March 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, . If you would like to start a regular column, please let us know!

Alan Campbell (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

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 - 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM - Rough Water Intensive 3 Part Series
Saturday, March 04th, 2023 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Rolling
Saturday, March 04th, 2023 - 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM - Pool Practice Session
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
Sunday, March 19th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Pedder Bay to Whirl Bay Paddle
Saturday, April 01st, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Amherst to Portland Island (NEW MEMBERS PADDLE) Paddle
Saturday, April 01st, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Chain Group/Chatham Birding w. Daniel Donnecke Paddle
Sunday, April 02nd, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Oak Bay Marina to Discovery Island (NEW MEMBERS PADDLE) Paddle
Tuesday, April 11th, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Cookery Clinic
Saturday, April 15th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Moses Point to Russell Island Paddle
Sunday, April 16th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Island View Beach to James Island Circumnavigation NEW MBR Paddle
Sunday, April 16th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Island View Beach to Darcy Island Paddle

Upcoming NonSISKA Events

Wednesday, March 01st, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM - Pacifica Paddle Sports with E J

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

Siska March General Meeting Agenda - March 22, 2023

by Fred Pishalski

West Coast Paddling Trips with the MV Uchuck III
by Alan Campbell and paddling friends

Alan grew up in Ontario where he spent summers canoe camping in Algonquin Park but converted to sea kayaking in BC with its incredible environment, (relatively) few bugs, and no portages!

Along with his paddling friends he has enjoyed many kayaking expeditions of varying lengths on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and Mainland coasts between Victoria and Juneau, and intends to keep doing that for years to come. He contends the West Coast of Vancouver Island, particularly its NW coast, offers one of the best combinations of wilderness kayaking and accessibility anywhere in the world. Happily, Get West, a longtime marine business based in Gold River will transport you on the MV Uchuck III to some amazing paddling areas where you can choose your adventure safely within your paddling abilities.

In 2017 Alan and some of his SISKA paddling buddies were dropped off at Kyuquot and paddled the outside Island coast south to Friendly Cove where they were picked up by the Uchuck for the final leg to Gold River. Last year, the Catfish Kayak guys took the Uchuck to the Nuchatlitz and back again after a week paddling that gorgeous area at the top of Nootka Island. They had such a great time that this year they will sail on the Uchuck to Kyuquot to paddle and camp in that area for a week before sailing back in style!

This presentation will briefly cover the geography, history and industry of local First Nations and coastal communities before outlining the Uchuck’s routes, schedules, costs and paddling trip possibilities. A few of those who were on the trips mentioned will share some of the highlights and lowlights they recall!

Check for the MV Uchuck’s kayak transport and other services. Free brochures will also be available at the meeting.

NOTE: Get West is a private Vancouver Island marine business with no connection to SISKA members.

SISKA Gear Swap and Sale at March Meeting!

by Alan Campbell

Beginning at 6:00 pm (sellers/donors can arrive at 5:30 pm to set up) will help you move those unused kayaking items to someone who will put them to good use.

A series of swap/sale tables will be set out against the windowed deck wall for people to peruse the items available.

Siska Spring/Skils Training 2023 Is Underway!

by Alan Campbell

This wild weather is a sure sign that Spring is not far off, so it’s high time to get your kayaking gear in order and refresh your paddling skills!

Starting this year, SISKA is promoting a number of our excellent Island kayaking businesses who have agreed to provide discounts to our members.

Check out the full list of discount offerings or click on 2023 Workshops under the Calendar tab on the website homepage.

We’re delighted to feature the following companies and recommend you check out their individual websites for all their great workshops, courses, expeditions and more!

Siska Volunteer Opportunities For Upcoming Year

by Lynn Beak

SISKA is a volunteer-run organization. We have no paid staff and our many activities continue due to the shared enthusiasm and skills of our membership. Thank you!

SISKA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is happening on Wednesday April 19, 2023, and we want to share with you some interesting volunteer opportunities. Please consider how you can contribute to the wealth of skills training, kayak paddling, and fun that we have together.

Executive positions available - Our bylaws state that no one can serve more than four consecutive years in any one position on our Executive, unless the membership agrees to extend the term of office at a SISKA general meeting.

President - Our president, Alan Campbell, will be finishing his second 2-year term as president this year. Therefore we will be seeking candidates to run as president. The president is the chair of the Executive and is responsible for supervising the other directors in the execution of their duties.

Vice-president - Our vice-president, Lynn Beak, will also be completing her second 2-year term. Therefore this position will be open as well. The vice-president is the vice-chair of the Executive and is responsible for carrying out the duties of the president if the president is unable to act.

Treasurer - In addition our treasurer, Roger Botting, will be completing his extended 5th year as Treasurer. He had accepted a one year extension from our membership at our 2022 AGM, but we are seeking someone to replace him this year. The treasurer is responsible for doing, or making the necessary arrangements for: receiving and banking monies collected from the members or other sources; keeping accounting records in respect of SISKA’s financial transactions; preparing SISKA’s financial statements; and making SISKA’s tax filings.

Member-at-large - We will also have at least one member-at-large position available. This is an excellent opportunity to work on projects and share in Executive decisions to advance SISKA’s mission and goals

How to Run For Office - Any SISKA member can run for one of these positions. You can be nominated or nominate yourself, up to and including at the AGM. Even if you cannot attend that night, you can run by having someone nominate you and indicating in advance (e.g. by email) that you are willing to stand.

Available Volunteer Coordinator Role - Many hands make light work and stimulate great ideas, so please also think about volunteering to help or lead as Off-Water Coordinator. So there are great opportunities to participate as a volunteer. Please ask any of us about this position or any of the upcoming Executive positions. We’ll be happy to share our knowledge with you! Finally, a gentle reminder to renew your SISKA membership for 2023 so that you can vote at the April AGM!

Trip Advisors Directory

by Vic Turkington

The days are getting longer and warmer now and thoughts naturally turn to plan a summer kayak/camping trip. Fortunately, there is a vast wealth of knowledge and tripping experience among SISKA members, both on coastal Vancouver Island and beyond. If you are uncertain about a particular area and need more information, you are in luck. A number of experienced members have kindly volunteered to share their experiences, offer guidance and assist you to plan an unforgettable kayak adventure. Just contact them to get sage advice and insight for your proposed trip. - HERE is the pdf link to check your paddling area of interest.

Extensive information on Vancouver Island is also available on the BC Marine Trails website and John Kimantas’ series on Coastal Vancouver Island and other books in the SISKA library.

For folk who like a bit of comfort (hot showers/soft bed), Beth Haysom, Norm Smyth, Debbie Leach, Alan Campbell and Tony Playfair have compiled a website of kayak-accessible accommodations in the Southern Gulf Islands, to rest weary bones or escape inclement weather: KayakFriendly

Happy planning and tripping…..

Tips from the Trips

by Debbie Leach


Use a neck tube to cover your sunscreened face before pulling on or off your drysuit gasket. Sunscreen damages latex.

Dreaming of Kayak Tripping?

If you aren’t prepared to put together a trip on your own, consider a guided trip. That’s a great way to safely explore new places and meet other paddlers. Check out Siska Partners for Guided Trips in 2023

If you prefer glamping to camping, check out places to stay at

Safety Item

by Lynn Baier

Telescopic Antenna

Have you ever been in one of the ‘dead zones’ for weather forecast reception? Wind forecasts are pretty important! Here, our lovely model Alan is holding the newest piece of gear acquired by we gear junkies. It is a telescopic antenna that screws onto a standard handheld vhf marine radio. This will greatly improve your reception. DO NOT attempt to use it for transmission as it will fry your radio. Big thanks to JF Marleau for this tip.

BC Marine Trails News

February Newsletter

To Buy or Sell

For Sale:

Wanted To Buy:

Dry Suit. 5’4 and 140 lbs.

Karin at 780-554-7721 or

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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