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Your Tour Directors


Scott Cunningham


Scott is a biologist (with a doctorate in molecular biology) and sea kayaker who has explored the Atlantic coast by canoe and sea kayak for decades. In the summer of 1980 he circumnavigated Nova Scotia in a canoe and in 1982 he established Coastal Adventures. He has published Sea Kayaking in Nova Scotia, a detailed route guide, and his photos have appeared in several magazines and books depicting the region.


He has been instrumental in developing Canada’s first national sea kayaking program for Paddle Canada and was the first chair of the sea kayaking development committee. He is Senior SK Instructor Trainer and a BCU Coach 4(sea) and has paddled extensively elsewhere in Canada as well as in Europe.


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, Ontario and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She has worked in costume design at the Stratford Festival Theatre and Neptune Theatre. She has also designed, produced and marketed her own clothing. From 1989 – 1993 she worked in the Textile Department at NSCAD.


Gayle brings an artistic bent to complement the science background of her partner and is also a talented sea kayaker and instructor, attaining BCU Instructor status and Instructor Trainer with Paddle Canada. She has guided numerous sea kayak tours in Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland. With Coastal Adventures she encourages young students to an active life style through kayaking and has worked with the HRM Department of Recreation to this end.

Gayle and Scott live in Tangier with their daughter Sadie, Poppy the cat, and Ellie the dog where they all happily operate Coastal Adventures


Tour Guides

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.

Jeremy Dunn


 At 6’3” Jeremy is the tallest guide to ever grace Coastal Adventures and he has the strength to match. As St. FX alumnus and a former member of their basketball team, he spent a year in England post grad playing semi-pro until an Achilles heel injury sidelined him. With the salary of the NBA now out of reach he has engaged in the next most lucrative profession, a teacher in the Nova Scotia public school system, and he is currently edumacating  the little tykes at a South Shore facility.


During his 2-month summer "recess" he takes time out to guide with CA while also following courses to up his paltry guide teacher salary and where his superhuman strength comes in handy keeping rowdy clients in line.

Jeremy Dunn
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Shaun Gibbs

Although his “day job” is as a high school teacher in Moncton, Shaun spends the summer working at Hopewell Rocks where he leads tourists on a short paddle among the spires - undoubtedly the highlight of their stay in that province [after which, they head on to their main destination - beautiful Nova Scotia!]. He occasionally escapes the 2-hour tours to put his  paddling skills to use guiding extended trips for Coastal  Adventures and over the years he has lead groups to various destinations in Atlantic Canada.


“Shirtless” Shaun will usually be found soaking up the suns rays and has only disdain for UV warnings of the climate crowd. He can also fly! Recently, Shaun acquired the operation at Hopewell Rocks but we hope that he will find some more fulfulling paddling time on a trip with Coastal Adventures

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.

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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 often guides with us. He also performs fire shows at various summer venues saving pennies for his world treks, which have taken him to New Zealand and India (several times). He currently works at a homeless shelter in Halifax where his CV has been put to good use.

Helpful People


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 talented 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.

Graham Carter

A few years ago Graham left the sweeping seas of wheat in Manitoba to move to our salt-water sea and try his hand at surfing - and he has remained here ever since. During most of the year he is a teacher at the Ecole secondaire du Sommet [il est bilingue] while during the summer he surfs and occasionally guides at Coastal Adventures where his wit and charm are always an asset. Being a fresh water prairie boy, Graham is gradually adjusting to the new reality of paddling on the east coast. Even the clients are helping him out, as when one had to explain that seawater was probably not the best choice for the that "cuppa" - "It's saltwater taffy, Graham, not saltwater coffee!".

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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.


Alex is obtained his law degree at Dalhousie University and currently works in Halifax. However he promises not to sue.

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Jan-Sebastian LaPierre


Always the stylish, man about town, Jan occasionally will step out into the wilderness and ruffle his "red carpet" attire on an adventure trip with Coastal Adventures. He has written a book entitled: A is for Adventure where he follows the alphabet describing various outdoor activities with each successive letter. Unfortunately when coming to "C" he somehow forgot to give a big plug for Coastal Adventures!


Jan is also quite knowledgeable on many esoteric topics of dubious importance which he is willing to share with a captive audience around the evening campfires. I expect that he makes profuse use of this talent when producing video clips for his A is for Adventure franchise.

Robyn Nicholson

At Dalhousie University Robyn studied commerce in order to gain experience in making totally incorrect predictions on inflation and the stock market. While there, she worked out her academic frustrations as a member of the women’s hockey team. She spent a summer at a Tim Horton’s camp, learning how to make coffee the proper way and then continued her outdoor education with Coastal Adventures. While here she learned invaluable techniques on how to properly deal with obnoxious coworkers and overbearing bosses, skills that would prove very helpful when she joined the navy. These days, when she is not getting seasick sailing the seven seas, she sometimes finds time to help out on a Coastal Adventures trip.

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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:

Howard Jeffs: BCU Level 5 Coach, Sea kayak designer

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

Chris Lockyer: BCU Level 5 Coach PC Senior Instructor Trainer

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