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

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.

PPPS: You can find the SISKA newsletter archive here:

Table of Contents


Upcoming SISKA Events

May 2, 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm, 

May 3, 5:15 pm - 9:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

May 5 - May 6,  

May 5, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

May 6, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

May 12, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

May 19, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (ENERGIZER)

May 22, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm,  

Jun 2, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm,  

Jun 3, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

Jun 10, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (RELAXED)

Jun 23, 9:30 am - 3:00 pm,  (ENERGIZER)

For more details, go to the SISKA website

Community Events of Interest

If you are aware of an event  that should be included in the next Newsletter, please email Alan Campbell at

May 17, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm,  Ocean River Sports

May 25 - 27, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm,  

What’s in a Name?


- Vic Turkington

Bentinck Island

Bentinck Island was named after Lord George Bentinck, a British politician. The island served as a leper colony from 1924 – 1957 and was built to replace the one on D’Arcy Island. The colony was moved to Bentinck Island because it was closer to the medical quarantine facilities at William Head. The island housed 22 patients at its close while 13 others remained buried in the cemetery (more ghosts!) The colony was closed after the last person died in 1957.

Another notable event involved the Holland America cargo liner Eemdijk, which ran aground on Race Rocks in 1925; it was re-floated and beached on Bentinck Island. The tug boat Hope and her crew of seven men were lost attempting to salvage the liner.

The island is currently used for DND explosives training and is clearly signed with many notices: landing is forbidden. To avoid getting blown up, kayakers can call DND at 250-363-4006 to verify whether munitions exercises are scheduled. Notwithstanding, the waterway between Bentinck Island and Rocky Point is a beautiful protected kayaking paradise, full of small rocky islets and wildlife including seals and many species of water birds. Kayakers can enjoy passing Bentinck Island en route from Weir's Beach or Pedder Bay to Whirl Bay, Race Rocks and beyond.

Has your Paddle Canada skill level changed?

- Jennie Sutton, Paddle Coordinator

If you have passed a Paddle Canada course, and your skill level is now higher than it used to be, please let Dave O. know (, so that he can update the database. Knowing members' skill levels is a big help for paddle leaders when they are organizing their paddles. Thanks!

SISKA's 10th Anniversary AGM... and more

Alan Campbell


When does an Annual General Meeting feel more like a party? When it’s SISKA’s 10th Anniversary, and there is plenty of cake, a drysuit raffle and kayak trip tales!

75+ members packed the meeting room at The Citadel Wednesday April 25th in a festive paddling mood. Many came early and were inspired to plan kayak camping trips by others manning “trip tables” to advise on touring God’s Pocket, The Broken Group, The Broughton Archipelago, The Nuchatlitz and San Josef Bay-Cape Scott. So many places to paddle, so little summer!

James Manke of Aqualung Canada was on hand to draw the winning raffle ticket for a Stohlquist drysuit generously donated for our Anniversary – congratulations to Lynn Beak, the lucky winner! All proceeds from the raffle ($800 plus!) will be donated to our four area Marine Search and Rescue Teams (Sidney, Oak Bay, Victoria, Sooke) who help keep us all safe on the water. Many thanks from SISKA to James and Aqualung/Stohlquist for their generosity!

Of course, there was the standard annual general meeting business to deal with. Outgoing long-serving Treasurer John Levey presented ,SISKA’s 2017 financial statement and Roger Botting was confirmed as Treasurer. Secretary Mark Byrne passed that torch to Delcie McLellan. Accolades to John and Mark for their great voluntary service over the years – now you can both get out and paddle even more often!

And there were announcements: the PC Level 1 Course on May 5-6 (it’s not too late to register!), the Picnic and Fun Day at Gyro Park June 2 and the Club Campout on Discovery Island July 6-8. Members can check the website for the many other paddles and courses coming up!

Rounding out a full evening, Jennie Sutton, Debbie Leach, Lynn Baier, Alan Campbell, Michael Egilson and Morley Eldridge gave an informative, entertaining and sometimes awe-inspiring talk/slideshow/video presentation on their kayak camping trip last September. They took the MV Uchuck from Gold River to Kyuquot where their loaded boats were (carefully!) “slung” into the water. After paddling along Spring Island, Rugged Point, Nuchatlitz, the outside of Nootka Island and the Bligh Islands, they met the MV Uchuck again for the return ferry. A challenging but fabulous west coast Vancouver Island trip!
 - Lisa Lasagna

For the AGM I baked a gluten-free carrot cake, and was asked to submit the recipe to the Newsletter.  Here it is:

GF Carrot Cake

This recipe makes one 9” x 13” cake, or two layers.
  • 2 1/4 cups GF flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 Tbsp baking soda
  • 3/4 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/8 cups grape seed oil
  • 3 large eggs, beaten slightly
  • 3/4 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/8 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/8 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pureed cooked carrots (or mashed)
  • 5/8 cup drained crushed pineapple
  • Frosting (recipe follows)
 1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease 9 x 13 inch pan.
2.  Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.  Add oil, eggs, and vanilla.
Beat well.  Fold in walnuts, coconut, carrots and pineapple.
3.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Set on middle rack of oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until edges have pulled away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
4.  Cool.  Frost with recipe below.

Goat Cheese Frosting

  • 6 oz. soft goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp. goat butter (or margarine) at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • juice of 1/4 lemon (optional)
1.  Cream together cream cheese and butter in a mixing bowl.
2.  Slowly add icing sugar and continue beating until smooth.
3.  Stir in vanilla and lemon juice.

Barkley Sound kayak trip - update

The following 20 people have let Norm Smyth know they are booked with Lady Rose Marine to participate in the Wednesday Paddlers trip to the Broken Group in Barkley Sound on 30 July: Norm Smyth; David Anderson; Annie Jensen; Victor Turkington; Barbara McDougall; Bryan Anscombe; Dave Chater; Jennifer Hellings; Jonathan Lomas; BJ Porter; Jeff Skippen; Julie Deans; Bart Cunningham; Ross Beauchamp; Blair Dwyer; Melissa Anderson; Sharon Forrester; Jo Fox; Judy Moore; Lynn Beak. If you are booked and your name is not on this list let Norm know. Email  or phone 250-383-9077. Sechart Lodge is fully booked but Norm has a standby list in case someone cancels; some people may also be willing to share a room. 

Three experienced paddle leaders have kindly agreed to lead daily paddles – Vic Turkington, Dave Chater and Jeff Skippen. The destinations will be weather dependent. Sechart Lodge water taxi is booked to transport up to 12 kayakers each day at 0900 to the outer islands at a cost of $65 pp, so the day can be spent paddling back through the entire island chain.

There will an information session for those booked on this trip from 6 to 7 PM just prior to the next SISKA Meeting on Wednesday 23 May in the SISKA room at the Salvation Army Citadel.

Tips from the trips

- Debbie Leach

Easy Pouring

A "shower adapter" for your dromedary makes a great water dispenser.

Becher Bay Relaxed Paddle

- Barry Copeland

On April 8, a group of 13 spirited paddlers embarked on a lovely spring paddle around Becher Bay. We were all very pleased to experience flat calm conditions on the entire paddle, enhanced with bright skies and no rain!

The south shore of Becher Bay was in full bloom of spring flowers. Brilliant yellow, violet and green shades extended down the rocks to the eye level of kayakers. Oystercatchers, eagles, geese and seals greeted us as we paddled between the islets while crossing the bay.

The group decided to take advantage of the flat seas and ventured further to the petroglyphs before beaching at Aylard Farm for lunch. We returned to Spirit Bay along the shoreline and admired the spring display of budding maple trees and blossoming ground cover. Once off the water, the group debriefed at Glenerosa Farm Restaurant over a hot beverage and fresh baked scones. A fantastic day on the water for all!