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 Canadas 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 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
Alexs 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.
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 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
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 Serges flowing locks and
lilting french accent.
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. Simons 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 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 has been an indispensable part of Coastal Adventures since its
inception. In fact, some would say that she really runs the show. While
you cant 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
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
Nancys 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 isnt 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?)
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.
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, dont
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.
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. Dont miss the opportunity
to trip with this Cape Breton hidden treasure.
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
||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.
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