January 2024



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!

Jane Jacek (SISKA president) and Tony Playfair (editor)

Convenient Links

PS: SISKA on Facebook

PPS: Siska’s Youtube Channel

PPPS: Siska’s Newsletter Archive - Mailchimp or Siska Newsletters Backup

PPPPS: Rocky Point Demolition Blasting Notices

Upcoming SISKA Events

Saturday, January 06th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to McKenzie Bight Paddle
Saturday, January 06th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM - Currents Clinic
Sunday, January 07th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Saturday, January 13th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Gonzales Beach Paddle
Sunday, January 14th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Albert Head to Witty’s Lagoon and Sitting Lady Falls Paddle
Thursday, January 18th, 2024 - 9:15 AM to 11:30 AM - Tour of JRCC CFB Esquimalt
Saturday, January 20th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Margaret Bay Paddle
Sunday, January 21st, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Sunday, January 21st, 2024 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Kayaker Social
Sunday, January 21st, 2024 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Pool Session
Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting
Saturday, January 27th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Albert Head to Witty’s Lagoon and Sitting Lady Falls Paddle
Sunday, January 28th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Discovery Island Paddle
Sunday, February 04th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Energizer Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Spectacle Falls/Mackenzie Bight
Saturday, February 10th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Albert Head to Witty’s Lagoon and Sitting Lady Falls Paddle
Saturday, February 24th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Spirit Bay to Movie Set Beach Paddle
Sunday, February 25th, 2024 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Uplands and possibly Willows

Upcoming NonSISKA Events

Siska January General Meeting Agenda

by Fred Pishalski

SISKA Monthly Meeting Wednesday, January 24, 2024 @ 7pm

Our meetings start at 7:00pm however, folks that have gear they wish to sell/swap are invited to show up at 6:00pm to set up, doors open for everyone at 6:30pm.

Please join us to hear Scott Macdonald and the story of the Race to Alaska done by kayak

This summer Scott Macdonald successfully kayaked the 2023 Race to Alaska (R2AK), a 1200km race from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska in 19 days. The race was also used as a platform to fundraise for KidSport Victoria, raising over $11,000 towards sports enrollment grants for families in need. Scott will talk about the process from idea to preparation and the race, all which came together over the last two years.

Scott Macdonald is a local Victoria resident and certified Level 4 Paddle Canada who took up kayaking in 2020. He works at the Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics research centre in Saanich as an Optical Engineer.

Kayaker Social

by Jane Jacek


Date: Sunday January 21st

Time: 2pm-4pm

Location: Fernwood Inn

1302 Gladstone Ave, Victoria

Come mingle

Purchase a beverage and/or some food from the menu

Make January more enjoyable by coming out and socializing with your fellow kayakers. Bring along your friends, whether they are SISKA members or not.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Please email me if you wish us to save you a seat. Email president@siska.ca


Winter Cold Water Workshops

by Jane Jacek / Edmond Duggan

Information or click image for pdf

Warm Paddle in January

by Gary Jacek

SISKA schedules our Relaxed and Energizer paddles every month of the year. But if you shy away from cold season paddling, why not take advantage of our monthly Pool Nights. Meet new friends. Get wet. Stay warm. The next one is coming up on January 21st.


by BJ Porter

Crystal Pool was closed from November 20th 2023 to January 1st 2024 for extended annual maintenance. During the remainder of the 2024 season, pool practice sessions will be offered just once a month, due to fewer paddlers having registered in the fall of 2023. The pool is booked for the following dates:

Save those dates, and if you haven’t signed up for a practice session yet, give it a try. It’s great fun!


by BJ Porter

A club such as ours lives and dies by the quality and enthusiasm of its members and their willingness to step up and make things happen. We really need you!

The Executive is initiating a new model, with a Volunteer Coordinator (position not yet filled, but BJ Porter is Acting Volunteer Coordinator) and a Volunteer Team of people who have agreed to be called on occasionally.

Before the February monthly meeting there will be a Mini Job Fair to highlight volunteer positions that need filling. Members of the Executive will be there, as will some of the Volunteer Coordinators and others with information of what volunteering will entail, or with whom you will be working when you take on volunteering responsibilities.


by BJ Porter

The Christmas season of giving may be over, but people dealing with homelessness here in Victoria still have to endure a lot of wet, cold weather before the arrival of spring. At the January meeting, I will be collecting socks and underwear to be donated to Our Place. Please be generous.

BJ Porter, Vice-President

From Your Librarian

by Heather Jones

In case you haven’t noticed…The Siska Library has generously been gifted a large number of lightly used books and DVD’s from Glynis and Gary Allen as well as a few books from other Siska members. The library is available from 6:30-7pm just prior to the start of our monthly Siska meetings.

Cheers!…Your Librarian
Heather Jones

SISKA’s Kayak Skills Course Partners

by Jane Jacek

In order to help promote safe sea kayaking, several commercial kayak companies provide training and trips at a discount for all paid-up SISKA members. Registration and payment for these opportunities will take place directly with the company involved and be subject to their normal customer policies.

Training Discount Offers - Detailed

A brief description of the discounts are listed below by provider in alphabetical order.

BestCoast Outfitters

Bestcoast Outfitters are happy to offer a 15% discount to SISKA members on select training courses.

Blue Dog Kayaking

Blue Dog Kayaking is delighted to support SISKA during 2024 with the following: * 10% discount to ALL club members on Expeditions and courses * 10% discount to ALL club members on paddling gear, dry suits, PFDs, & Paddles

Crosscurrents Kayak

Crosscurrents Kayak is pleased to offer SISKA members a 10% discount on regular course fees for the following 2024 programs: * Paddle Canada Skills courses (Basic, Level 1, Level 2) * Women on Water (WoW) sessions * Spring Skill-Building Series

Dancing With The Sea

Paulo Ouellette at Dancing with the Sea has a few courses set up with a 33% discount for SISKA members

Go Kayak

Go Kayak has several courses at discount for SISKA members. Plus, if any advertised courses are booked at more than 75% of their max, Go Kayak will be able to offer a discount of 15% for members.

Ocean River Sports

Ocean River Sports is pleased to continue to offer a 10% discount to SISKA members on all courses and rentals in 2024. In addition, members are eligible for a 10% discount on many items for sale in the Ocean River store at Oak Bay Marina. (Does not apply to kayaks, electronics or paddles.)

Pacifica Paddle Sports

We offer a 10% discount for SISKA members on our regularly scheduled rescue lessons.


SKILS provides a 15% discount when a group of 3 SISKA paddlers book for a specific eligible program. This booking must be the same program with the same dates

Camp Cookery

by Lynn Baier

Here is a great breakfast I found on backpackingchef.com. I hope you like it.

Safety Item

by Lynn Baier


Have you ever been caught in it? It’s really quite intimidating and disorienting. Even when you leave the beach pretty much assured that it’s lifting, it rolls back in. Take a reading before you go, factoring in the possibility of currents that may sweep you. Aim off.

I’m not the best at remembering all my kit, so I now have an orienteering compass attached to my pfd. I also have a strobe light and a laser flare attached.

Keep together. It is much more reassuring to be able to see your paddling buddies.

If you have to do a crossing, handrail the shoreline to make the shortest route. And alert other boaters on channel 16 to a securite. Many of the power boaters have advanced navigational equipment allowing them to move much more quickly than we can.

The best advice if you have to do a crossing of any significant distance is “don’t”.

Thanks to Jennie Sutton for this wonderful shot of the Olympic Mountains…somewhere back there.

Tips From The Trips

by Debbie Leach


Fit “fisherman grade” rubber gloves with latex gaskets. The same process as for a drysuit. Idea and warning from MT that removing the “jig” through the wrist opening can be tricky.

How to do it gallery

Cheers, Debbie

Multi-Day Guided Trips for 2024

by Debbie Leach

If you want to safely explore our coast and leave the planning to the pros, consider going on a guided trip.

Blue Dog Kayaking offers a 10% discount. Use the promo code SISKA 24

Hello Nature Adventure Tours offers a 10% discount. Use promo code SISKA

Ocean River Sports offers a 10% discount on multi-day tours.

Paddle West Kayaking offers a 10% discount and can arrange a custom trip for 4 or more.

SKILS offers a 15 % discount for groups of 3 or more.

Spirit of the West Adventures offers a 5% discount and deals for “last minute locals” if you contact info@kayakingtours.com

West Coast Expeditions offers groups of 4 or more a 5% discount.

Wild Coast Adventures offers a 5% discount.

Wild Root Journeys offers a 15% discount on trips in June and September in the Broken Islands and God’s Pocket.

Cheers, Debbie

BC Marine Trails News

December Newsletter

To Buy or Sell

For Sale:

Wanted To Buy:

Lost and Found

by Jane Jacek


1-piece of a 2-piece paddle (Werner) was found December 19th at Coles Bay.

If this belongs to you, or you know someone who lost one please contact me president@siska.ca

Thanks, Jane

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.

Our partners are:

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