SISKA's September 2016 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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September 2016 SISKA Newsletter


Dear <<First Name>>,

Here is the September edition of the SISKA newsletter. We hope you have had a summer filled with paddling in places near and far. If you have stories to share, please do!

Thanks to those members who contributed photos and materials. After enjoying a SISKA event or paddle, please consider putting fingers to keyboards and cobbling together 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 Ben van Drimmelen (editor)

Table of Contents


Upcoming Events

September 4, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

September 10, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm, Birding Paddle:   (RELAXED)

September 10, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, Paddle for Health fundraising paddle..(Contact M. Jackson for details.)

September 11, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,   (RELAXED)

September 18, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,   (ENERGIZER)

September 28, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Monthly meeting: John Kimantas -  "Reflections on 15 Years of Paddling".

October 1, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,   (RELAXED)

October 16, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,   (ENERGIZER)

October 30, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,   (RELAXED)

For more details, go to the SISKA website

Lost IPad

A kayaker left an Ipad Mini at Nordstrom Creek along Brooks Peninsula when paddling the area this August. If anyone is paddling there in the next while and happens to find it, please contact Reale Emond at

September General Meeting - John Kimantas

(repeated from the August issue)
On September 28th, John Kimanatas will be coming to our General Meeting, where he will reflect on 15 years of paddling, with a list of ten things best not done while kayaking. It's not the stuff of heroes and legends, and instead more about what happens when a journalist trades pen for paddle and hits the water to document the British Columbia coastline at a pace of about 3 knots through whatever hurdles Mother Nature might put in the way. It's an irreverent look at some of the more memorable, although not necessarily the proudest, moments on the water.

John Kimantas serves various roles at Wild Coast Magazine, among them editor and publisher and owner, but most importantly as the walker for Wild Coast Publishing's skipper Yoshi, a fox terrier-cross rescued from a high-kill shelter in California. The odds of Yoshi surviving to become office crew aboard the MV Wild Coast (the Wild Coast Publishing floating office) are astoundingly small, yet there he is.

Oh, yes, about John Kimantas.... You will know him as the author of six guide books and two atlases, including the renowned Wild Coast series. He is an accomplished expedition kayaker and hiker and would do more if he did not have to run an office and walk a dog every day.

SISKA Paddlers for Health

Once again SISKA is participating in the Paddle for Health event out of Willows Beach on September 10th. I have created a team fundraising page and invite SISKA members to participate as paddlers and/or donate to the cause. This can be done through the SISKA Paddlers for Health page. Let me know if you have any questions. Mike Jackson

BC Marine Trails update

Fred Pishalski reports that BCMTNA recently had a brief "extraordinary general meeting" to change their constitution so that it would be acceptable to Revenue Canada for charitable status purposes. The changes were approved by all atending the meeting, so the application will be pursued. The revised purposes are as follows:
The purposes of the Association are:
a) to identify, map and preserve a network of marine access points and public recreational sites along the British Columbia coastline for use by the general public;
b) to protect the environment for the benefit of the public by conducting environment al stewardship projects designed to preserve and protect flora and fauna, and restore waterways; and
c) to undertake activities ancillary and incidental to the attainment of the above -mentioned charitable purposes.

Upcoming Level 2 course

Michael Egilson and Jo Nicolson are running a Paddle Canada level 2 course at the end of September. The dates of the four-day course are September 17 and 18 and September 24 and 25. Please contact Michael if interested: Michael Egilson <>.

Cattle Point to Trial Islands Paddle

Dave Maxwell led and reported on this Energizer paddle.

Nineteen paddlers launched from Cattle Point on a warm and very calm Saturday, August 20.  The sea was smooth, very smooth, and catching the end of the ebb tide let us head directly to the Trial Islands. We made our way around Staines Point (by the lighthouse) to Gonzales Bay, arriving just in time for a leisurely lunch. 

On the way back, we decided to see what the flood tide was offering in the small channel between the Trial Islands, a chance to play in some current.  Once we reached Oak Bay marina, the continued calm conditions coaxed us into taking the most direct shortcut route back to Cattle Point. 

A few dry suited paddlers rolled to stay cool and once we were at Cattle Point, Lise practiced the heel hook assisted re-entry with Debbie. After the paddle we retired to the Oak Bay Marina for coffee, tea and beer. VERY civilized!.    

The total distance was 8.7 nautical miles (thanks to Paul's GPS). Despite the "energizer" label, this was a perfect summer day on the water.
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Kayakable Birding

Birds are a fine feature of any kayak trip. But which is which? In each Newsletter, we’ll describe a couple of species that you are likely to see at this particular time of year.

Ah, gulls. Unfortunately our most common gull, the glaucous-winged, is promiscuous, happily interbreeding with other local species like herring gulls and western gulls. The offspring show some features of each parent, generating hot debates among local birders. However, two of our local gulls are distinctive.

Unlike other local gulls, the Glaucous-winged Gull (as long as it isn't one of those hybrids) does not have black wingtips; tips of the wings are grey, like the back. The young take three years to get adult colours; until then, they are pale brown, with black beaks instead of the yellow beaks of the adults.
Glaucous-winged Gull

Heermann's Gull is all grey, dark on the back and lighter on the chest and throat. In summer, it has a white head (which darkens in winter). The give-away feature, however, is a red beak. (Again, the youngsters look different - still very dark, but brown instead of grey, with a pale yellow beak.)
Heermann's Gull

Circumnavigation of James Island

(Dave Maxwell sent in the following article as well as the previous one on the Trail Islands; the editor lost it in a late-month shuffle so, with apologies, here it is - better late.... )

On Sunday June 26th eleven keen paddlers left Island View Beach and headed north. Just before Cordova Spit we turned east and crossed Cordova Channel to James Spit on James Island.

After taking a peek in the harbour behind James Spit, we continued north and rounded the top of the James Island and at the north east end of the island we found a shady lunch spot - below the high tide line, as James Island is a private island that does not allow trespassing.

After lunch we headed south and continued our circumnavigation of the island. Calm conditions and shallow clear waters around the south end of the island gave us some spectacular views of kelp and eelgrass beds plus schools of small fish and crabs. Some of the group even saw what they thought were small flounders.

For the entire 9 nautical mile paddle, the current and sea state were ideal, with a light breeze keeping us somewhat cooled on a sunny paddle. Of course, a dry suit paddler occasionally applied his static brace to cool off.

A very relaxed energizer paddle. As per tradition, we finished the day having coffee and reminiscing about the day.
Staying low (below that tide line) on James Island
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