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Dan Lewis

Sea Kayaking

Dan started sea kayaking in 1978, and has been paddling year-round ever since. He co-founded the Ecomarine Coastal Kayaking School in Vancouver in 1984. Ecomarine owner and Sea Kayaking author John Dowd influenced Dan to introduce the concepts of seamanship and judgment to the sport.

Dan LewisIn 1985 Dan was featured in the sport's first instructional video, produced by Ecomarine. He designed and taught their first training course for professional instructors in 1989, and visited Japan 3 times to train instructors there. Since 1991, Dan has lived and taught kayaking in his favourite place to paddle, Clayoquot Sound.

Dan is a keen recreational paddler, and has explored much of the BC coastline. He has spent over a year of his life on trips longer than 3 weeks, and also countless trips of two weeks or less. Dan also paddled whitewater rivers throughout the 1980's, and was a solid Class 4 paddler in the day.

Dan is a certified Guide Trainer and Examiner with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC, and sits on both the Certification Committee and the Examiners Committee of the SKGABC.


Dan's description of his kayak courses is published in John Dowd's classic manual Sea Kayaking and he co-authored the Clayoquot chapter of Kayak Routes of the Pacific Northwest. Dan is also a regular columnist with WaveLength Paddling Magazine, and has been published in Sea Kayaker magazine. Check out his humorous and informative articles.

Natural History

Dan has a deep interest in all things wild and free, and uses his kayak as a tool to explore, study, and get closer to Nature.

Dan has done 5 years of salmonid habitat assessment in Clayoquot. This means walking creeks, looking for fish, and studying the effects of clearcut logging on fish habitat. He has also done many 'snorkel surveys' - that is, swimming the larger river systems in the Sound to count numbers of salmon returning to spawn in autumn.

Rainforest Activism

When Dan completed a three-month circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 1990, it really struck him just how rare wilderness was becoming.

This led to an intense 3-year involvement in the conservation movement. Dan developed a map of remaining coastal wilderness, and began touring a slide show, moving audiences from laughter to tears as he delivered his powerful message. By 1994, many of the areas he helped campaign for had been declared Class A Provincial Parks by the BC government.

Through the 1990s Dan continued to deliver sea kayaking and conservation slide shows around British Columbia with Bonny. Since 2001, Dan has toured Japan four times, presenting slideshows at Patagonia stores, as well as meeting with corporate consumers of BC forest products, asking them to join the shift to Ancient Forest Friendly products. Dan is active on the Friends of Clayoquot Sound Advisory Council.

"Dan and Bonny obviously love what they are doing and it carries through to their teaching. I call it teaching, but they were really asking me questions, making me think and discover and learn by myself. Every day I'm out on the water I think of the things I learned from Dan and Bonny. They are also very patient, organized, and funny."
    —Natalie, BC