September 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!

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

Thursday, August 31st, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Light Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Senanus Island and area
Sunday, September 03rd, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Fleming Beach to Cole Island Paddle
Sunday, September 03rd, 2023 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - TEST CLINIC ONLY!!!!
Friday, September 08th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Hudson Point (Saltspring Island) to Hudson Point (Saltspring Island) Paddle
Saturday, September 09th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Swartz Bay/Barnacle Road Public Dock to Gulf Islands one-way return by ferry Paddle
Sunday, September 10th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Broken Islands Lodge to Broken Group Islands Paddle
Friday, September 15th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Spirit Bay to Cabin Point Paddle
Saturday, September 16th, 2023 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM - PICNIC- Cadboro Bay Gyro Park
Saturday, September 16th, 2023 - 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Cadboro Bay to 1-3pm Cadboro Bay Tour Paddle
Sunday, September 17th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Pedder Bay to Whirl Bay Paddle
Thursday, September 21st, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Light Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Arbutus Cove
Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting
Saturday, September 30th, 2023 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM - CLINICS Rodeo- On and Off Water Clinics at Cadboro Bay
Saturday, September 30th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Coles Bay Paddle
Saturday, September 30th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM - Tarpology & Knots #1 AM SESSION
Sunday, October 01st, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Energizer Paddle - Island View Beach to D’Arcy Island
Sunday, October 01st, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Maple Bay Rowing Club to Genoa Bay one way Paddle
Saturday, October 14th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Spirit Bay to Cabin Point Paddle
Sunday, October 15th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Discovery Island Paddle
Thursday, October 19th, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Light Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Gordon Point
Saturday, October 21st, 2023 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Spirit Bay to Movie Set Beach (NEW MEMBERS) Paddle
Wednesday, October 25th, 2023 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting

Upcoming NonSISKA Events

Siska September General Meeting Agenda

by Fred Pishalski

Join SISKA on Wednesday September 27th 2023


813 Darwin Avenue (near Saanich City Hall)

7:00 pm Monthly Meeting

“A Whale of a Presentation” by Zoë Melanie Minnaard

Zoë has been an Islander since 2014 and is originally from The Netherlands where she worked in research and project development with an academic background in Maritime Anthropology and Marine Protected Areas. She did her local Marine Naturalist training with the Salish Sea Association of Marine Naturalists (SSAMN) at the Whale Museum in Friday Harbour. She is passionate about inspiring people to step back and look again; to become aware of how we treat ourselves and our natural environment.

Zoë will give a 40 - 60 min engaging presentation that gives participants a fun primer on local marine life, including space for participants to share their local knowledge and experiences. The presentation will end with a fun quiz. The presentation will cover the basics about cetaceans (whales and dolphins), pinnipeds and sea otters. If there is time left, she can include information about common local starfish, sea anemone and mollusks.

SISKA First Annual Fall Clinics Rodeo

by Rod Stiebel

September 30, Cadboro Gyro Park

If you have the urge to learn more, and paddle better, this is for you! We have set up a number of On and Off water clinics to help our membership kayak better, all crammed into one day! ON Water will be offerings of Forward Strokes, Kayak Relay, Playing in Kayaks, rolling your kayak, and Women in Kayaking on the water, plus more in the works.

Off Water will be offering Tarpology and Knots, Fitting a Kayak, and Fixing a Kayak (simple repairs), plus more in the works. So far all 3 Off water clinics will be offered in a morning and afternoon sessions, so lots of space for registrants. A nominal cost of $15 per clinic is what is needed to reserve your spot either On or OFF water. This ensures folks show up, and helps the club keep events like this possible. Note: EACH CLINIC WILL HAVE SEPARATE REGISTRATION!

This event is on a Saturday, and starts at 9AM, with the first clinics at 9:30AM. There is a lunch break, then the second afternoon sets of clinics start at 1PM. Clinics are 2 hour duration. If you are doing 2 clinics, AM and PM, bring a lunch. You may want to do On water in morning and Off water in the afternoon. You pick and choose.

More information will be forth coming, make sure to keep an eye out in the SISKA Calendar for clinics registration. We hope to have all clinics ready to accept registrants by Sept 15. We will also try and send out email notices on these clinics as we can. Bring a lawn chair/camp chair to sit on, your lunch and a snack. It should be a great day to learn and share experiences both on and off water. We are hoping this event is something the club membership embraces, and if so, we hope to make this an annual event. See you there!!!


by Jane Jacek

Date: Saturday September 16th

Location: Cadboro Bay/Gyro Park

Time: 9am-12pm Snack and beverages provided

GEAR SWAP/SALE: Do you have gear and/or a kayak that you are wanting to sell, then this is the event for you. Bring items priced, and set up your spot to sell them.

Looking to buy items, come prepared with cash.

KAYAK YAK: come and socialize with other like minded paddlers. Share your kayaking experience, ask questions and get to know your fellow SISKA members.

CLINIC: Deck Lines: For those looking to reinforce their deck-lines or setup those missing deck-lines. Bring your kayak.

12pm-1pm Bring your own lunch

1pm-3pm Relaxed Paddle Cadboro Bay, registration is open.

I look forward to seeing you at this years event!

Marine Radio Operator License

by Edgar Hulatt

For those kayakers who are not yet certified to operate a VHF radio the Royal Victoria Yacht Club is putting on a Restricted Operator’s Certificate (Maritime) course on 13th, 20th & 27th September from 7.00 to 9.00 pm at the RVYC. The ROC(M) certification is required to legally operate a VHF radio.

Contact Alex Kerr at (250) 208-1584 or email for further details. Registration can be done through Alex or online at:

The cost is 150.00.

There is also a second course offered by the RVYC starting on 15th November, 2023.

During the winter season SISKA also offers an additional clinic, VHF Radio for Kayakers, where we go into more specific details for kayakers using the VHF radio out on the water. Details will be sent out by the Off Water Courses Committee nearer the time.

Christmas Party

by Jennie Sutton

Looking For:-

An organized and enthusiastic individual to take on the “Chief Elf” or Chairperson position of the December Annual Christmas Party. It is an amazingly fun job working with a committee of crazy, creative volunteers and liaising with the RVYC staff. There is some detail planning involved which usually starts in September. There will be a complete handover given.

Please contact Jennie Sutton if you have any questions about the position at

Siska Trip Reports

Trincomali Trippin’ July 30 - Aug. 3
by Dan Dunaway / Tim Frick

We picked our leader Tim up at Otter Bay. Eight of us now, bound for Sturdies Bay on the ferry. He and Konrad had meticulously planned our Gulf Islands tour of four main islands in the northerly group, plus a good number of smaller ones. The idea was to camp at a different B.C. Marine Park every night. Some of us knew them, others not so much.

Besides Tim Frick and Konrad Sechley our offcial videographer, there were newly-minted Prez Jane Jacek, Johanna de Leeuw and Ginny Flood. The other three guys were Steve Bergen, Don Zwicker and myself. By noon we had all our kayaks scattered along the outside beach at Montague Harbour. Interestingly, no two were the same. But somehow they all held everything we needed for a five day trip along the loveliest coastlines you could wish for.

We paddled along the Galiano coast viewing the exotic sandstone formations. At Retreat Cove we cut across Trincomali Channel to the south end of Wallace Island. Jane led us into the “back door” to our campsite at Conover Cove. Lots of room on the grassy slope across from the boat harbour. The place had once been a thriving resort when homesteaded by Californian David Conover, his wife and son.

Next camp took us through Porlier Pass into Coon Bay. But first we admired the totem poles which the owner of Jackscrew Island had placed all around the shore. A lunch stop at a great sandy beach on Norway Island and we were back in our boats, recrossing the channel. Since tides were very high—over 13’, Tim made sure we eager paddlers waited until an hour before end of flood before venturing into the Pass.

All went well. You’d never know an eight knot current ripped through Porlier, complete with overfalls and a whirlpool—which I’d been spun around in once after sailing over from Vancouver in my 18’ sloop. But we landed safely in a sheltered gravel bay on the end of Galiano, next to the picnic area. The most exciting thing happened to be an eagle swooping down in front of Konrad to pluck a salmon from the waves.

This is a fun area to explore: more curious limestone sculptures plus views across Georgia Strait to Roberts Bank. We had to schlep our camping gear ten minutes or so up into the woods, past the water pump. This Marine Park and the next one on de Courcey have good fresh water. And so far, no raccoons. I never saw one until we got back to Wallace. They can make for a sleepless night.

Our third leg started early in order to clear the Pass with the last of the ebb. We headed for the far side scanning for traffic. Again, our timing gave us an easy ride through then along the Valdez shore to Blackberry Point. We ran into three paddlers from Nanaimo there. It’s not a sanctioned campsite, being owned by a logging company, but I gathered that you can do it if you keep a low profile. There’s a loooong mud beach at low tide.

More sandstone cliffs along the Valdez shoreline, and then towering rock bluffs with guillemot pigeons. Very impressive! We crossed over to Pylades Island then landed at a perfect swimming beach at Pirates Cove Marine Park on de Courcey. Warmish water, a lovely ridge above the bay to camp on and trails to explore. The only real challenge is keeping your beer cold. But I had a plan.

I had a zippered lunchbag which I put three cans in, plus one of Ginny’s. I weighed it down with rocks and hung it over a ledge in deep water. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember the beer until sometime after dinner, by which time the string was under waist-deep cold water. Not to worry; always up for a challenge—and the promise of a cold beer, Tim stripped off to wade in and retrieve the prize. Talk about taking a hit for the team. We set out with our unstoppable paddle leader from North Pender on the longest leg next morning, 12 miles back to Wallace Island. Mostly open water, we checked off the small islands on our course to north end of Thetis Island. Lunch stop at Clam Bay then on past the Cut to Penelakut Spit. It’s only a two mile paddle west through the tidal pass between Thetis and Penelakut (formerly Kuper Island) to Telegraph Harbour Pub/Restaurant, but we kept going. Another time.

Passing the Secretary Islands we crossed to the narrow rocky beach at Chivers Point Marine Park. With a 13.7’ tide overnight we had to lift our kayaks high onto the rocks and driftwood. The main campsite was full but Ginny, Jane and Johanna snagged a site on the ridge offering a stunning westward vista as the sun set. I pegged my tent a bit downslope from them. A stiff breeze kept any mosquitoes away, unlike the previous night at buggy Pirates Cove.

Our final leg along the east side of Wallace and back over to Galiano went peacefully. We all had favourite moments to share at our debriefing dinner at the Crane and Robin Restaurant in Montague Harbour. Thanks to superb organizing by Tim and Konrad, we enjoyed 46 incident- free miles of paddling among scenic islands with perfect campsites—total cost, $20 each. Light winds, sunny and warm every day. It just doesn’t get much better than that. And it’s right at our front door.

Video by Konrad

Ogden Point Octopus

by Roger Botting & Melissa

I was diving at Ogden Point and my dive buddy , Melissa, found this.

Safety Item

by Lynn Baier

Here is another fine article from the people at The Centre For Cold Water Safety. These things cannot be overemphasized.

Tips From The Trips

by Debbie Leach

STAKE IT! Use a snow sand tent peg to jam into a platform to hold your tent down in windy weather. (A piece of driftwood or fallen branch could work, too.)

Camp Cookery

by Lynn Baier


On a recent backpacking trip to the Brooks Peninsula, one of my women friends brought along a variation of this recipe. It was delicious! It would remind you of an omelette, without the need to bring eggs. This recipe works with fresh ingredients, but you could dehydrate any that you wish. The added spices could also be of your choosing. I couldn’t easily find the chickpea flour so tried making my own from dried peas. I had limited success, without it being a total failure. I think next time though I will go to the Indian Food Market on West Burnside to source it out.

BestCoast Outfitters End of Season Sale Exclusive Discount Code

by Jane Jacek

The Sales Event is scheduled from August 27th to September 3rd. SISKA members can have access to all discounts Online and In-store from August 25th. The SISKA members are offered a 5% discount code on top of all discounted products except for Kayaks and SUPs. The discount code for Online orders is: BCOCLUBEXCLUSIVE (This is the link to our website: If SISKA members wish to purchase products in-store, please let our team members know that you have the exclusive code for SISKA and we will assist them with the discount. For online orders, we provide free shipping on orders over $100 (excluding large items like kayaks) All NRS and Level Six products are 20% off during the Sales Event. Special offers are available on brand-new kayaks and SUPs. Also, more discounts are presented on clearance items.

BC Marine Trails News

August Newsletter

Hey there guides!
by Cam Dalinghaus / Jo Nicolson

BC Marine Trails has just finished a collaborative piece with the Mamalilikulla First Nation. I know a lot of you hold the Broughtons deep in your hearts and feel a deep connection to this place. Together we have built some visitor guidelines and best practices for how to move through Mamalilikulla territory. I would love it if you all would check out our new ArcGIS storymap - Visiting Mamalilikulla Territory. BC Marine Trails is working hard to review our data and decolonize our map. We work with coastal First Nations to gain concurrence on the use of recreation sites and direct paddlers away from sensitive sites.

We would also love it if you would share this piece with your community of paddlers.

Here’s the link

SISKA Website Support

by DaveO

While SISKA’s website is stable a problem can some time occur. When a problem does occur a message similar to the one below is usually displayed

If you experience any problem while using the website please copy this message or any other messge that is displayed and send it to Include as much information as possible about what you were doing when the problem occurred. The more information we have will help us resolve the issue quicker.

SISKA’s Website Is Being Updated

The current release of SISKA’s website is now three years old and the software that runs in the background has been replaced with a new release. As a result of the change in the software the majority of scripts which control what is displayed on your browser will need to be rewritten.

This is a fairly major project as each script will need to be tested to make sure it works as expect3ed and a change doesn’t have an adverse effect on another script. But this gives us a chance to incorporated changes that the general membership would like to see included.

If you have any suggestions/comments/feedback please send them to We can’t guaranty that every suggestion will be included but we will do our best.

DaveO SISKA Web Admin

To Buy or Sell

For Sale:

Wilderness Systems Tempest 170 kayak for sale. I bought it brand new last year and installed after-market thigh hooks for the best boat control and user experience (the original parts are available). Asking $1,500.00 or best offer. Minbiao at 778-922-0008 or

Thank you very much.

Cheers, Minbiao Shi (Bill)

Wanted To Buy:

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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