SISKA's December 2020 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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We all missed having the party this year, but back to it next year most likely!

December 2020 SISKA Newsletter


Dear Tony,

Thanks to those members who contributed photos and materials. 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!

Alan Campbell (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

Wednesday, December 09th, 2020 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting
Monday, December 14th, 2020 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Inter Tidal Marine Life Clinic
Wednesday, December 16th, 2020 - 4:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Monthly Meeting
Saturday, January 02nd, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Sunday, January 03rd, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Albert Head to Wittys Lagoon Paddle
Saturday, January 09th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Currents Clinic
Saturday, January 09th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Cormorant Point Paddle
Sunday, January 10th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Thursday, January 14th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Cadboro Bay to Uplands Tour Paddle
Sunday, January 24th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Mackenzie Bight Paddle
Thursday, January 28th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Todd Inlet Paddle
Saturday, January 30th, 2021 - 9:30AM to 3:30pm - Cadboro Bay to Chatham and Discovery Islands
For more details, go to the SISKA website

Community Events of Interest

Monday, November 30, 2020 - 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Deep Diving with RV Falkor off Western Australia - VNHS

These events are not formally supported by SISKA, but considered to be of interest to a significant number of our members.

Any member may request an event to be included in this section by sending a note to

President's Message

December 2020 – Let’s Make the Best of It for All of Us!

This is the time of year when we usually look forward to brightening our days and warming our hearts with gatherings that celebrate the many family, cultural and religious traditions in our community.
Unfortunately, this year we are necessarily constrained by the greater need to reduce our direct social contacts, travel, and gatherings to contain the 2nd wave of the Covid-19 pandemic now in our midst.
Until recently, Vancouver Island had managed to avoid the rapid escalation of coronavirus infections in our communities that we have watched with concern in many other areas. This is no longer the case.
The new public health orders issued November 26th by Dr. Bonnie Henry tightened restrictions across BC in an attempt to reduce the spiralling case numbers on the Lower Mainland, and to forestall similar results here and elsewhere in the Province.
As you know, SISKA has cancelled club paddles until at least December 7th when the orders are to be reassessed and eased if circumstances warrant. At this point it does not look like that will be the case.
But, even in these circumstances many of us can still find ways to come together, virtually in online meetings and events, and to enjoy outdoor recreation including paddling, safely within our small bubbles.
We can put up some cheery lights in or around our homes, reach out to someone we know who is less fortunate, recognize, appreciate and support health and social service workers, charities and other community organizations working hard to help and keep us all safe.
Let’s make the best of December this year for all of our sakes!

Alan Campbell, President

SISKA's December 2020 Meeting

by Alan Campbell


On Wednesday, December 9th at 7pm please join us by Zoom for a presentation by Yves Aquin and Patti Stevens from Go Kayak ( This is the story of their 34 day, 550 km paddling journey around the top of Vancouver Island and down the west coast. Their visual journey takes you to some of the best and most rugged places on Vancouver Island.

Yves Aquin and Patti Stevens are the owners and sea kayak instructors at Go Kayak Sea Kayak Instruction. They moved to Victoria in 2005 and embraced the Wild West Coast. Since then, they have paddled extensively all over Vancouver Island and beyond.  Besides the Port Hardy to Tofino trip, in 2009 they completed a 3½ month 400-mile exploration of Haida Gwaii, the waters around Prince Rupert and Kitimat Inlet. In 2010 they were guest speakers at the Coastbuster Sea Kayak Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand. As owners of Go Kayak, they have been providing instruction to SISKA members for a number of years.
You're invited to a scheduled Zoom meeting!

Topic: SISKA December Monthly Club Meeting
Time: Dec 9, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting  

Meeting ID: 836 4167 1040
Passcode: 601234

VHF Radio Refresher for Kayakers

by Edgar Hulatt
Facilitator: Edgar Hulatt
Where & When: Via Zoom. December 8th, 2020 at 7.00 pm to 8.30 pm.
The Plan:
Join us for an evening reviewing VHF procedures, types of calls, key features and simulating various incident scenarios. While this evening is for kayakers who have previously completed the ROC(M) course and wish to refresh the course material it will also benefit anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with a VHF radio. We will also share experiences using the VHF radio and discuss Digital Selective Calling (DSC) radios.
Register: Email As this is an interactive course registration is limited to 12 persons.

SISKA Intertidal Marine Life Presentation

by Barry Copeland

Time: December 14, 2020 07:00 PM
Mike Jackson will share his knowledge of the inter-tidal marine life of our area as well as discuss some of the possibilities of harvesting. He will help you identify some of the main species as well as talk about how the inter-tidal zone “works”.
Your next paddle will be that much richer, knowing what to look for and knowing something about it.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 886 8191 2867

Passcode: 413854


by DaveO

If you haven't already signed SISKA's new waiver please remember to do so before Decemberr 31. On January 01 all old waiver will no longer be valid. So far approximately 30% of the membership has signed the new waiver.
Remember that in order to take part in and SIKSA event,clinic or paddle each participant is required to have a valid waiver on file.

SISKA Newcomers Meet and Greet

by Lisa Lasagna

Join David Maxwell and Alan Campbell (President) for a session on how to get the most out of your SISKA membership. This meeting is aimed at members who have joined in the past 2 years, but all are welcome. Learn how to make your club experience the best it can be. Take a screen tour through the SISKA website. Meet other new members. Share the highlights of what you've gotten out of your membership to date, as well as expectations that have not yet been met.
Topic: SISKA Newcomers Clinic
Time: Dec 16, 2020 07:00 PM Vancouver
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 810 7454 2642
Passcode: 629755

Charitable Donations

by Alan Campbell

As you know, SISKA’s Annual Christmas Luncheon and Party, which would normally take place next weekend, has been cancelled this year, along with many other seasonal events, due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
Traditionally, we have used the occasion of our party, and our prior monthly club meeting, to encourage members to personally donate to worthy local charities they wish to support. Since even more individuals, families and community organizations need support in these challenging times, if you can donate this year, we strongly encourage you to do so.
In the past, SISKA has directed collected donations to CFAX Santa’s Anonymous, Power to Be, and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue teams on our coast, so links to these charities are provided below for your convenience.

CFAX Santa’s Anonymous
Power to Be
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue

Thanks for supporting our community!

Safety Tips


Planning a paddle with strong SW winds in the forecast.

by Lynn Baier

I would really appreciate more local knowledge contributions from those of you who are familiar with certain routes.

For this month I am going to talk about strong southwest wind. Where to go? Your best bet will be Telegraph Cove. Ten Mile Point gives a nice little lee shelter on the east side. You can paddle down and have a peek at Baynes Channel, but be careful not to get sucked round the corner on an ebb. Generally the currents in this area won’t cause a change of plans. You may encounter a bit of a gap wind in Arbutus Cove, but paddling closer to shore will help. There are a few large beaches to pull out on.

Where not to go? If you look at the predictors, it seems like Saanich Inlet might be a good idea, but beware of Squally Reach. The wind can really funnel through there and kick things up.

Stay safe out there and Merry Christmas!

Tips from the trips

by Debbie Leach

Don’t sink in! Use a log under your beach chair to stay high.