SISKA's  February 2017 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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February 2017 SISKA Newsletter


Dear <<First Name>>,

The weather has reverted to normal, with the garden bulbs and bird songs hinting at spring. Fair-weather paddlers are re-emerging.

Thanks once again to those members who contributed photos and materials. After enjoying a SISKA event or paddle, please consider putting your fingers to keyboard and cobbling together 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!

We are happy to note that Vic Turkington has volunteered to take on editing the Place names "column", thus freeing Mike to do a few other things!

Michael Jackson (SISKA president) and Ben van Drimmelen (editor)

Table of Contents


Upcoming Events

February 5, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, 

February 7, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

February 8, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm,  

February 9, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

February 12, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED) 

February 12, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, 

February 14, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

February 16, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

February 22, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  (See preview article below)

February 23, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

February 25, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,   (ENERGIZER)

March 8, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

March 11, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

March 22, 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm, 

March 26, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (ENERGIZER)

March 30, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

For more details, go to the SISKA website

What’s in a Name? Rudlin Bay.

This is our local name series! Most of our featured names are drawn from “The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names” by Andrew Scott. We have a copy in the library!
There was a recent SISKA paddle to Chatham and Discovery Islands, with a lunch stop at Rudlin Bay on Discovery Island. Rudlin Bay was named after Captain George Rudlin (1834-1903). Captain Rudlin served with the Royal Navy in the Crimean war and then came to BC where he he started logging on Discovery Island. He captained many ships that plied the BC coast, mainly transporting coal from Nanaimo to Victoria. His ships are long gone and what remains of the captain is in the Ross Bay Cemetery, but this bay and Rudlin Street in Fernwood are reminders of this early very British Columbian.

Rudlin Bay is now part of the BC Provincial Marine Park, with an open camp site equipped with picnic tables, food bins and an outhouse. Those amenities, complemented by magnificent views of the Olympic mountains and local bird life, make it a favourite lunch stop for paddlers. The only current resident at Rudlin Bay is the "Lone Wolf."
A December 2016 photo of the Wolf in Rudlin Bay - Photo by club member Olivier Lardiere
Mike Jackson observes the wolf in Rudlin Bay, December 2016 - photo by Olivier Lardiere
Paddlers heading around the Islands.

January Club Paddle to Chatham and Discovery Islands

What a day we had for the first official club paddle of 2017! After many days with high winds and/or cold temperatures, 22 lucky paddlers hit the jackpot: a beautiful sunny, warmish day (+3C) with light winds and strong current. Just perfect for this iconic Victoria paddling route!
As advertised, this paddle provided a little something for everyone: current and crossings, channels, rocky shores, a south-facing lunch beach, lots of marine life of all sorts, and a chance to spot the wolf (ideally from a distance!).
All the hustle and bustle of our busy urban lives quickly faded away as we ferried across to the Chatham/Discovery passage, worked our way north up the internal Chatham channel against the ebb, then rounded the north end of the Chathams and paddled with the current down the east side of the archipelago to Rudlin Bay for a lunch/rest stop. Chatting amiably together as we ate our lunches (plus bite-sized Snickers bars) among the beach logs (no sign of the wolf), and gazing out at the snow-topped mountains to the south was a real treat. Kayaking is as good for the soul as the body!
A number of paddlers were either guests, or fairly new to Victoria and SISKA, and were understandably delighted with the experience, which continued pleasantly after lunch as we rounded the south end of Discovery and rode the building flood across to the Chain Islets and then back to Cattle Point.
Debriefing later over coffee/tea and more at the Oak Bay Marina Cafe was the perfect end to a sublime day on the water, and an auspicious start to 2017 for SISKA paddling!
Lunch in Rudlin Bay
SISKA paddlers - Olympics in the background

2016 Tide books and current tables

If you have any 2016 Tide books (Volume 5 or 6) and/or any current lookup tables, Mike Miles would appreciate having these for upcoming tide and current clinics. Please email him if you have these available.

Camp-Suited Cookery

(Here we share recipes that can be made deep into a multi-day kayak trip, or any recipe that makes the cooking part of a trip more enjoyable.  Please submit your contributions to Lynn Baier at 

This wonderful dish, from A Fork in the Trail, was cooked by Robyn Byrne on a trip last year. It makes the most of apple picking season (OK, we're a bit early for that, but summer/fall is coming), with bonus points if you pick the apples yourself....


(This will make 4-6 servings.) Cut a pound or so of pork tenderloin into 1-inch pieces. Heat a splash of vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Coat the meat chunks in flour and then place them carefully in the pot, being careful not to splash oil on yourself. Brown the pork. Add a diced onion and a sliced stalk of celery, cooking until the onions wilt and become translucent. Then add the rest of the ingredients:
  • a can of condensed golden mushroom soup,
  • a spoonful of honey, another of whole-grain mustard, and one more of Worcestershire sauce,
  • a bit of thyme and ground white pepper,
  • a couple of cored, peeled and diced tart apples,
  • a quarter cup of quartered fresh mushrooms, and 
  • a third of a cup of apple juice. 
Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for an hour or more, until the meat is tender when forked. Let it cool, remove the pork and shred it with two forks.

Measure the volume of the stew and write that on a sticky note. Time to shrink it to kayak size - put the pork and sauce on separate lined dehydrator trays and dry for 7-10 hours and put it all in a ziplock freezer bag, along with that sticky note. For the trip, pack rice or bread if desired. (Rice or egg noodles are a great accompaniment.)

At camp
At this point, nothing to it! Just add enough boiling water to the dried stew to equal the volume on your sticky note. (Be sure to account for and add your dried ingredients to the re-hydration container prior to adding the water.) Let the stew re-hydrate for 30 to 40 minutes, adding more water if necessary. If the meat is stubbornly slow to re-hydrate, simmer it for about 5 minutes on your camp stove. Done!

Monthly Meeting Feature Talk: 
To The Lighthouse: An Explorer’s Guide to the Island Lighthouses of Southwestern BC.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7:15 – 9:30 pm. Peter Johnson and John Walls (photography by Richard Paddle).

When John Walls with the Sherringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society first sought out BC writer and historian Peter Johnson to write a coffee-table book on coastal BC lighthouses, Johnson emphatically said “No!” However, after a few visits and a few beers, Johnson agreed, but only if the book would be an inexpensive, hands-on guidebook. Plus, any royalties had to go to lighthouse preservation societies. John agreed and promised to seek out old light-keepers to interview and professional photographer Richard Paddle. Between the three of them, all of the lighthouses in this little guide-book were visited.

On February 22, Peter will resurrect the beauty of our south coast’s light-stations, tell you how to visit them, and bring to life their stories and history. To add a little spice, Johnson will present his light-keepers to you through brief diary excerpts in which some of the more ornery and independent keepers will present themselves and highlights of their troubling and often dangerous lives.

A few books will be able for purchase, but only if you promise Peter that they will be marked with coffee or beer stains and that they will be jammed, dog-eared and bent, into your kayak.   

Albert Head to Witty's Lagoon Paddle

Sometimes, an Energizer Paddle morphs into a Relaxed, and so it was on January 28. Fifteen souls set out on a day that was cloudy, cool and calm - calm to the point that the wave-riders had to make sad but enthusiastic efforts to ride tiny swells over the shallows. The up side was that this turned into a very social outing, with lots of laughter and deep discussions while the paddlers watched a sea lion, seals and seabirds. The only rescue involved a hat, and the rescuers made a bit of a mess of that; however, the hat did survive.

The shallows of Witty's Lagoon were not a problem, as the tide was rising until early afternoon. The Bilston Creek falls were the main attraction again, with a few intrepid paddlers nosing into the shower.