SISKA's  December 2018 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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December 2018 SISKA Newsletter


Dear <<First Name>>,

Please welcome our new newsletter editor, Tony Playfair. Tony has kindly stepped up to take on this role, for which he deserves our thanks! You can contact the editors at the following email address:

Thanks to those members who contributed photos and materials to this issue. After enjoying a SISKA event or paddle, please consider sending a short (100-150 words) summary article; for more information, contact one of us. If you would like to start a regular column, please let us know!

Michael Jackson (SISKA president) and Tony Playfair (editor)
PS: You can find SISKA on Facebook at this link.

PPS: SISKA has a Meetup site for "impromptu" and other paddles organized by club members. For more details, go to To join this, you have to be a club member.

PPPS: You can find the SISKA newsletter archive here:

Table of Contents


Upcoming SISKA Events

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM -
VHF Refresher Course by Edgar Hulatt
Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM -
Monthly Meeting :Its Colombia not Columbia: It is Not the Country You Think It Is!
Saturday, December 01st, 2018 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM -
Cadboro Bay to President's Paddle around Cadboro Bay Paddle
Saturday, December 01st, 2018 - 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM -
SISKA Annual Christmas Party
Sunday, December 09th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM -
Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Saturday, December 15th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM -
Oak Bay Marina - Parking Lot to Trial Island/Gonzales Paddle
Saturday, January 05th, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM -
Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Tuesday, January 08th, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM -
Injury Prevention in Sea Kayaking - Keeping You On The Water by Jennie Sutton
Wednesday, January 09th, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM -
VHF Refresher Course by Edgar Hulatt
Sunday, January 13th, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM -
Cadboro Bay to Glencoe Cove Paddle
Saturday, January 19th, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM -
Getting the Most From Your GPS by Karen Stefanyk
Sunday, January 20th, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM -
Albert Head to Witty's Lagoon Paddle
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM -
Monthly Meeting: Circumnavigating Van Isd with Bob/Eliz Purdon
Saturday, January 26th, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM -
Getting the Most From Your GPS by Karen Stefanyk

For more details, go to the SISKA website

Community Events of Interest

If you are aware of an event  that should be included in the next Newsletter, please email Alan Campbell at

Sunday, December 02nd, 2018 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Free Solo - IMAX
Sunday, December 02nd, 2018 - 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM - Sea Glass Jewellery Workshop - MMBC
Sunday, December 02nd, 2018 - 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM - Nautical Book Sculpting Workshop - MMBC
Wednesday, December 05th, 2018 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Victoria in the Steps of the Transformers - UVic
Thursday, December 06th, 2018 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - What's Up in the Woods - Wilderness Committee
Friday, December 07th, 2018 - 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM - Free Solo - UVic Cinecenta
Wednesday, December 12th, 2018 - 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Keeping the Peace - VNHS
Friday, December 21st, 2018 - 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM - Solstice Stroll - CRD
Sunday, January 06th, 2019 - 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM - Winter Birds of Island View Beach - CRD

What’s in a Name?

from Vic Turkington


Becher Bay is definitely a favourite with SISKA  members. Every year we have paddles around its islet strewn coast line. The bay was named after Rear Admiral Alexander Becher (1796-1876), an RN hydrographer who wrote numerous books on navigation and marine history and made improvements to the sextant by inventing an artifical horizon.
Two islands lie in the bay: Wolf Island on the west side and Frazer Island in the middle. The east coast of Becher bay is particularly scenic, including the Parker Islets and provides challenging rock gardening opportunities. The Parker Islets are named after John Parker from Kent England; an employee of the Huson Bay Co.and local farmer in the 1800s. He was also the great great great grandfather of our own Gail Miller –  (how about that!).
The Cheanuh First Nation is developing the marina area by creating a village and upscale housing project at Spirit Bay. Attractive chalets adorn the nearby rock cliffs; prices range from $384,000 - $939,000. A boat launch at the marina allows kayakers an easy access to this delightful bay.

Tips from the trips

by Debbie Leach
Bring a blankie. Good for warming a cool paddler especially now that winter is approaching.

Safety tip - practice!

from Lynn Baier
I’m guessing that a lot of us take our sea kayaking courses, and then tuck what we have learned on the back burner. Make a habit of practicing a few braces and maneuvers right when you get on the water. That way when you need to call on your skills, it will be instinctual and muscle memory will save you from having to practice a wet exit. Thanks to Gary Allen for this valuable reminder on a recent paddle..

SISKA is looking for new Paddle Leaders.

from Gary Jacek
We will be holding a briefing for potential paddle leaders who hold a Paddle Canada Level 2 Sea Kayaker certification and Marine Radio certificate.
Come join us at 7pm on Wednesday, February 13 to learn the ropes and find out how easy it is to navigate the web site, print your manifest and documents and lead your paddle group.  Contact Gary Jacek at to sign up.

Camp Cookery


South African Bobotie

from Elizabeth Purdon via Lynn Baier
(Enjoyed by Bobby and the SeaStars on their circumnavigation of Vancouver Island.)

1/2 cup pearl barley
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
454 g extra learn ground beef
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup apricot jam (or any jam that you have in the fridge. ELizabeth used strawberry)
2 tablespoons curry powder (or to taste)
1/2 cup raisins
10 dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons mango chutney (if you have it. If not, use a bit more jam)
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds

Cook barley in water for one hour or until cooked.
Heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add onion and saute until soft.
Add beef, barley, lemon juice, jam, curry powder, raisins, apricots and chutney; cook gently for a few minutes to brown the meat. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to 7x11 inch shallow baking dish or a casserole dish.
Beat together eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper.
Pour over beef mixture.
Sprinkle with almonds and insert bay leaves into meat mixture.
Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until topping is golden brown and almonds are toasted.
Serve over yellow rice coloured with turmeric or saffron.

Makes 6 servings.
The recipe can be doubled. Eat half for dinner and dry the rest.

BBQ Salmon on the beach

by Rob Rosborough
I was asked by some SISKA members if I could post a picture of how I like to BBQ salmon over a fire. After weaving a chunk of salmon with cedar kindling I hang it over a fire using hay wire.