Tunstall Bay

Bowen Island, British Columbia

Tunstall Bay is a sandy and rocky beach known for its sunsets. It was originally a retirement community in the 1950s, now it is a popular beach for swimming, kayaking, or sailing. Washrooms are available.

Sunbathe and admire the shimmering green-blue ocean waters, or watch kids taking sailing lessons and kayakers paddling around the island. Bowen residents rave about the awe-inspiring sunsets that can be seen at Tunstall Bay.

WATER QUALITY:
Sampling results from Tunstall Bay have not exceeded Health Canada's guideline values for primary water use at all in the last two years (200 E.coli bacteria/100 ml)

FIRST NATIONS PLACENAME:
The name for Bowen Island in the Squamish language is Nexwlélexwm meaning “fast drumming ground". It was named this because deer were so abundant on Bowen Island, and the name reflected the sound their hooves would make when running. On Nexwlélexwm, the Squamish established a tiny village called Qole’laqom and here they hunted, fished or stopped over during long voyages up and down the coast.

Watch this video to learn how to say Nexwlélexwm - https://youtu.be/jWOpr6wtaUI

FIRST NATIONS HISTORY:
Bowen Island, Nexwlélexwm, is part of the ancestral and unceded territory of the Squamish Nation.

The island was not used as a permanent settlement ground. It was mainly used instead as a stopping ground on long journeys up and down the coast. The island also provided food and sustenance such as deer, salmon, and smelts herring, and therefore it also easily became a seasonal hunting ground.

It was well known to the Squamish that the strong fresh water influence of the Squamish River caused most clams to lodge themselves in Tunstall Bay, that could otherwise not be found anywhere else in the Howe Sound. For this reason, many Squamish people found themselves making camp at or near Gibson’s Landing.

First Nations Information From:
https://howesound.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/bowen-island-nexwlelexwm/
https://bowenislandmuseum.ca/first-nations-on-bowen/
https://www.bowenheritage.org/a-short-history-of-bowen-island.html

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests 60-95% of the time

  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on August 30th, 2021. Fraser Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 2nd, 2021 at 2:01 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
3°C
Cloudy
Monitoring Frequency

Tunstall Bay is sampled weekly from May 1st to September 10th.

Source Information

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority monitors the water quality at 6 Bowen Island beaches. Sampling is conducted during the height of swim season (May – September).

VCH follows the Canadian Recreational Water Guidelines. Recreational water is considered safe if the geometric mean result is under 200 E.coli/100mL based on the previous last five samples or a single sample limit of under 400 E.coli/100mL. Should the results exceed the guidelines or in the event of a known hazard or spill, the Medical Health Officer will make an assessment of the risk to human health. If there is a risk to human health, a warning sign will be posted at the beach stating “This Water is Contaminated and Unsafe for Swimming.” Results are communicated on the Vancouver Coastal Health Beach Samples Results website. Fraser Riverkeeper updates Swim Guide according to these results, as soon as they become available.

A beach is marked Green when geometric mean results are under 200 E.coli/100 mL and single sample results are below 400 E.coli/100mL.

A beach is marked Red when the geometric mean results are equal to or above 200 E.coli/100 mL water or single sample results are above 400 E.coli/100 mL.

A beach is marked Grey when there are no current results or there is no available information.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Tunstall Bay

Bowen Island, British Columbia

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • Passed water quality tests 60-95% of the time
  • Historical Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample, taken on August 30th, 2021. Fraser Riverkeeper updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available. These results were posted to Swim Guide on September 2nd, 2021 at 2:01 PM.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
3°C
Cloudy

Tunstall Bay is a sandy and rocky beach known for its sunsets. It was originally a retirement community in the 1950s, now it is a popular beach for swimming, kayaking, or sailing. Washrooms are available.

Sunbathe and admire the shimmering green-blue ocean waters, or watch kids taking sailing lessons and kayakers paddling around the island. Bowen residents rave about the awe-inspiring sunsets that can be seen at Tunstall Bay.

WATER QUALITY:
Sampling results from Tunstall Bay have not exceeded Health Canada's guideline values for primary water use at all in the last two years (200 E.coli bacteria/100 ml)

FIRST NATIONS PLACENAME:
The name for Bowen Island in the Squamish language is Nexwlélexwm meaning “fast drumming ground". It was named this because deer were so abundant on Bowen Island, and the name reflected the sound their hooves would make when running. On Nexwlélexwm, the Squamish established a tiny village called Qole’laqom and here they hunted, fished or stopped over during long voyages up and down the coast.

Watch this video to learn how to say Nexwlélexwm - https://youtu.be/jWOpr6wtaUI

FIRST NATIONS HISTORY:
Bowen Island, Nexwlélexwm, is part of the ancestral and unceded territory of the Squamish Nation.

The island was not used as a permanent settlement ground. It was mainly used instead as a stopping ground on long journeys up and down the coast. The island also provided food and sustenance such as deer, salmon, and smelts herring, and therefore it also easily became a seasonal hunting ground.

It was well known to the Squamish that the strong fresh water influence of the Squamish River caused most clams to lodge themselves in Tunstall Bay, that could otherwise not be found anywhere else in the Howe Sound. For this reason, many Squamish people found themselves making camp at or near Gibson’s Landing.

First Nations Information From:
https://howesound.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/bowen-island-nexwlelexwm/
https://bowenislandmuseum.ca/first-nations-on-bowen/
https://www.bowenheritage.org/a-short-history-of-bowen-island.html

Monitoring Frequency

Tunstall Bay is sampled weekly from May 1st to September 10th.

Source Information

Vancouver Coastal Health Authority monitors the water quality at 6 Bowen Island beaches. Sampling is conducted during the height of swim season (May – September).

VCH follows the Canadian Recreational Water Guidelines. Recreational water is considered safe if the geometric mean result is under 200 E.coli/100mL based on the previous last five samples or a single sample limit of under 400 E.coli/100mL. Should the results exceed the guidelines or in the event of a known hazard or spill, the Medical Health Officer will make an assessment of the risk to human health. If there is a risk to human health, a warning sign will be posted at the beach stating “This Water is Contaminated and Unsafe for Swimming.” Results are communicated on the Vancouver Coastal Health Beach Samples Results website. Fraser Riverkeeper updates Swim Guide according to these results, as soon as they become available.

A beach is marked Green when geometric mean results are under 200 E.coli/100 mL and single sample results are below 400 E.coli/100mL.

A beach is marked Red when the geometric mean results are equal to or above 200 E.coli/100 mL water or single sample results are above 400 E.coli/100 mL.

A beach is marked Grey when there are no current results or there is no available information.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

  Beach Location Water Quality
Bowen Island, British Columbia
Bowen Island, British Columbia
Gibsons, British Columbia
Gibsons, British Columbia
Swim Guide
is supported by
* The RBC Foundation

Swim Guide shares the best information we have at the moment you ask for it. Always obey signs at the beach or advisories from official government agencies. Stay alert and check for other swimming hazards such as dangerous currents and tides. Please report your pollution concerns so Affiliates can help keep other beach-goers safe.

Swim Guide, "Swim Drink Fish icons," and associated trademarks are owned by SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA. See Legal.

© SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA, 2011 - 2021