SISKA's October 2020 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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October 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

Saturday, October 03rd, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Pedder Bay to Whirl Bay Paddle
Tuesday, October 06th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Agate Lane to Coastal transit north toward IVB Paddle
Saturday, October 10th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Spirit Bay to Whirl Bay Paddle
Sunday, October 18th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Willows Beach Paddle
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Island View Beach to Coastal transit south toward Agate Paddle
Sunday, October 25th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Mackenzie Bight via Bamberton/Spectacle Paddle
Saturday, October 31st, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Spirit Bay to Becher Bay clockwise to Movie Set beach Paddle
Saturday, November 14th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Gonzales Beach Paddle
For more details, go to the SISKA website

Community Events of Interest

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

Paddle for Health

by Jennie Sutton
The annual Paddle for Health event raising money for kids with cancer every September cannot be held with it’s usual format. Fundraising teams are welcome to register and people are also encouraged to donate online up until September 30th.

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

SISKA Zooms Through AGM!

by Alan Campbell
Due to ongoing pandemic gathering restrictions, SISKA held this year's deferred Annual General Meeting by Zoom on September 23rd, and it was amazing!
More than 70 members joined in and voted through online polls to accept reports previously distributed on club finances, membership, off-water courses and paddles for 2019. Roger Botting was elected for his second 2-year term as Treasurer, and Delcie McLellan for her second 2-year term as Secretary. BJ Porter and Debbie Leach were acclaimed to replace retiring Board Directors-at-Large, Jane Jacek and Tony Copping. Although we missed the friendly chatting enjoyed before our usual face-to-face club meetings, it was fun to see everyone on-screen and greet each other across the internet! If you missed the AGM you can watch the proceedings online at 2020 AGM Video ,under the General Interest tab at Presentation Videos on our website.

Ikea Rainbows are Us

by Beth Haysom

Wow, thanks for your generosity. Through the IKEA rainbow bags fundraiser we sold 33 bags and raised $390 for the local agencies that SISKA supports. (Usually Power to Be and Santa’s Anonymous)

And the good news is that there are a few more of these beautiful rainbow bags still available. If you’d like one, please email Deb Leach:

Cost $5 a bag, or however much you’d like to donate.

Fall Refresher

Save the Date - Saturday October 17

by Debbie Leach

SISKA will be offering 2 hour paddle and practice sessions to refresh your Forward Stroke, Edging and Bracing and Re-Entry skills.
Paddles will be posted on the SISKA website when details are finalized.
Thanks to our members who are Paddle Canada Instructors for volunteering their time to offer these (free) sessions. Please SHOW UP if you sign up.

Tips From The Trips


1. Kayakin’ Klips

by Debbie Leach
Alan Campbell shows off his gravel deck tent entrance

2. Use Your Noodle

Insert PVC pipe in dense foam pool noodle tubes to use for rolling your kayak to the water and back again.

Paddling with Freya

by Elizabeth Purdon
The "Paddling with Freya" presentation by Elizabeth Purdon was the highlight of SISKA's first monthly meeting by Zoom, held right after our AGM with 70 members online! Freya Hoffmeister is a living kayaking legend whose incredible paddling adventures and accomplishments have kept many of us glued to her blog for years. Elizabeth joined Freya for several weeks' paddling in the Sea of Cortes, Baja Mexico, as part of her multi-year circumnavigation of North America. If you missed this terrific presentation you can watch it online at Paddling with Freya , under General Interest, Presentation Videos on our website.

What’s in a Name?

by Vic Turkington

Cattle Point lies just north of Oak Bay marina and gets its name as the drop off point for cattle for Uplands farm (1860-1910), which comprised much of the local area at the time (1100 acres). Cattle and other livestock were shipped to the bay by steamer where they were unloaded and waded or swam to shore to the parking lot exists today.
The present circular scenic driveway was constructed in 1961. A very serviceable concrete launch ramp exists at both the north and south ends of the point, together with ample parking and an outhouse. Cattle Pt. therefore provides two convenient launch points for kayakers (with a very short carry), en route to Chatam and Discovery Islands or nearby Willows beach or Tod Is. The crossing to Strongtides only 1.5nm but requires careful timing due to strong currents and standing waves in Baynes channel.  
The shoreline north of Cattle Pt. towards Cadboro Bay provides ample rock gardening, bird watching and views of upper end residences.
The area is a favourite to explore tidal pools at low tide and also for star gazing at night, as it is well shielded from city lights. (Originally, Cattle Point area was considered undesirable for farming due to the uneven rocky terrain and was given to the municipality of Oak Bay in lieu of taxes.)

Your Paddle Length May Be Wrong!

by Dorothea Hoffman

Interesting article on paddles - HERE

Safety Tip

by Lynn Baier
I confess that I don’t always practice what I preach and found that I had to frown at myself for not having a compass when the fog rolled in. I confess that if I have to wash it up later and it’s not essential, it doesn’t come on a day paddle. Sure enough, we paddled on a Wednesday a while back, when all I could see was the paddler beside me and a mystery island in front of me. Not good. I have remedied this by attaching a simple hand-held compass to my pfd, which I never paddle without. A deck compass would absolutely be better, but because I pop back and forth between kayaks, this should solve the problem. A handy gps would also be a better idea. Now if only I could do something about this aging eyesight........

Paddle Canada Basic and Level 1 courses this Fall

by Alan Campbell
Some Club members have asked if SISKA instructors could lead Paddle Canada Basic and Level 1 courses this Fall.
Willi Fast, SISKA Director and Acting On Water Coordinator, would like to gauge the level of member interest in such courses so a very short questionnaire has been created to that end.
Please take a moment to complete this brief survey at

New PNW Current Chart App

by Debbie Leach

A new Pacific Northwest Current Chart App is now available for Apple and Android devices. It's basically the Current Atlas on your phone/ipad. No books needed anymore! All info HERE.