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

Newsletter editor...

We are still looking for a newsletter editor to replace the two Bens! The ideal replacement candidate would have some comfort with managing an on-line system (we use Malchimp) and using a word processing program. Please email me at if interested/willing!

Michael Jackson (SISKA president/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

Thursday, November 1st, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Gordon Brown Clinic Mill Bay
Saturday, November 10th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Amherst to Tsehum Harbour Paddle
Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Gordon Brown Clinic Victoria
Monday, November 19th, 2018 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Inter-tidal Marine Life by Mike Jackson
Sunday, November 25th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Albert Head to Witty's Lagoon Paddle
Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - VHF Refresher Course by Edgar Hulatt
Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting :Its Colombia not Columbia: It is Not the Country You Think It Is!
Saturday, December 1st, 2018 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM - Cadboro Bay to President’s Paddle around Cadboro Bay Paddle
Saturday, December 1st, 2018 - 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM - SISKA Annual Christmas Party
Sunday, December 9th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Esquimalt Lagoon to Millstream Falls Paddle
Saturday, December 15th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Oak Bay Marina - Parking Lot to Trial Island/Gonzales Paddle
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

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Goldstream Salmon Run
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 - 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM - Salmon Sensation Drop-In - CRD
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 - 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM - Nautical Book Sculpting Workshop - MMBC
Sunday, November 4th, 2018 - 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM - Fort Rodd Hill 100 Years of Remembrance
Sunday, November 4th, 2018 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM - Fabulous Fungi - Guided Walk - CRD
Sunday, November 4th, 2018 - 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM - Sea Glass Jewelry Workshop - MMBC
Monday, November 5th, 2018 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Anthropocene: The Human Epoch - Cinecenta
Wednesday, November 7th, 2018 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Everest Base Camp - Robinson's Outdoor Store
Friday, November 9th, 2018 - 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM - Gardening with Native Plants - CRD
Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - IF4: International Fly Fishing Film Festival - Robinsons
Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 - 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM - The Peace River Valley - VNHS
Thursday, November 15th, 2018 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Nature Talk: Grizzly Tales - NCC
Friday, November 16th, 2018 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - One Shot for Coastal Carnivores - Robert Bateman Centre
Saturday, November 24th, 2018 - 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM - BCMT AGM & Winter Forum
Tuesday, November 27th, 2018 - 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Hydroid Biodiversity in the Northeast Pacific - VNHS

November meeting Gear swap - 6 PM start

At our November 28th meeting, we are planning to organize a gear swap - please bring items you would like to sell/swap to the meeting (ideally with labels indicating the price). We will be starting the meeting early (6PM) to accommodate this event!

The November meeting will feature Gail Miller and Fred Pishalski talking about their recent trip to Colombia.Gail  & Fred  spent a month last winter touring all over Colombia. The country previously known as the bad boy of South America has gone through significant changes in the last few years. Their photo and video show will take you from the big cities like Bogota and Medellin into the high mountains and down to the Caribbean and yes there is even kayaking in the presentation. So please join us for a visit to Colombia

VHF Radio Refresher

November 27th and January 9th

A VHF radio is considered an essential piece of equipment for kayakers.  It is regularly used for listening to weather forecasts and for communicating within your own paddle group.  In more remote areas of the west coast, where there is no cell or wi-fi service available, it may be the only means of accessing weather information and communicating with the outside world.  In an emergency situation it provides direct communication with the Coast Guard, as well as other boaters in your immediate area that may be able to provide assistance.  SISKA recommends that all kayakers carry a VHF radio and are conversant with its features and call procedures.
You are legally required to obtain a ROC(M), Radio Operator Certificate (Maritime), before operating a VHF radio.  In practice, no one has ever been prosecuted for listening to a weather forecast or making a call in an emergency when not having a certificate.  The Canadian Power and Sail Squadron provides Maritime Radio Courses leading to a ROC(M) certification.  Their courses are usually over 2 or 3 nights, cost $95.00, and can be accessed via this link:   
SISKA offers a VHF Refresher Clinic that focuses more on the practical use of VHF radios in kayaking situations.  We look at the different types of radios, their advantages and disadvantages for kayaking, the different key functions and then finish the evening role playing various scenarios that kayakers may find themselves in. This winter the VHF Refresher Clinics will be held on Tuesday, 27th November and again on Wednesday, 9th January.

Save the Date! SISKA Christmas Party

from Jennie Sutton
The annual SISKA Christmas Party lunch will be held on Saturday, December 1st at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.

More notices will be coming to your inbox about registering once the menu and prices have been established. Good food, great socializing with friends and lots of prizes to be won!

Safety tip - foam for pull loop

By Lynn Baier
Putting some foam pipe insulation or plastic tubing around the pull loop on your sprayskirt will make it easier to find and grab in the event that you need to do a wet exit.

New column topics?

The regular column on local birds (put together by Ben van Drimmelen) will be coming to the end of its second rotation at the end of this year, and we are looking for a regular column to replace it. If you have an idea for a column topic (or better yet, are willing to put one together on a regular basis) please email
I also want to thank the following for their regular contributions:
Lynn Baier for her columns on safety tips and camp cookery
Debbie Leach for her column on tips from the trips
Vic Turkington for his column on coastal place names
Paddle leaders for writing up their paddles or organizing someone to do so!

Kayak-friendly places to stay

Want to kayak in the Salish Sea without camping?  Want to paddle from resort to resort, or from B&B to B&B and sleep in a comfy bed in a nice property, and eat meals prepared by someone else?  Then, join us in creating a listing of suitable properties and creating a website showing the locations of these properties.  So far Beth Haysom, Norm Smyth and Robert Dill have identified suitable places on Saltspring, Mayne, Pender and Saturna islands and would like help to complete the rest of the Gulf Islands and the adjoining Vancouver Island shoreline.  We also need someone to help us create a website showing these properties on a map with hyperlinks to our descriptions of the properties and contact details.  Once we have completed the Gulf Islands we will extend this to the rest of the Salish Sea and the Broughtons.  Initially this will be available to all SISKA members and when it is robust it will be accessible to anyone.  To help, or find out more about this neat project, contact Beth at

What’s in a Name? Moresby Island

by Vic Turkington
The Gulf Island Moresby is one we don't often visit, except on a day trip during SISKA camping trips on nearby Portland Island or paddling south across Swanson Channel from N. Pender Island.

The island was first settled in 1863 and named after Rear Admiral Fairfax Moresby R.N., who was the naval commander-in-chief of the Pacific Station of the Royal Navy (1850 – 1853), in his flagship HMS Portland. Fairfax Pt. at the island's southern tip, is also named after him.

The island is divided into 17 lots (same owner) and was up for sale in 2015 for $50 million, however the owner later withdrew it from the market and so it remains private today. In the 1800s fruit trees were planted and today the land is used to raise cattle. The island is reputed to house a resident ghost. Kayakers can land at Fairfax Pt.for a scenic rest-stop (and maybe meet the ghost - Hallowe'en!)

Tips from the trips - Cockpit Cover Clear

by Debbie Leach
To prevent rainwater pooling on your cockpit cover, tip your boat to the side using driftwood.