July 2022



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: You can find SISKA on Facebook at this link.

PPS: Siska has it’s own Youtube Channel HERE

PPPS: You can find the SISKA newsletter archive HERE

Upcoming SISKA Events

Saturday, July 02nd, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Coles Bay Paddle
Sunday, July 03rd, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Fleming Beach to Esquimalt Harbour Paddle
Thursday, July 07th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Cattle Point (CLEANUP) Paddle
Sunday, July 10th, 2022 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM - Energizer Paddle - Swartz Bay/Barnacle Road Public Dock to Fulford Harbour (Salt Spring) one way paddle/ferry Paddle
Saturday, July 23rd, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Swartz Bay/Barnacle Road Public Dock to Southern Gulf Islands one way paddle/ferry return Paddle
Sunday, July 24th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Swartz Bay/Barnacle Road Public Dock to Southern Gulf Islands one way paddle/ferry return Paddle
Saturday, July 30th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Spirit Bay to Becher Bay Tour (NEW MEMBERS PADDLE) Paddle
Sunday, July 31st, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Patricia Bay Paddle
Thursday, August 04th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Moses Point to Deep Cove Paddle
Saturday, August 06th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Margaret Bay (NEW MEMBERS PADDLE) Paddle
Saturday, August 06th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Amherst to Rum Island Paddle
Saturday, August 06th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Whiffin Spit to Cabin Point Paddle
Thursday, August 18th, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Arbutus Cove Paddle
Sunday, August 21st, 2022 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Swartz Bay/Barnacle Road Public Dock to Southern Gulf Islands one way paddle/ferry return Paddle

Upcoming NonSISKA Events

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.

Any member may request an event to be included in this section by sending a note to chairperson@siska.ca

Go Kayak’s Upcoming Courses - June/July

by Alan Campbell

Course List HERE

SKILS’ Upcoming Courses - July-September

by Alan Campbell

Course List HERE

No Siska Meetings Until September 28th

by Fred Pishalski

Watch your email in late August for the agenda!

Fall and Winter Potential List of Meeting Presenters

by Fred Pishalski

SISKA has just started putting its fall and winter potential list of meeting presenters together and would appreciate any suggestions for either speakers or topics. These suggestions do not have to pertain to kayaking but could simply be something you think our members would be interested in learning about. So, please give it some thought and send your suggestions to Fred gailmiller@shaw.ca

It’s Time to Plan some Kayak Trips for this Summer!

by Alan Campbell

Now that you have refreshed your paddling skills, it’s time to think about multi-day kayak trips for the 2022 summer season! Several kayak businesses are pleased to offer discounts to SISKA members booking trips with them this summer - so look to see if any of them work for you, and then contact them directly to book your summer paddling adventure!

Check out the trip offerings of our kayak skills partners…HERE

And consider the following offers from our partners for multi-day paddling trips…HERE

Editor’s note to SISKA members: Log into http://www.siska.ca select Members, Print Your Membership Card and forward a screenshot or image file if requested.

New Paddle Canada Level 2 Instructors

by Editor

In May and June 3 of our instructors – Alison Morham, Brad Wipp and Seán Finucane took the Level 2 Instructor’s course with SKILS. After a lot of hard work, prep and more than a little stress waiting for results, all 3 are now newly minted Paddle Canada Level 2 instructors! All have already taught or are scheduled to teach their first Level 2 course.

Congratulations All!

SISKA member accepted into prestigious art show

By Deborah Etsten

“Oh, good,” was Roger Botting’s understated reaction when he heard that two of his underwater photos had been accepted into the Sooke Fine Arts Show. But those who know Roger like I do (disclaimer: I am his wife!) will know that he is humble about his talent. Roger recently presented some of his latest works at a SISKA monthly meeting in April. He is also SISKA’s treasurer.

The Sooke Art Show, now in its 36th year, is a widely acclaimed, juried show presenting some of the finest artists from the island and surrounding islands. This year, 380 works of original work will be on display.

Roger’s entries are two large size photos from some of his weekly area scuba diving. “I wanted to do something different from a conventional landscape, but these images are landscapes that are seen in nature,” he said.

The show runs from July 22- August 1.


Safety Tips

by Lynn Baier

Here’s something I do when I’m in large predator country. I carry my bear spray in a holster and keep it at my hip. It goes everywhere with me, with the whistle attached. I can alert my fellow campers to any danger, and hopefully scare off critters before bear spray needs to be used.

Trip Reports

Newcastle (Saysutshun) Island Paddling Pub Crawl

by Rod Stiebel

June 2, Participants were Liane O’Grady, Julie Deane, Alison Keighan, Patricia Hill, and myself.

It was a small pod of 5 intrepid paddlers/foodies looking for a bit of adventure, fun and grub that was served by someone other than themselves. This was a trip that I thought might get a few more souls interested, as it was mentioned that folks are looking for more and different paddles up island. I thought this would be an easy fun opener of sorts. Maybe it was the price of fuel, or the time and distance that deterred more paddlers from joining. We did pair up as best we could to car-pool. It was nice to have someone to chat with, making the trip there and back pass quickly and enjoyably.

Our plan was to launch from Brechin St boat ramp for about 10:30, leisurely circumnavigating Newcastle Island. There are lots of interesting rock formations, and of course wildlife to make the trip interesting, and with a very low tide we were not disappointed, the “table was set” for all to come to the shore and forage. On our trip around the island, we did encounter the legendary Champagne raccoon, and Newcastle is supposedly the only place you will find this “recessive gene” raccoon. A great story by the Snuneymuxw people is below about the legend. We did stop at the beach by the docks, where we explored for a bit. It does have great camping facilities, hot water showers, flush toilets and all, with a small native run concession, which was open for lunch on Thursday. There was a good number of campers, but far from full. It is a real jewel only minutes from downtown Nanaimo.

The trip was just about 5nm, and it would have been easy to do a figure 8 around the much smaller Protection Island, if we wanted to stretch the paddle. We only had to take care to avoid the float plane right of way in the harbour, and that was easy enough, but good to be aware. The Dinghy Dock Pub is attached to Protection, which is boat only access also, and the anchor for the floating pub, our destination for lunch. It was a pleasant change indeed, to have hot lunch served to us, with a cold brew. We enjoyed lots of sunshine, and some humidity. It was the first warm day in a while, the weather was perfect, including light winds. We also enjoyed our server. Today her name was Judy, as she is also known as Kim. Judy is the nice one, Kim is the angry one. We were indeed lucky, we got Judy! She was a character!

After lunch, we slowly got back into our boats, and headed back to the launch. There were well maintained heated washrooms also, and at $6.00 for the day, parking was cheap, and the ramp is easy and close. Yes, it was a full day, but all were very happy for the trip, and hope to see more Paddling Pub Crawls in the future. On that note, if anyone has any ideas for other destinations, I would be happy to listen. A little “Day Glamping” on a kayak trip never hurt anyone.

Rock formations on north side of Newcastle, or as it is now known Saysutshun

Lunch at the Dingy Dock, our Waitress was Judy or Kim, Judy when she is in a good mood, Kim when she is not! We were lucky, we got Judy!

All ready to launch from Brechin St Boat Ramp

Totem at Saysutshun Marine Park looking towards Nanaimo Harbour

The legendary Champagne Raccoon

The story of the White raccoon

Full of Tacos and brew, we head back to the launch site Right to left Liane, Alison Pat and Julie

Lots of designated kayak parking around back of the pub

Energizer Paddle From Swartz Bay/Barnacle Road Public Dock to Gulf Islands Camping

by Tim Frick

June 2, 2022

Click to View Video

Thanks to Konrad for the video!

Weather: Throughout the four days we had lots of light rain, a few showers and a couple of downpours. There were plenty of dry times and the odd moment of sunshine. Humidity was high. The winds were light most days with only a couple of short times where they reached 10kn. Despite the large tide height swings, the long times between highs and lows resulted in very few current challenges.

Post Trip Comments: This was a fabulous trip with a strong group of paddlers. The group cohesion was excellent and the camaraderie was special. All paddlers cooperated at all times and supported each other in positive ways. We met up with Fred Shadian of https://kayakingskills.com on Saturna and he accompanied us for a short while and made sure the wine tasting event went well.

Special thanks to Dave Chater for being a great mentor and collaborator.

Overall things went more or less as planned and feedback in our beach debrief upon arriving back at the launch site was positive.

Tim Frick SISKA Coordinator

SISKA Energizer Paddle, Brentwood Bay to McKenzie Bight via Spectacle Falls

by Alan Campbell

June 5, 2022

After an hour of calm waters this energizer lived up to its name when the wind, as predicted, picked up and the sea became choppy approaching Spectacle Falls, crossing to McKenzie Bight and paddling the shore back to Willis Point.

A pod of Orcas was spotted across the Inlet from Spectacle - it was great to have a glimpse of those amazing creatures!

We earned our break on the rocks above the low-tide beach at the Bight, where we were joined by another SISKA paddle group which had come down the shoreline led by BJ Porter. I appreciated Sandy Senyk’s help leading the group back to the launchsite for the usual final strength-training exercise (ie. carrying boats and gear up that little hill!).

SISKA Light Paddle, Cooper’s Cove to Roche Cove

by Alan Campbell

June 23, 2022

We had a perfect day, calm and warm, for our paddle along the Sooke Basin coastline from Cooper’s to Roche Cove! Rod Stiebel and Mark Collins helped lead the group as we “noodled” the shore, past starfish, relaxing harbour seals, a Heron and even an Osprey nest (thanks to Rod for the nest ID and pics!). The paddle was a great introduction to Sooke Basin for several paddlers previously unfamiliar with the area, but likely to return and explore further this summer! At the end Rod refreshed his wet exit and re-entry skills with Colin nearby and an appreciative audience onshore!

Mayne Island Trip June 2022

by Norm Smyth

June 27 2022

Five of us arrived at Mayne Island Resort on Sunday, 19 June, and departed on Friday, 24 June, giving us four full days for kayaking. The Resort has 8 rooms each with an ensuite (some are pet friendly) plus many cottages and villas: https://www.mayneislandresort.com/the-resort/

The property is on Bennett Bay and kayaks can be off loaded onto the beach either from the nearby access road or down the stairs at the Resort. There is a dog wash tub that can be used to rinse off gear after a day’s kayaking. The restaurant at the resort is operated separately and provided excellent evening meals. Lunches we bought at the bakery or grocery store about 10 minutes away in Miners Bay. The resort provides a very basic continental breakfast.

Paddling from Bennett Bay is excellent as there are many islands to visit. Much of the shore is sandstone with amazing sculpted galleries to admire. The first day we paddled along the Belle Chain islands, through Boat Passage into Saturna Island’s Winter Harbour for lunch in the park, and then back via Samuel Island to Bennett Bay. The second day we paddled up the east coast of Mayne Island and into Active Pass and stopped for lunch at the bakery in Miners Bay. Then on to Village Bay where we left our kayaks near a boat launch ramp and the resort shuttle transported us back to the resort. Next morning it returned us to this spot to resume our circumnavigation of Mayne Island. We stopped in Dinner Bay to visit the lovely Japanese Gardens before continuing along the south and east coasts of Mayne Island back to the Resort. Total distance around the island was about 16 miles. The fourth day we delayed our start due to high winds until 1300 and explored in more detail the sandstone galleries sculpted by nature along Curlew, Samuel and Georgeson Islands. That evening we visited the Pizza Truck in Miners bay and spotted the J-Pod of Orcas transiting Active Pass at sunset.

After checking out of the resort a few of us hiked up Mt Parke to see the nice views over the islands. The island has many parks, art and craft places to visit and of course the local brewery! Everyone was kind and very welcoming. Mayne Island is pretty and a perfect destination for kayakers. It’s also kind to those who lose dogs and drop cell phones in the ocean – you will have to ask the participants to explain more!

Georgeson Island sculpted sandstone

Active Pass lighthouse

Japanese Garden

Vic, Barb, Dorothea, Allison & photo by Norm

Saturna Lodge

by Vic Turkington

May 6-9 2022

Saturna Lodge is located at the end of Boot Cove near the Lyall Harbour ferry terminal. The new owners Tex and Sylvia were most welcoming to this six bedroom (no twin-bed rooms) lodge. A continental breakfast of homemade granola, hard-boiled eggs, coffee, toast was included. We were the only guests for three nights (met up with Brian Henry, who lives on the island) There is nearby water access down some steep stairs but at most tides it is muddy and essentially useless. We had to launch at the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve at Winter Cove about two miles away. Kayaks were unloaded right at a gentle shale beach (short carry) and the car was left in the nearby car park. The Park also has picnic tables, washrooms and is an ideal eating spot.

Day paddles from Winter Cove:

  1. Through Boat Passage, turn right along the north shore towards Tumbo and Cabbage Islands (~5.5nm) Boat passage can have currents <7kn, so need to check the tide tables! (with an ebb tide in the Georgia Strait, the current flows into Winter Cove, (not out) and visa versa.

  2. Extend 1 to East point where there is a small shell beach leading to the East Point National Gulf Islands Reserve Park. (~6-7nm). The park has a lighthouse, picnic tables, washrooms and is renowned for sea-bird and whale watching near Boiling Reef.

  3. A south shore paddle as far as Taylor Point (sandy beach) with rock gardening among the large shoreline boulders and watching the feral goats scrambling along the cliffs. Distance ~13nm. This area is famous for spotting humpback and orca whales.

  4. Heading north towards Mayne Island along the south shore of Samuel, around Curlew Island and return along Georgeson Passage by Irish Bay back to Winter Cove (~ 5nm)

  5. Extend 4 to include the Belle Chain Islets and return through Boat Passage (check currents!) Distance ~7nm.

We obtained sandwiches and drinks at a nearby grocery store to the lodge for packed lunches. The Lighthouse Pub near the ferry terminal was the only restaurant that offered a menu of pub food at reasonable prices with spectacular sunset views. The Sage Hayward Winery has recently opened for visits. All told, the Saturna Lodge offers comfortable accommodation and good day-paddling opportunities out of Winter Cove.

Windy Weather on Discovery Island

by Ben C Baker via Fred Pishalski

Click Image to View Article

Read Article

Tips from the Trips

by Debbie Leach

Hang To Dry

Hang your Suit. Take along a hanger to dry your suit.

Camp Cookery

by Lynn Baier

Generously shared from a Facebook post.

Roast Beef Dinner

BC Marine Trails News

June Newsletter HERE

BCMT special stewardship edition, July 2022 HERE

Our work with First Nations HERE

To Buy or Sell

For Sale:

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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