About the SKGABC

SKGABC Fall Guides Exchange
Gabriola Island, BC
Sept 25-27, 2009

HOST: Gabriola Sea Kayaking, Baja Kayak Adventures, Wildheart Adventures, and Jim's Kayaking
MEETING PLACE: Gabriola Island, BC


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  • August 15, 2015
    2015 Fall Exams:
    Level Two and Three Exams Dates Posted! More...

  • August 14, 2015
    2015 Fall Exchange - Skookumchuck:
    September 24-26, 2015 - Current, skill sessions, socializing!

  • March 3, 2015
    2015 Spring Exchange:
    April 17-19, 2015 - Sooke! Skill sessions, seminars, socializing!

  • March 17, 2014
    2014 Spring Exchange:
    May 9-11, 2014 - Salt Spring Island. Skill sessions, seminars, socializing!

  • March 17, 2014
    On-Going Training Policy Update:
    The SKGABC has evolved the On-Going Training policy to give options to more members! More...

  • Dec 22, 2013
    Northern Gateway Pipeline: SKGABC working to safeguard the BC coastline and sea kayaking industry.

  • Oct 25, 2013
    2013 Annual General Meeting: Nov 9, 2013 - Nanaimo, BC.

  • May 15, 2013
    Toquaht Bay Closure
    Alternative launch sites available at village of Macoah. More...

  • March 26, 2013
    Electronic Guide Logs
    Submit your logs using an easy electronic spreadsheet! More...

  • August, 2012
    Wolf Advisory: Vargas / Flores Island Park - Clayoquot Sound Due to wolf activity on Vargas and Flores Island this summer, BC Parks has issued a Wolf Advisory More...

  • June 1, 2012
    Tsunami Debris Reporting Environment Canada - Tsunami Debris Sighting and Reporting Information

  • May 25, 2012
    Online Resource Sheets Printable equipment list, emergency contact list, earthquake and tsunami notification, operating standards summary and more!

  • May 23, 2012
    Pacific Coast - Marine Weather Guide Environment Canada Marine Weather Guide for the BC Coast updated and online!

  • February 14, 2012
    Updated - Water Classification Maps: Outlining water classfications within British Columbia

  • February 14, 2012
    New Pro-Deal: Killarney Kayaks joins the SKGABC Pro-Deal Program! Deals for members from companies like: Aquabound, Brooks, Broform, Delta, Level Six, Nimbus, North Water, Ortlieb, and Seaward! Members Area

  • Technical Guides Manual
    The SKGABC has produced a manual for guides of every level. For more information Click Here


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Fall Guides Exchange
Sept 25-27, 2009
Gabriola Island, BC

Thank you to everyone who made this event a success! Almost 50 participants gathered to spend time under blue skies (albeit a little windy) to camp at Descanso Regional Park and paddle on Gabriola Island. Thank you to Gabriola Sea Kayaking, Baja Kayak Adventures, Wildheart Adventures, and Jim's Kayaking for organizing this event.

Friday evening began with a showing of This is the Sea 3 at the Roxy Theatre.

After a hearty breakfast cooked up by Wildheart Adventures, Saturday morning was filled with a wide range of dry land sessions:

  • Outdoor Education for Guides with Sarah Osberg
  • 'Bikinis and Briefs - Interpretation - with Al Schaffer
  • Hands on Hypothermia treatment practice - with Alision Harle
  • A presentation by the BC Cetacean Sightings Network - Caitlain Birdsall

    Saturday Afternoon shifted to the waters of Twin Beaches where dozens of guides headed out on the water:

  • 'Guides do it better upside down' - Rolling Clinic with Matt Bowes and Jen Smith of Gabriola Sea Kayaking
  • Begining to advanced stroke practice - with Kate Hives
  • Rescue practice - with Lenny Allison
  • A Greenland Rolling clinic with Mike Jackson

    Saturday evening was a social affair, with individuals gathering for a beach BBQ, eating at the Surf Lounge, and finally many dancing the night away at a Five Alarm Funk concert at the Gabriola Community Hall.

    Sunday Morning broke sunny and calm. Baja Kayak Adventures cooked up a blueberry pancake breakfast, then we carpooled to Gabriola Passage:

  • Moving water: Eddy Turns, Bracing, and boat handling - Peter Yates
  • and on-land sessions with Hillary and Ryan Masson, and Jen Smith

    A special thank you goes to Nikki Rekman (www.rekman.ca), who brought some amazing demos for people to enjoy. Many had the chance to try out Kokatat Drysuits, Werner Paddles, and Boreal Design kayaks.

    Thank you to Atlantis Kayaks who sent along several beautiful boats for people to try.

    For more photo's, visit Matthew Bowes Flicker site.

    Rise and Shine - Meet and Mingle for Breakfast - Photo Liam McNeil

    Caitlin Birdsall discusses the Cetacean Sighting Network - Photo Richard Pullano

    Discussion following a hands on hypothermia session with Alison Harle - Photo Richard Pullano

    Some of the dozens of boats to hit the water at Twin Beaches - Photo Richard Pullano

    Kate Hives leads a stroke session - Photo Joscelyn Sorbara

    Matt Bowes and Jen Smith demonstrate the progression of learning to roll - Photo Joscelyn Sorbara

    The peanut gallery watching a session - Photo Matthew Bowes

    Mike Jackson demonstrating a static brace during his Greenland rolling session - Photo Matthew Bowes

    4 stoves, and 3 guides - cooking up pancakes and coffee - Photo Liam McNeil

    Fall Guides Exchange
    Sept 25-27, 2009
    Gabriola Island, BC

    This year’s fall exchange promises to be another great event. From newcomers to seasoned veterans, there will be something for everyone. Come share stories, skills, humor, and experiences.

    Sessions will range from rescue and paddling skill workshops, to dry land knowledge based training.

    Pre-registration, while not essential, is nice so we can plan for approximate numbers. To sign up to lead a session, or for more info, please email Matt & Jen at Gabriola Sea Kayaking: info@kayaktoursbc.com

    We encourage everyone to come ready to camp (camp fees are covered by exchange cost), however, Gabriola Island has many other accommodation options available: See Gabriola Island Accommodations.

    CPR Recertification (details TBA) – space may be limited, so please preregister! Contact info@kayaktoursbc.com

  • When: Sept 25-27, 2009
  • Cost: $75 - covers camping, several meals, and logistical costs
  • Kayaks: Bring your own boat, OR, available from Matt & Jen at Gabriola Sea Kayaking (Pre-register to reserve a boat)
  • Where: Gabriola Island - Descanso Bay Regional Park / Campground

    View Larger Map
  • Getting Here:
    Gabriola Island is serviced by BC Ferries (click for BC Ferries Schedule). Descano Bay Park (campground) is only 1km from the Gabriola Island Ferry terminal (easy to walk). On arrival on Gabriola Island, follow the traffic up the hill, take the first left onto Taylor Bay Rd, then drive/walk approximately 1 km and turn left at the Descanso Bay Regional Park Sign. Or, PADDLE over from Nanaimo (stay out of the way of the ferry (3.7 Nautical Miles))!


    Friday, September 25

    • 1:00 - 5:00 CPR C Rercertification - (you must pre-register for CPR info@kayaktoursbc.com)
    • 4:00 - 7:00 Registration and Camping set-up
      • Location: Descano Bay Regional Park Office
    • 8:00 - 10:00 Paddling Films at the Roxy Theatre

    Saturday, September 26

    • 8:00-9:00 Pancake Breakfast – Baja Kayak Adventures
    • 8:00-9:00 Registration - Descano Bay Park
    • 9:00 - 12:15 Workshops (dryland)
      • Fisheries - Colin Masson of Baja Kayak Adventures
      • Human Dimensions of Wildlife - Jen Smith
      • Outdoor Education For Guides - Sara Osberg
      • BC Cetacean Sightings Network - Caitlin Birdsall
    • 12:15 – 1:00 Lunch (provided)
    • 1:15 – 5:00 Workshops (on water/dryland)
      • "Guides do it better upide down". Rolling. - Jen & Matt
      • Capsize & Recovery: basic & advanced techniques
      • Paddling Skills: bracing, edging
      • Kayak Fishing - Kate Hives
    • 6:00 -7:00 Dinner - (Suggested Restaurants: Skols Pub, Suzy's, or Rasberry's Jazz Cafe)
    • Saturday Evening Social Night!

    Sunday, September 27

    • 8:00 Breakfast - Wildheart Adventures
    • 9:00 Sessions
      • Current Fun: Gabriola Passage - 4.5kn Flood
      • Tidepool Interpretation - Hilary Masson
    • 12:00 Noon - Wrap-up

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    The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of B.C. operates in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Kwakwaka'wakw,
    Nuu-chah-nulth, Oweekeno, Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, Haisla, Tsimshian, Haida, Nisga’a, and Tlingit First Nations.