SISKA's July 2020 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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July 2020 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!

Alan Campbell (SISKA president) and Tony Playfair (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.

PPPS: You can find the SISKA newsletter archive here:

Table of Contents


Upcoming SISKA Events

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - VCKC Clubhouse to Portage Inlet Paddle
Saturday, July 04th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Spirit Bay to Becher Bay Paddle
Sunday, July 12th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Gonzales Bay to Oak Bay Marina Paddle
Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Bowden to Tsehum Harbour Paddle
Saturday, July 25th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Spirit Bay to Becher Bay Paddle
Saturday, August 08th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Chatham and Discovery Islands Paddle
Sunday, August 09th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Cooper Cove to Sooke Basin Paddle
Tuesday, August 11th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Gordon Head tour Paddle
Sunday, August 23rd, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Whiffin Spit to Cabin Point Paddle
Saturday, August 29th, 2020 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Mackenzie Bight Paddle
For more details, go to the SISKA website

SISKA Continues Small Group Club Paddles in July and August

by Alan Campbell
All SISKA Members
It is great to see many activities and services resume as BC’s Restart program has moved into Phase 3 and more restrictions are gradually eased.
Over the past month, in line with this, SISKA successfully resumed small group club paddles in various areas with the help of our volunteer leaders, and they have been very well-received.
On South Vancouver Island we are fortunate to be able to easily enjoy sea kayaking, a wonderful recreational activity focusing our attention on our marine environment, promoting fitness and wellness in equal measure.
We will continue to schedule group paddling outings through the summer months, and hope that many of you will use these opportunities to refresh your skills and experience. Look for them to appear in our online calendar and upcoming paddle list!
Our service partners, professional kayak skills training businesses serving our area, have also begun to resume their operations and we recommend that you check out their many services to further improve your paddling skills and enjoy kayaking adventures. Several offer discounts to SISKA members and some may be offering additional special promotions at this time.
Please remember to stay vigilant to avoid the spread of the coronavirus in our communities!
The sea kayaking safety guidelines below promoting Covid-safe paddling during the continuing pandemic have been amended as highlighted. SISKA will closely monitor these paddles and evolving guidance from public health authorities and will continue to adjust the guidelines as required.
Enjoy paddling our beautiful coast and stay safe!
Alan Campbell
President, SISKA
June 30, 2020

Guidelines for SISKA Paddles during the Covid-19 Pandemic
During the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, we must all be aware of the need to self-isolate at home if we are feeling unwell, have had contact with a symptomatic individual in the past 2 weeks, or have arrived from outside the province. Even if we are apparently well, we must maintain the prescribed distance (2m) from others whenever and wherever we are outside our homes. In addition, of course, we should frequently and thoroughly wash our hands, avoid touching our face and routinely disinfect high-contact surfaces.
As active sea kayakers we maintain our health and fitness partly through regular paddling, so the following guidelines are intended to ensure that we abide by the direction of our public health authorities to minimize the risk of contagion and maintain required separation.
SISKA paddles should be:
  • Planned in locations with sufficient space to permit required distancing
  • Planned to minimize the likelihood of adverse conditions
  • Limited to 6 people in a paddling “pod”; multiple pods with additional leaders may be organized at the discretion of the paddle leader
All paddlers, except for those living in the same household, should:
  • Avoid carpooling
  • Bring hand sanitizer to maintain personal hygiene as required
  • Bring disinfectant to clean surfaces as required
  • Carry their own gear between their vehicle and the water.
  • Enter and exit their kayak without assistance.
  • Not share food or beverages.
  • Always maintain 2 meters distance from others
    • before and after the paddle
    • during launchings and landings
    • during any rest/lunch break
    • while on the water, unless involved in an emergency
    • during any post-paddle gathering

Don’t be a NO SHOW

by Gary Jacek
We have many members who are unable to join our club paddles because these events are over-subscribed. If you registered for a paddle and cannot attend, please advise your paddle leader as early as you are able. This will give a waitlisted paddler enough time to prepare and join the paddle. Don’t be a NO SHOW.

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

What’s in a Name?

by Vic Turkington

Weir's Beach

Robert Weir left Scotland in 1852; he sailed in the HBC barque Norman Morison with his five sons and arrived at Royal Bay near Victoria, in 1853, after 5 mths. of gruelling passage around Cape Horn. He was hired as the head HBC stockman on Craigflower farm. In the 1870s, he bought land around Pedder Bay and William Head to become the largest land owner in Metchosin. He farmed sheep and dairy cattle  and his sons worked in mining and logging endevours. Descendents of the Weir family still live in the local area.
Weir's long sandy beach is delightful, although sometimes prone to piles of sea weed washed up after storms. It is accessible from Sandgate road and also forms the start of an interesting coastal hiking trail to Devonian Regional Park. It is a favoured launch point for kayakers en route to Pedder Bay, Bentinck Island, Whirl Bay and beyond.

Broken Group Access

by Jane Jacek
Secret Beach kayak launch and campsite is closed for the season.

Takaya Painting on Discovery Island

by Alan Campbell
Next time you kayak around Discovery Island make sure to checkout the lighthouse area for this painting recently done by Paul Archer.
Check out this CHEK news article also.

Paul also painted a mural of Takaya next to his shop across from the Downtown Y.

Tips from the trips

by Debbie Leach/Alan Campbell