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Local Kayakers Rally to Oppose Supertankers

Calling All Kayakers! 

Join us in a kayak rally to oppose the use of Supertankers on the BC coast!

On July 22, during the Nanaimo Bathtub Race weekend, S.O.S. “Save Our Shores” and Silva Bay Kayak Adventures are hosting an Anti-Supertanker Kayak Rally in Departure Bay. The event will take place a 12:00 Noon at the waterfront park in Departure Bay. A large group of kayakers and other non-motorized boats are going to paddle out into the bay and take the shape of a supertanker to demonstrate their immense size.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about the potential threat that oil tankers could pose to the British Columbia coastal environment.” Says event organizer and kayak guide, Ryan Masson. “Kayakers and other boaters appreciate how lucky we are to live in and enjoy paddling in this amazing environment. Just the other day I saw both a pod of Orcas and a Humpback whale just off of here, this is what we're trying to protect.”These Supertankers could pose one of the biggest threats yet to be seen on this part of the British Columbia coast. They are 1850 feet long, as long as the empire state building is tall, and half a football field wide, they can travel at up to 18 mph when fully loaded. However, in the event of an emergency stop it takes a loaded supertanker over 3 kilometers to come to a complete stop, they require almost 2 kilometers to make a full turn, and require water at least 33 meters deep. Yet there a plans to bring these huge ships up the narrow channels and fjords to Kitimat, on the central coast. Many parts of the proposed route to Kitimat are full of hazards: the channels in a least 3 places are less then 2 kilometers wide, there are many reefs and rocks all along the route, and there is a spot in the channel that is only 35 meters deep in the middle.

The possibility of an oil tanker grounding on the BC coast is very real. The central and north coast is renowned for it's extreme and unpredictable weather. Much of the year it's shrouded in Fog. There can be extremely high winds that come out of the fjords with little or no warning. Hecate Straight, where Douglas Channel meets the ocean is the location of the second highest ever recorded wave. Were there to be an oil spill it would be devastating. There is no know effective way to clean up crude bitumen. When the Exxon Valdes hit a reef, in waters far less dangerous then those in this proposed area, it covered an area of over 450 miles. If the same happened here, that means we could see oil spreading as far as Comox and Tofino.

The Great Bear Rainforest, and the area around Kitimat, is one of the largest remaining unspoilt temperate rainforests in the world. 1000 year old Red Cedar and 90 meter Sitka Spruce stand guard over the hills and coastline. Orcas, Humpbacks, and Grey Whales navigate these channels. Porpoise, Sea Lions, and Otters feed from these rich waters. Grizzlies, Black Bear, Wolves, and the amazing white Spirit Bears call this area home. It is something really special that we have a responsibility to protect.

The Gabriola Island group S.O.S. “Save Our Shores” held a similar No-Tankers event at Descanso Bay Region Park on Gabriola during the Oceans Day activities on June 10th. Participants marched from the main road down the beach with 1280 feet of yellow crime scene tape (which is the same length as a supertanker), then passed the tape off to a group of small boats and kayakers who paddled out into the bay with it. “When I stopped paddling a turned around and looked back to see the tape I was really surprised. I knew that supertankers were huge, but I didn't think they were that big!” Explains one of the organizers.

Everyone is welcome to come down and watch as the kayakers will arrange themselves into the shape and size of a supertanker. Kayakers from Nanaimo and the surrounding communities are invited to join us in this rally. Anyone interested in participating must RSVP in advance by contacting Silva Bay Kayak Adventures by phone at 250-247-8939, or online at Participants are responsible for providing their own kayaking and safety equipment. There will also be a no-tankers petition from the Dogwood Initiative that interested spectators will be able to sign.


Yoga and Kayaking

Hi Everyone!

Here is an excellent article written by a friend of ours about our weekly 'Monday Morning Yoga and Kayaking.  Check it out HERE.

Every Monday Morning during the Summer (June-September), 9am - Noon. Drop-in fee is $30, $15 if B.Y.O.Kayak


Gabriola Island: Accommodation and Travel

Accommodation and Travel to Gabriola Island

Silva Bay Inn – Oceanfront Inn overlooking beautiful Silva Bay. Kayak and boater friendly with full-service dock, grocery store, kayak tours and art galleries. (250) 247 – 9351

Pilot Bay Guest House ( A luxurious seaside bed & breakfast located in Pilot Bay at the North end of Gabriola. Lovely rooms, beachfront, and an amazing view of the sunshine coast and north shore mountains!

Sunset B&B ( Located at Berry Point, this custom built contemporary home, is pet friendly and in a great location for beach walks, and good sunsets.

Arbutus Ridge B&B ( Located in the middle of the island, this B&B has an amazing view, outdoor hot tub, and quiet comfortable rooms

Paige's Resort, Campground and Marina  ( Oceanfront Cabin rentals, campground and marina located in Silva Bay. 

Please check out a full listing of all the B&B's on Gabriola (

Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce ( You can find a list of other accommodations and booking info, as well as what to do on the island, and events listing.

Friends of Silva Bay ( We are proud members of the 'Friends of Silva Bay', who’s vision is clear waters, healthy surrounding, and a vibrant marine community. Our mission is to cooperatively promote clean, healthy habitat and sustainable activities in and around Silva Bay.

Georgia Strait Alliance ( is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect and restore the marine environment and promote the sustainability of Georgia Strait, its adjoining waters and communities.

BC Ferries ( For info on Ferry schedules and prices

Tofino Air ( Regularly scheduled flights to Tofino, Sechelt, Gabriola Island, Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver as well as an expansive customized charter service.

Gulf Islands Seaplanes ( The new owner of the Tofino Air Seaplane route from Vancouver to Silva Bay on Gabriola Island. 

Silva Bay Resort and Marina ( offers a nice restraint, bar, liquor store, and a full service marina.

Gabriola Community Bus Service GERTIE ( GERTIE bus service can bring you to Silva Bay for our Kayak Tours for $2.50. Check out the web site for route maps, and schedules. 

Friends and Kayaking Links

Kayaking Links:

WindPaddle Sails ( We are Official Distributor for WindPaddle Sails. The WindPaddle is a self-launching, free-standing sail for kayaks, canoes, sit-on-tops, paddle boards, and other small watercraft. With the lowest center of gravity of any kayak/canoe sail available, the WindPaddle is the safest sail you can buy!

Wavelength Magazine ( A terrific B.C. based kayaking magazine with a lot of great articles, meal ideas, adventure stories, reviews, and more.

Coastal Waters Recreation (  Coastal waters recreation provides quality recreational marine maps, for boaters and paddlers as well as some great information and tips, so that you may better enjoy the beauty of BC and Baja coastlines.

North Road Sports ( Newly opened on Gabriola for all of your outfitting needs.

Our Friends:

Gabriola Cycle and Kayak ( Gabriola Cycle and Kayak continue to offer a wide variety of cycling expeditions all over the world: Mexico, Spain, Alps, France, Hawaii, and Canada

Gabriola KayakingGreen Coast Kayaking ( offers tours in the amazing Haida Gwaii / Queen Charlotte Islands. Considered to be among the world's top paddling destinations, Gwaii Haanas is an irreplaceable and awe-inspiring oasis of raw wilderness situated at the southern tip of Haida Gwaii / Queen Charlotte Islands.

Gabriola Sea Kayaking ( Explore Vancouver Island’s rich marine environment, wildlife, rugged coastline, fjords and the white sandy beaches of: Kyuquot, Broken Group Islands, Broughton Archipelago, and Clayoquot Sound.

Jim’s Kayaking ( Kayak rentals and tours of Gabriola Island.

Columbia River Kayaking ( Our good friends in Washington State offer amazing tours and lesions on the stunning Columbia River.


Sea Kayak Guide’s Alliance of BC ( The Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC is a non-profit society which upholds high standards for professional sea kayak guides and operators in BC. Through ongoing professional development and certification, the Alliance strives to ensuresafe practices on an industry-wide basis.

British Canoe and Kayak Union ( The British Canoe Union (BCU) is the lead body for canoeing and kayaking in the UK.


WindPaddle - Kayak Sails

WindPaddle Kayak Sails

We are an Official Distributor for The WindPaddle, a self-launching, free-standing sail for kayaks, canoes, sit-on-tops, paddle boards, and other small watercraft.  With the lowest center of gravity of any kayak/canoe sail available, the WindPaddle is the safest sail you can buy!

Weighing only 13 ounces, the WindPaddle stows on deck in a small folded coil 1/8th its deployed size. The WindPaddle usually requires NO modifications to your boat. Instead, it clips quickly and easily to existing deck lines or hardware.  Combine this with the ability to be quickly launched and doused while out on the water, you have a safest, easiest-to-use sail available for small watercraft sailing!!

We carry a few demo WindPaddle Sails with our Baja kayak fleet. Come down and give one a try this winter! Contact us for more information or to order your kayak sail.

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