Chasing Orca Whales & Nature on the Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Kayaking has around since 1995. Last year, Loretta and Greg Suidy moved to Gibsons to take over and expand the business. They haven’t look back since.
Well, for one thing, business has just been too darn busy. While the original owner had mostly stuck to kayaks, the Suidys have expanded to include fishing trips, harbour tours, canoe, SUP, and kayak rentals and guided instruction. Basically, if there’s a way of experiencing the coast by water, Sunshine Kayaking has got it.
A New Coastal Beginning
It seems to be a common thread for Vancouverites to discover new life on the Sunshine Coast. Loretta and Greg originally lived in the Fraser Valley, and grabbed up the 19 year old company when it came up for sale last year. Ian, our guide, used to work in high-tech and started kayaking as a form of stress relief. He came to the Sunshine Coast to recuperate between managing manufacturing plants, and hasn’t been back since.
Whatever the reason, these Vancouverites love the lifestyle and don’t miss the mainland. It probably helps that Sunshine Kayaking is bustling, to the point where they need multiple guides and dock hands to help.
Killer Whale Breaching Near Canadian Coast via Shutterstock
I experienced a taste of everything – a fishing tour turned into an impromptu whale watching excursion, as we spotted an orca in full breach in the distance. It turned out to be a small school of whales and calves, chasing the fish and each other. Our chase to remain at a respectable viewing distance pushed the cheerful yellow boat to the max, and was an exhilarating joyride under the practiced guidance of Captain Greg.
I’m not typically one for fishing, relegating it to another age bracket and lifestyle. But watching Greg’s patient hands thread line and sinker, I got to understand the basics without being hung up on technicalities and finicky gear.
Greg gets all sorts, and is just as adept priming novices to the sport as he is doing hardcore fishing tours with experienced enthusiasts.
Afterwards, we got geared up for a challenging kayak adventure guided with experienced instructor Ian Winn. I fell in love with exactly how peaceful the Sunshine Coast is on a ‘busy’ day – you the number of boats in sight on less than two hands. This makes it very enjoyable to kayakers to enjoy calmer waters and cut across to the opposite shore without much hinderance.
It’s a little different with a guide. I was able to see how Ian floats along the water, almost effortlessly, and pick up a few tricks and techniques along the way. Most of all, Ian was able to push us further than we would have confidently gone ourselves, and share with us his enduring love for the sea, kayaking, and the good life on the Sunshine Coast.
For more information, check out Sunshine Kayaking, or keep up with their latest offerings on Facebook. Sunshine Kayaking is located in downtown Gibsons, inside Molly’s Lane by the Harbour.
Disclosure: Tour and guide generously sponsored by Sunshine Kayaking, but review consists of my own thoughts of the experience.
Ferry Information: BC Ferries
Tourism Info & Accommodations: Sunshine Coast Tourism
For more information about The Sunshine Coast, check out Sunshine Coast Tourism for more travel information. Special thanks to Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism Region for their support.
Photo Credit: Sunshine Kayaking.