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 2013). 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 developed Canada’s first national sea kayaking program for the Canadian Recreational Canoeing Association [now Paddle Canada]. He was the first Senior Instructor Trainer for Paddle Canada and has chaired its sea kayaking development committee. He is also a Coach 4(sea) with the British Canoe Union and has paddled extensively elsewhere in Canada and in 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 Paddle Canada. 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, Poppy the cat, and Ellie 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.
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 has also worked at the CBC, where she was 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 over 15 years ago and she spends much of her free summer time guiding for Coastal Adventures and collecting valuable paddle points.
  Alex Embree:

Alex’sinterest 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.

Shaun Gibbs:

Although his “day job” is as a high school teacher in Moncton, New Brunswick, Shaun spends most of 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 repetitive 2-hour tours to put his considerable paddling skills to use by guiding extended trips for Coastal Adventures. Over the past several years he has lead groups to the Cape Breton Highlands, Cape Chignecto [in the Bay of Fundy], and along the Eastern Shore]. “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.


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.



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 is CV has been put to good use.


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.




Cookie Hudson:
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 has been responsible for purchasing and organizing the food for our tours since the beginning. She was also our baker, preparing a marvelous assortment of which cookies, cakes and breads for us to enjoy when savouring gourmet meals in exotic campsites. She was an indispensable part of  Coastal Adventures. Cookie passed away many year ago, and much too soon, but lives on in the memories of those who knew and loved her.







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.


Graham Carter:

A few year aso 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 [after taking a sip of his morning brew] that seawater was probably not the best choice for the that "cuppa" - "It's saltwater taffy, Graham, not saltwater coffee!". Graham is currently teaching at a French imersion school in Halifax.
  Jan-Sebastian LaPierre:

Always the styish, 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 sucessive 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.
  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. As Paddle Canada SK Level 2 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.

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. Roy can also cook eggs [easy over] on the campfire grill without breaking the yolks - no mean feat!


Robyn Nicholson

As a student 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 [where they actually allow body checking!]. She spent a summer at a Tim Horton’s camp, learning how to make coffee the proper way [with fresh water, not salt water as with Graham] and then continued her outdoor education with Coastal Adventures.  Under the watchful eye of the administration 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.



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

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

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