He is active in the outdoors and, in addition to sea kayaking, he has been playing Ultimate for 15 years, including the World Club Championships in Scotland in 1999.  Until I met Roy I thought that frisbee was just a backyard or beach pastime (I still think it is). His other hobbies include wine making, woodworking and golf. He is also a volunteer leader with Scouts.


Guest Instructors



Coastal Adventures draws on the expertise of other experienced sea kayakers and trip leaders to help assist on various courses and tours. Here is a list of some of those who have worked with us recently (perhaps we will chat about them in more detail at a later time):

Howard Jeffs:
BCU Level 5 Coach, Sea kayak designer
Sports and Activities Safety Officer (Oxford University) BCU

Oisin Hallissey: BCU Level 5 Coach
Head of Canoeing: Northern Ireland Outdoor Centre

Chris Lockyer: BCU Level 4 Coach

Kevin Mansell: BCU Level 5 Coach, Founder: Jersey Canoe Club

Joe Miller: CRCA Instructor Trainer
Head Instructor: NB Community College Outdoor Program

Jim Price: CRCA Senior Instructor Trainer, Director: Eastern Edge Outfitters

Andy Stamp: BCU Level 5 Coach
Professor (Marine electronics): University of Plymouth

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Tangier, Nova Scotia B0J 3H0
Toll Free: (877)404-2774
Tel./Fax: (902)772-2774