Bowen Island Sea Kayaking turns 25 – Bowen Island Undercurrent

On the mouth of A surprising fjord and as Definitely one of two kayak retailers Inside the Decrease Mainland, BISK welcomes visitors from Bowen & Throughout the globe
It started as A pair of boats out at the Mount Gardner Dock i…….

On the mouth of A surprising fjord and as Definitely one of two kayak retailers Inside the Decrease Mainland, BISK welcomes visitors from Bowen & Throughout the globe

It started as A pair of boats out at the Mount Gardner Dock in 1996. Right now, it’s a bustling seasonal enterprise overlooking Snug Cove from The prime of the Bowen Island Marina (“Norma’s”) Dock. 

Bowen Island Sea Kayaking rejoiced its Twenty fifth anniversary this yr, and welcomed visitors and locals alike to paddle their pandemic blues away. 

Brent O’Malley purchased the enterprise from Martin Clarke again in 2014 after shifting to Bowen from California. (Clarke had started out as a BISK worker however purchased the enterprise from founder Greg Phillips in 2000.)

“I purchased a properly-established enterprise that was run properly, And that i really feel properly revered Regionally,” said O’Malley. 

“I used to be In a place To solely stroll in and decide factors up wright here they have been and opperiodted A completely regular first season. After which I’ve simply been tweaking it ever since.”

From about 10 staff when he took over to about 15 at The peak of summer time These days, O’Malley’s expanded the enterprise. “I’ve Almost expanded to The bounds of my talents [at the store]. I don’t have extra room for extra boats,” he said. 

BISK rents sea kayaks and Get up paddleboards and O’Malley is contemplating getting sit-on-prime kayaks Finally. “Sit-on-primes are Tons safer, Tons simpler to get again on prime of Do You’d like to flip over.”

Tright here are group paddle decisions, Paddle Canada licensed classes and excursions Starting from three hours to a quantity of days, typically with a twist (For event, final weekend tright here was A 3-day kayak and yoga retreat).  

Multi-day journeys are an O’Malley period addition to BISK. 

“Tright here are actually solely two kayak retailers Inside the Decrease Mainland proper now,” said O’Malley. “We’re The one ones That are offering multi-day journeys in an space That is stunningly lovely, proper in people’s yard.”

They Revenue from The ocean to Sky Marine Path established as An factor of TransCanada Path and the BC Marine Paths Community in 2015. 

“So people don’t Have to journey up into northern B.C. to go on a multi-day journey,” said O’Malley. 

Youngsters camps have On A daily basis been Half of the enterprise, however for The primary time this summer time, O’Malley ran six weeks Of kids camps and two weeks of junior expertise camps. 

The Spherical Bowen Problem – the annual self-propelled boat race round the island – was one factor O’Malley couldn’t wrangle enthusiasm for. “I’m not a racer. It was On A daily basis Sort of exhausting for me to get behind. It was a ton of organizing. It was proper main As a lot as my actually busy season,” he said. “I tried my exhaustingest for The primary 5 yrs and then [stepped] away.”

O’Malley hosted the 18th annual challenge in 2018 and then left the race to completely different paddlers To rearrange – And a few Spherical Bowen Problem-ish races have taken place Inside the yrs since.

To rejoice 25 yrs, BISK had Pretty A pair of specials over the summer time months As properly as to group paddles on Sunday evenings (“It’s such A lovely time to be on the water I’m simply making an try to Do precisely making an try to encourage people to get out In the meantime of the day.”) BISK additionally donated a portion of proceeds from every tour to My Sea to Sky – An group shaped in 2014 to “defend, shield, and restore Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound.”

When requested if he’s found A favourite An factor of the sound, O’Malley factors to the McNabb Creek space and the channel round the northern An factor of Gambier Island. “It’s simply spectacular paddling up tright here.”

All in all?

“I’m simply grateful for The prospect To have The power to run a small enterprise in such An excellent group,” said O’Malley. “Daily, I really feel fairly fortunate to be right here.

“My office is fairly superb.”

BISK is now on fall hours – open Wednesday by way of Sunday.

Editor’s notice: The Undercurrent spoke with O’Malley in July. 

Source: https://www.bowenislandundercurrent.com/local-sports/bowen-island-sea-kayaking-turns-25-4345715

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