Our Staff

Matt Bowes – Owner/Operator

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A familiar face out on the water and friendly voice in the office, co-owner/ operator/guide  Matt Bowes has been a Gabriola guide for twenty years.  A Level III SKGABC Guide and Guide Trainer,  Matt has guided  extensively in BC, Baja California, Mexico and Ontario. With a MES in Nature Based Recreation and Tourism and PhD in Geography, Matt is also involved with park conservation work and teaches at Vancouver Island University when not guiding, teaching courses, running GSK, and being a dad.

Jen Smith – Owner/Operator

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Jen’s warmth and energy  combined with over a decade of guiding make Jen a real favourite on trips and a true pleasure to be around. Co-owner of Gabriola Sea Kayaking, Level III Guide, Guide Trainer and Paddle Canada Instructor, Jen has a Master in Environmental Studies, a Diploma in Resource Management and is a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio). When she is not guiding, teaching courses and running GSK, Jen works as a biologist and social scientist for the province and is ‘mom’ to Finn. A skilled naturalist and interpreter, Jen will teach you how to surf, roll, and perfect your forward stroke, then delight in telling you about tide pools, tail dropping slugs, salamanders and seaweed, inspiring a true sense of wonder about the marine environment and coastal ecosystem!

Carter Arlette -Level III Guide, Guide Trainer, Outdoor Ed. Instructor & Operations Manager 

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One big, happy, exuberant, sea kayaker. The smile says it all and  Carter’s  trademark ear to ear grin, an infectious enthusiasm for all things ocean combined with some serious paddling chops and a passion for teaching, keeps people coming back for more. A graduate of Mount Royal University’s Eco-Tourism and Outdoor Leadership program, Carter lives and breathes all things adventure. A SKGABC Level III Guide and Guide Trainer, Carter is GSK’s primary lead guide, Guide Trainer and Outdoor Education Instructor in our busy spring programs. As Operations Manager, Carter lovingly takes care of the GSK fleet and equipment. Carter is also a talented musician and its rare to find him without his ukulele, while on trip or any other time, for that matter. When he is not paddling, you’ll find Carter living aboard his 35 ft Coronado sloop, sailboat and teaching in Collingwood School’s Explore program as an outdoor education instructor.

Fiona Hough – SKGABC Level III Guide, Paddle Canada Level II Sea Kayak Instructor, Paddle Canada Senior Examiner Canoe/Moving Water

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Fiona is truly, a really, really, really, awesome sea kayak guide and instructor and always a favourite with her students, guests, colleagues and co-workers. A dedicated outdoor professional, her knowledge and skill combined with a friendly, laid back demeanour and subtle humour make for a really amazing and memorable companion and outstanding trips. When it comes to experience in the world of paddling, outdoor adventure programming and risk management, there are few who can come even close to Fiona Hough. With over 25 years ‘in the biz,’ Fiona has paddled across Canada in a voyageur canoe in a reenactment of the MacKenzie Expedition, won open canoe whitewater slalom championships, paddled on dozens of expeditions in Canada’s north and has introduced hundreds to the joys of whitewater. Backcountry skier, surfer and long time Outward Bound instructor and  program director, Fiona’s passion is outdoor experiential education; currently Fiona is a program manager at YMCA Camp Thunderbird. As always, we are totally stoked to have Fiona on our team. Keep on keepin’ on, Fiona.

Gabriel Woolidge - SKGABC Assistant Overnight Guide

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Gabe joined us last year and is back for more in 2017.  Gabriel grew up on Gabriola Island, so you could say that the ocean and the coastline of Vancouver Island is Gabe’s natural habitat. A great guide who is fabulous in the kitchen with a certain foodie panache, Gabe has a zest for the culinary arts. When combined with a passion for fishing, results can be spectacular. A talented musician, Gabe’s travel guitar is always on hand. Knowledgeable, laid back, helpful, friendly and easy-going , everybody loves Gabe.

Sarah Hauser - SKGABC Level III Guide, Guide Trainer, BCRCA Level II Instructor

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A colleague once said to me that Sarah ‘spends more time in a tent than anyone else they knew,’ and this is probably right.  Sara epitomizes the outdoor professional and has worked extensively with Outward Bound, the COLT program/Strathcona Park Lodge, College of the Rockies Adventure Tourism Buisiness Operations program and her  friendliness, easygoing nature and skills as a guide are always in high demand. A Level III SKGABC Guide and Guide Trainer, Sarah also holds certification from the British Columbia Recreational Canoeing Association. In the off season you might find her expedition kayaking in the Sea of Cortez in Baja California, Mexico. But most likely, you’ll find Sarah sniffing out big powder lines and ski touring  on her telemark skis  in the mountains, here on the Island, or mountain biking.

Andrea Bell - SKGABC Level III Guide, NOLS Instructor

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Hailing from the Nova Scotia, Andrea is Level III SKGABC Guide and  lifelong paddler.  An Outward Bound and NOLS instructor and Outward Bound Program manager on the west coast, Andrea has guided on the east coast, lead dog sledding trips in the Yukon and has a passionate joie de vivre for anything a bit wild and fun in the out of doors. A graduate of Lakehead University’s Outdoor Recreation Program, and Outdoor Experiential Education Program, Andrea is a certified teacher, skilled outdoor educator, interpreter, naturalist. In 2016, Andrea will be taking on a new role as running the Outdoor Education program at St Georges School. Rock on Andrea. We are always glad when she comes back to work with GSK. So are our students and guests.