SISKA's  February 2018 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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February 2018 SISKA Newsletter


Dear <<First Name>>,

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!

Past SISKA Newsletters are archived at:

And a reminder that both Ben and Mike will be away for much of 2018 on various trips. That means some months without a newsletter unless someone is willing to assist with editing the club newsletter.

Michael Jackson (SISKA president) and Ben van Drimmelen (editor)
PS: You can find SISKA on Facebook at this link.

PPS: SISKA has a Meetup site for "impromptu" and other paddles organized by club members. For more details, go to To join this, you have to be a club member.

Table of Contents


Upcoming SISKA Events

February 6, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  

February 8, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  

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

February 13, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  

February 15, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  

February 21, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  

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

March 5, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm,  

March 10, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,   (RELAXED)

March 14, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm, 

March 25, 9:15 am - 3:00 pm,  (ENERGIZER)

March 28, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, 

For more details, go to the SISKA website

Community Events of Interest

If you are aware of a non-SISKA event of likely interest to our members, please email Alan Campbell at

February 4, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm, 

February 6, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm, 

February 8, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm,  

February 22-March 22, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Marine Bird course (U.Vic, James Clowater). 5 Thursday evening classes plus 2 Sunday field trips; great course for learning to identify marine birds when kayaking!

February 26, 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm,  

March 29, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm,  

Details on the SISKA website

Trip Tips

Debbie Leach



A cozy can insulate one hot pot while another one is on the stove. For quick cooking items like rice noodles and couscous, pour boiling water into the pot, cover and cozy it up.


Discovery Island Open for Camping

 - Mike Jackson

Camping is permitted again on Discovery Island. A friend has recently spent a night there and says things seem back to normal. From the BC Parks website:

      December 20, 2017: Park is open for day-use and overnight camping. This park
      is open for day-use activities and overnight camping in the designated camping
     area. Please be advised that all dogs and domestic pets are not allowed anywhere
     within Discovery Island Provincial Park – violators may be subject to fines or
     penalties. You can help BC Parks by following our important 
     wolf safety guidelines before visiting the park. Park Rangers and Conservation
     Officers will be patrolling the area to facilitate public education and monitoring.

For more information:

Executive News

After more than five years of keeping our books as club treasurer, John Levey is stepping down. We are very fortunate to have Roger Botting stepping in to take his place. Many thanks to John for all of his hard work and thanks to Roger for stepping in to this role for us.

After completing his two 2-year terms (and a bit more!), Mark Byrne is stepping down as secretary at the AGM in April. We are looking for a replacement and encourage anyone interested to contact Mark ( for more details about the position. Feel free to contact Mike Jackson ( or Alan Campbell ( as well.

First Paddle of 2018

- Ben van Drimmelen

Saturday January 13th looked cool and gloomy with a threat of drizzle, but 14 contented paddlers departed Gyro Beach to see what they could see. We noodled along the east shore of Cadboro Bay, with leader Mike Jackson snap-quizzing us on the names of the smallest islands and bays. Staines Island, Flower Island, Sheep cove, Tudor Beach.... 
However, as we rounded the Cadboro Point light, we encountered higher winds and steeper waves than predicted or anticipated. This was a "Relaxed Paddle", so we prudently turned sterns to the wind and retreated gracefully back past Jemmy Jones Island across the mouth of Cadboro Bay, past Cattle Point and onward to land triumphantly, like an invading flotilla, at Willows Beach. Lunch while kids and dogs examined our multi-coloured fleet, then back to noodling the western side of Cadboro Bay and on to our starting point.

It was indeed a pleasant relaxed paddle. The only near-casualty was Mike's GPS unit which had fallen out on shore as he beached near his home. Happily, it was found and returned by an honest beach-stroller! Got to love Victorians.

Victoria Waterways Loop Update

-  Vic Turkington

The Victoria Waterways Loop offers a paddling route within the Capital Region. It winds through five municipalities and covers 8.4nm (15.5 kms) including a 950m portage. This is quite unique for a city and  highlights Victoria as a desirable paddling destination. The complete Loop can be easily navigated in 4 hours. Kayak wheels are required for the portage.

The loop is divided into four sections, each with its own level of difficulty and attractions. Several launch points are available along each section, offering opportunities for paddlers of every skill level. The Gorge is the most protected section of the loop while the Esquimalt shore is more exposed and challenging. The tidal currents and  turbulence at Tillicum bridge can create significant hazards for the unwary paddler.
The municipality of View Royal has funded ($70K) an access ramp on the Gorge which connects with Portage Park in Esquimalth Harbour.  Currently the ramp only reaches the water's edge, giving reasonable access at higher tides (check F&O website Portage Inlet). An extension is planned to allow easier access at lower tides, but this final stage is awaiting  permission from the Province to start construction. (stay tuned !)
In the meantime, the working group is designing hazard signs to alert paddlers to the dangers at Tillicum bridge.  It is also experimenting with a radar-based monitoring  system to measure current speeds at Tillicum Bridge. Ideally this real time data would be available on the Loop's website ( This site is well worth a visit as it provides details on levels of difficulty, available launch points, risks, etc., when planning a trip.