February 2023



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, newsletter@siska.ca . If you would like to start a regular column, please let us know!

Alan Campbell (SISKA president) and Tony Playfair (editor)

PS: SISKA on Facebook

PPS: Siska’s Youtube Channel

PPPS: Siska’s Newsletter Archive

PPPPS: Rocky Point Demolition Blasting Notices

Upcoming SISKA Events

Sunday, January 29th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Spectacle Falls and Mackenzie Bight Paddle
Monday, January 30th, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Injury Prevention for Sea Kayakers
Saturday, February 04th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Sunday, February 05th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Albert Head to Wittys Lagoon and Sitting Lady Falls Paddle
Sunday, February 05th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Spirit Bay to Cabin Point Paddle
Sunday, February 05th, 2023 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Make-up Rolling Clinic
Thursday, February 16th, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting
Saturday, February 18th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Discover Island NEW MEMBERS PADDLE Paddle
Sunday, February 19th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Ten Mile Point NEW MEMBERS PADDLE Paddle
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting
Thursday, March 02nd, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Gordon Point NEW MEMBERS PADDLE Paddle
Saturday, March 04th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Birding Paddle with Mark and Robyn Byrne Paddle
Sunday, March 05th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Energizer Paddle - Fleming Beach to Millstream Falls NEW MEMBER PADDLE
Thursday, March 09th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Todd Inlet Paddle
Saturday, March 18th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Birding Paddle with Mark and Robyn Byrne Paddle
Sunday, March 19th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Pedder Bay to Whirl Bay Paddle

Upcoming NonSISKA Events

Wednesday, February 01st, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM - Go Kayak with Yves Aquin and Patti Stevens
Monday, February 06th, 2023 - 7:00 PM - BestCoast Outfitters with Lee Richardson and Asger Pjetursson
Monday, February 13th, 2023 - 7:00 PM - Ocean River with Lee Phillips

International Marine Protected Areas Congress
by Alan Campbell

The 5th International Marine Protected Areas Congress takes place in Vancouver, Feb 3 to 9, 2023.

There are a host of activities planned as part of this major international event, including videos, podcasts and Zoom sessions accessible from anywhere online.


SISKA member Dorothea Hoffman is planning to tune in and attend and would be happy to hear from others similarly interested.

You can reach Dorothea at dm1hoffman@shaw.ca

For more details, go to the SISKA website

Community Events of Interest

Treaty Association Open House Sessions
by Alan Campbell

Treaties could include Sooke Mountain and Discovery Island Parks

The Times Colonist reported recently that Discovery Island Provincial Marine Park is on the negotiating table with Songhees First Nation.

Chief Ron Sam of Songhees FN stated on CBC Radio that public day use and overnight camping access would be maintained under FN ownership when that potentially occurs in the future as part of treaty negotiations.

Public Open House sessions on the treaty negotiations are planned over the next several weeks, and SISKA members are encouraged to attend to become better informed.


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 chairperson@siska.ca

Meet Go Kayak’s Yves Aquin and Patti Stevens Tonight! Yes, Tonight Feb. 1st!

by Alan Campbell

Join us on Zoom on Wed Feb 1st at 7pm…

For the past several years, Go Kayak’s focused paddling skills workshops and other sea kayaking programs have been very popular with SISKA members, and we’re sure 2023 will be no exception!

Check out the details of Go Kayak’s Club Members’ Spring Training 2023 Program at http://www.gokayak.ca/newsletter.html and email info@gokayak.ca to register.

If you are thinking about taking a 2023 Workshop with Go Kayak, this is your chance to meet them and ask any questions you may have. Join us online and meet Yves Aquin and Patti Stevens, Go Kayak’s owners and instructors!

Topic: Go Kayak with Yves Aquin and Patti Stevens Time: Feb 1, 2023 7:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 846 3755 5705 Passcode: 961401

Membership Renewal

by Dave O. / Alan Campbell

Have you renewed your membership for 2023? If you haven’t had a chance to do so please click here. After March 31 only current members will receive notification of upcoming paddles, events, and clinics.

Our fiscal year in SISKA is the same as the calendar year, January 1st to December 31st. Since club revenue depends mostly on our very reasonably-priced membership fees, we encourage you to renew your membership as soon as possible so we can be confident about our budget for the year.

Thanks for your continuing support for SISKA!

Siska February General Meeting Agenda - February 22, 2023

by Fred Pishalski

John Kimantas: Westcoast Publishing and Dream Trips along our Coast

Wednesday, February 22nd @ 7pm

SISKA Monthly Meeting

We are pleased to meet in-person in the Garth Homer Centre’s spacious auditorium, 813 Darwin Ave, Victoria.

Please join us to hear John Kimantas: Westcoast Publishing and Dream Trips along our Coast.

John has worked at several daily newspapers across Canada, beginning as a cub reporter in The Pas, Manitoba, in 1986, moving on to become a magazine editor in Ontario and then managing editor at a daily newspaper in Nanaimo. When arriving in BC he was struck by Vancouver Island’s natural beauty.

John took an immediate interest in the water and explored the coast by kayak. He was disappointed to see that most road maps did not include many backroads or other info/features that lay close to the water. John struggled to find a comprehensive guide to help access the world of recreational wonderment that he knew Vancouver Island held. As a result, John began to write and research his first book, The Essential Vancouver Island Outdoor Recreation Guide.

Since then, John has founded Wild Coast Publishing and is the author of the BC Coast Explorer Guide Book series, BC coastal recreation map sheets / Deck Topper series and hiking/trail topographic maps. He also helped BC Marine Trails develop their incredible series of online maps.

John will talk on the new resources his company is producing for paddlers plus speak about his “dream trips” and why they remain his favourite destinations when it comes to locations to visit again. There will be copies of Wild Coast publications available for sale at the meeting. Further information is available at https://www.thewildcoast.ca.

Please join us at 7:00pm at the Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Avenue, Victoria BC V8X 2X7.

Discounts for Siska Members

by Alan Campbell

SISKA is pleased to work closely with a number of our excellent local sea kayaking companies!

The following businesses have agreed to provide a variety of discounts for SISKA members for paddling skills training, expeditions and gear:

You can find all the discount details and links to each of their websites on ours.

Just click on 2023 Workshops under the Calendar tab on SISKA’s website homepage.

The direct link is https://siska.ca/prod/calendar/events-2

Clinic Report

Beginner/Early Intermediate Current Clinic, January 14th, 2023
by Edgar Hulatt / Anne Graves

The previous week had been wet and windy though the forecast for the day of the clinic was promising. We were not disappointed. Cadboro’ Bay on Saturday was gloriously sunny with a light wind causing shimmering ripples across the bay. Mike Jackson paddled by, on his way to the Telegraph Cove paddle, as we had our beach talk. Four paddlers joined the clinic all with limited current experience. One paddler advised at being terrified of currents and Anne Graves promptly replied, “You have come to the right place.”

During the helmet check we were asked if the helmets were because we were expecting everyone to capsize. Helmets are required for the currents clinics as we may be playing in eddies near rocks. Everyone was more attentive when we advised that one is unlikely to capsize if they pay attention and listen to the instructors!

Paddling to Cadboro’s point we all practised edging our boats and switching sides, as well as low braces while paddling the kayaks at speed simulating edging and bracing while entering and leaving eddies.

The ebb had just started when we reached the channel and any fears and intrepidations soon vanished after each paddler had ferried across the current a couple of times. The current was perfect for a beginner clinic and we were all pretty tired after 2 12 hours of taking turns playing in the current.

All paddlers were successful in negotiating the ever changing currents and avoiding capsizing. It was a lovely day to be out on the water and the participants appeared to thoroughly enjoy themselves. One paddler commented that learning new skills in the current will increase his enjoyment and confidence on club paddles. As instructors it is gratifying to see a group of paddlers challenge themselves and gain new skills and confidence on the water. Well done to Laurie, Ron, Ronda and Sarah.

Edgar Hulatt & Anne Graves

Off Water Clinics

by Rod Stiebel

Off Water Clinic Committee needs You!


We are looking for an extra 1 or 2 persons to help as an Off Water Clinic Coordinator. The only skills needed are a bit of energy and dedication. It is an easy position, as it involves a few hours a month at best, 90% is in the winter months, nothing through the warmer paddling season. Simply, you coordinate with the clinic facilitator (instructor), the venue, booking the room etc. You also take care of participants reserving a spot for the clinics on-line, and in some cases, show up for the clinic to assist the facilitator on the day. If any are interested, you could just shadow one of the coordinators for one or two clinics this year, to get familiar with the process. Anyone interested please contact Rod Stiebel at rodnak@telus.net or Kirstine Murdoch at kirstine.kp@gmail.com for more details.


We are also looking for more facilitators for the next Off Water Clinics season. So far this winter, we have done 2 Weather clinics, 2 VHF Radio clinics, and as of Jan 30 an Injury Prevention clinic. We still have to come this year Basic Navigation (charts and compass), Tarpology, Tides and Currents, What to Bring Camping and a few more. We are always looking for clinics that are of interest to our paddlers, so if you have any ideas, or think you would like to do one of the aforementioned, please contact Rod Stiebel at rodnak@telus.net or Kirstine Murdoch at kirstine.kp@gmail.com to discuss. It could be set up for next Fall/Winter, so lots of time to think of a clinic and prepare for the next season. We are missing this year, clinics on How to Repair a Kayak, How-To for Navionics and Electronic aided Navigation, and Planning a Day Trip, just to name a few. We wish to thank all the Facilitators that have donated their valuable time this year, but cannot guarantee they will be available to do the same next year, so if you feel up to it, lets chat!

Thx much, Rod

Upcoming VHF Radio Courses

by Edgar Hulatt

Restricted Operators Certificate (Marine) or ROC(M)

To legally operate a VHF radio all boaters are required to hold the ROC(M) certification. The local branch of the Power and Sail Squadron are offering two courses at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club on the following Wednesdays:

Marine Radio – Wednesday March 8 for 3 weeks.

Marine Radio – Wednesday May 17 for 3 weeks.

All classes are held at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club starting at 7pm for 2 hours. Registration can be made at https://www.cps-ecp.ca or by contacting: Alex Kerr, SEO Oak Bay Squadron

250-208-1584 or askerr@shaw.ca

SISKA recommends all kayakers get their ROC(M) certification and it is also a requirement to become a paddle leader for the club. The club also offers a VHF for Kayakers Clinic which is geared towards the use of the radio in kayaking situations. Watch out for another VHF for Kayakers Clinic prior to the summer paddling season.


Tips from the Trips

by Debbie Leach / Gary Jacek / Jennie Sutton

The Key to VHF Reliability

Have you ever noticed the button on your VHF radio that looks like an old fashioned key? You should learn about this handy feature.

On the beach we usually select Channel 69 for communication on the water. Every once in a while you will manage to bump the keypad on your VHF radio and change the channel. Then, when you really need to talk to the group, you cannot reach anyone—you are on the wrong channel!

To avoid this, learn to use the keyboard lock button on your radio. While different makes of radio may do it differently, on my radio, you hold that little “key” button down until you hear a beep. The display will now show a little key graphic which tells you the keyboard is locked. You may now safely tumble and bump your radio without changing the channel.

To unlock the keypad, simply hold that key button down again, until you hear a beep. The keyboard is now unlocked and the “key” graphic will have disappeared from the display.

On most VHF radios, the button which takes you to channel 16 (Emergency Calls) will continue to operate, even if the keyboard is locked, allowing you to make that emergency call without delay.

Safety Item

by Lynn Baier

Cold Water Paddling

I came across this really excellent article on cold water paddling attire. Do give it a read as there are some interesting views and suggestions here, which might challenge what you believe.

Camp Cookery

by Lynn Baier

One Skillet Egg Roll In A Bowl

This looks like a recipe that will dehydrate well.

BC Marine Trails News

A BC Marine Trails - Cross-Club Presentation

February 16, 2023 - 7:00pm via Zoom

James Manke – From Fear to Passion

This is part of a cross club online initiative for 7:00pm on February 16th. Clubs (open to anyone) meet quarterly to share ideas and presentations online. In this presentation, several clubs will initially speak about 2023 plans (or look back at 2022) for a few minutes each. Cross-club reps will each give a presentation for 5 minutes. We have scheduled James to speak around 7:30pm. Did you know we are drawing prizes after James’ presentation? But you have to be in attendance.

Join James Manke, founder of Manke at the Wreckage, on February 16th, as he presents his personal story of how he got into kayaking. The presentation is called ‘From Fear to Passion. Starting from a fear of the water, and attacked by a loon at a young age, James worked his way through his fear by learning to roll a kayak only to find himself deeply immersed in a culture and tradition that changed his life! The presentation highlights various trips around the world including footage of the Grand Canyon, The Hurricane Riders and the National Greenland Kayaking Championships.

So please register below and a Zoom links will be sent to your email a day or two before the presentation.

Registration - From Fear to Passion - James Manke - BC Marine Trails

BCMT January Newsletter

To Buy or Sell

For Sale:

2014 fiberglass Valley Avocet in above average condition.

All 3 hatch covers are brand new (Valley), deck lines and bungees are new, and skeg works well.

Price: $2000

Anton - 778 327 8774

Wanted To Buy:

Seeking Telkwa or Telkwa Sport

Cheryl 250-216-7879

Looking for a good 4-piece paddle, 220 or 230 kms long.

If you have one for sale contact Sheldon Spier at:

shspier@gmail.com 250-210-1206

SISKA’s Kayak Skills Course Partners

There are some fine discounts available from our kayak skills course partners for SISKA members who sign up for their skills training programs. Have a look HERE

Our partners are:

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