SISKA's  November 2019 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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November 2019 SISKA



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

Siska November 27, 2019 General Meeting

Our speaker for November is Gordon Brown. Following on from his hugely successful book Sea Kayak, Gordon Brown brings his vast experience and unique style to this latest publication Sea Kayak Safety and Rescue.

Each chapter begins with a real-life incident which sets the scene and helps to emphasis what follows. The underlying principles are highlighted, practical lessons learnt and the hard skills explored in detail. Numerous colour photos complement and illustrate the text. His book is essential reading for any sea kayaker, and will be enjoyed and valued by both novice and experienced paddlers alike.

Gordon has recently moved from the Isle of Skye in Scotland to Vancouver Island and is now part of the Ocean River staff. He has a lifetime's experience of kayaking in all its forms and well over thirty years of coaching sea kayaking. In 1992 he completed both sea kayak and white-water kayak BCU Level 5 coach qualifications, and was involved in the development, training and assessment of these awards until they were discontinued when the award scheme was reorganized. In 2016 he completed a Masters Degree in Performance Coaching and has produced a set of instructional DVDs in the Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown series.

The November 27th meeting will start at 6:00pm for members wishing to sell, exchange or swap paddling/camping gear. If you are bringing gear to the meeting please arrive at 5:30pm to set up. Doors open for everyone else at 6:00pm.

For more details, go to the SISKA website

SISKA's Legendary Annual Christmas Party!

by Alan Campbell

Saturday December 7, 2019

doors open at 11:45 AM

Royal Victoria Yacht Club
3475 Ripon Road, Victoria, BC
(Ripon Rd & Beach Dr – free parking in upper lot or on-street)

  • Buy your tickets ASAP - space is limited to 100!
    • Still just $35 for members/$45 for non-members
    • Buffet luncheon subsidized by SISKA; bar drinks on you
  • View the buffet lunch menu at Buffet Luncheon
  • Buy party ticket(s) online at Member Ticket and/or Non-Member Ticket 
  • If you have special dietary needs please email Deborah at
  • You could win a great donated prize by...
  • Sharing an entertaining tale, poem, song, “lesson learned” or adventure!
  • Still standing in our “Heads or Tails” kayaking trivia game!
  • Or, if luck is with you, just for showing up!

Inter-tidal Marine Life by Mike Jackson

by Barb McDougall
When:  Tuesday, November 19th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Where:  Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas Street,

(Take the McKenzie Exit off of Blanchard Street) Multi-Purpose Room

The Plan:  We’d like to invite you to come early to Mike’s presentation and grab a cup of coffee or tea and a cookie or two. Coffee/tea will be served from 6 – 6:30 pm and Mike’s talk will start at 6:30 pm.

Michael will share his knowledge of the inter-tidal marine life of our area as well as discuss some of the possibilities of harvesting. He will help you identify some of the main species as well as talk about how the inter-tidal zone “works”.

Your next paddle will be that much richer, knowing what to look for and knowing something about it.

Mike is a retired teacher (taught marine science for many years), Naturalist Guide, Maple Leaf Adventures and National Geographic.

Interests: Galapagos Archipelago, Natural History, Photography, Sea Kayaking (especially Greenland style), Fishing, Travelling

Mike has paddled most of the way around Vancouver Island, is a SKGABC level 2 guide and a Paddle Canada level 1 instructor – as well as a past club president!

Mike enjoys paddling around Chatham and Discovery Islands on a regular basis but also likes to surf kayak and paddle rough water.

Mike’s webpages of interest to kayakers:            
Tides and Currents
Paddling Journal:

Cost:   $10       Registration:

VHF Radio Refresher for Kayakers

Facilitator: Edgar Hulatt
by Barb McDougall
Where & When: Tuesday, November 26th, 6.30 pm to 9 pm, at the Salvation Army Citadel, 4030 Douglas Street, Victoria. The Citadel is just off the MacKenzie/Pat Bay Highway interchange. Maximum 12 persons.
The Plan:
Join us for an evening reviewing VHF procedures, types of calls, key features and simulating various incident scenarios. While this evening is for kayakers who have previously completed the ROC(M) course and wish to refresh the course material it will also benefit anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with a VHF radio. We will also share experiences using the VHF radio, compare different models and discuss DSC type radios. Please bring your radio with you to the class, if you have one, and be prepared to discuss its features and your own experience using it.
Cost: $15.00
Registration: please email Edgar Hulatt at and you will be sent the PayPal link to complete your registration.

More Upcoming SISKA Events

Saturday, November 02nd, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Oak Bay Marina - Parking Lot to Chatham and Discovery Islands Paddle
Sunday, November 03rd, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM - Crystal Pool Indoor Kayaking - City of Victoria
Tuesday, November 05th, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - Everest Base Camp - Robinsons
Sunday, November 10th, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - SISKA - Crystal Pool Indoor Kayaking
Saturday, November 16th, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Cooper Cove to Sooke Basin Paddle
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Inter-Tidal Marine Life by Mike Jackson
Saturday, November 23rd, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Cadboro Bay to Glencoe Cove Paddle
Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 - 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM - SISKA Monthly Meeting-GordonBrown
Sunday, December 01st, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM - Crystal Pool Indoor Kayaking - City of Victoria
Saturday, December 07th, 2019 - 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM - SISKA Christmas Luncheon and Party
Sunday, December 08th, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Spectacle Falls/Mackenzie Bight Paddle
Sunday, December 08th, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - SISKA - Crystal Pool Indoor Kayaking
Saturday, December 14th, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Telegraph Cove to Cadboro Bay Paddle
Sunday, December 22nd, 2019 - 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM - SISKA - Crystal Pool Indoor Kayaking
Thursday, December 26th, 2019 - 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM - Cadboro Bay to Tentative Turkey Burner to Willows Beach Paddle
List of Upcoming NonSISKA Events

Monday, November 04th, 2019 - 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - Learn How to Use a Map and Compass - MEC
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Internatikonal Fly Fishing Film Festival - Robinsons
Monday, November 18th, 2019 - 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - Packing for your First Overnight Hiking Trip - MEC
Monday, November 25th, 2019 - 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM - DIY: How to Repair your Outdoor Gear - MEC

SISKA Policies and Procedures (P&P) – How Boring is That?!

by Alan Campbell
Sea kayaking clubs like ours depend on a host of volunteer members to organize and deliver off- and on-water courses, paddling trips, regular and special meetings and overall administration of the wide range of activities that make the club so important to us all.
Do you have expertise and experience in one of the many areas of skill or knowledge useful to sea kayakers? Consider sharing that with others in a workshop session off or on the water. Barbara McDougall and Edgar Hulatt (off-water) , Michael Egilson and Willi Fast (on-water) would love to chat with you!
Are you a Level 2 (or above) Paddle Canada certified paddler willing to lead or assist with a club-sponsored day paddle? With the significant increase in our membership over the past few years, Gary Jacek would be delighted to explain what is involved!
I’d like to focus just a bit more on our paddle leaders in this SISKA P&P note…
This is such a vital role for us that we have devoted several sections of our P&P to describing it:
  1. General, 1.2 Leader Qualifications and 1.3 Paddle Leader Authority and Responsibilities.

I know that it can seem a bit daunting, but if you have a passion for paddling and a desire to share that with others, this is a truly wonderful way to contribute to our club and introduce newer members to some of the fabulous kayaking opportunities we enjoy in this area. Experienced paddle leaders are always pleased to have qualified assistants join their paddles and make good use of their skills supporting the paddle as required to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.
I can assure you it is a real delight to see your fellow members light up with enthusiasm on a paddling trip you have helped them enjoy!
Please consider helping if you are able to do so.

Community Events of Interest

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

Safety Tip

by Lynn Baier
We have all become used to, and trusting (well sometimes, anyway) the wind and weather predictors. When you’re out there, there’s an easy way.....look up. The clouds let you know what’s going on with the wind. Make a habit of observing the clouds constantly. They are the lowest tech option to aid you in making sound decisions out there.

Camp Cookery

by Lynn Baier
Cinnamon rolls:
This recipe comes with acknowledgment and apologies to the First Nations women who introduced me to frybread. Their generations of passed down knowledge and touch are far superior to any attempt by me.

When you’ve been out there stuck on a breach in wind and rain, it’s nice to come up with a treat for your group. What could be better than cinnamon buns? These are simple and delicious, and just as good at home.

1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup warm water
Brown sugar
1/4 icing sugar
Oil for frying

Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the warm water until you have a soft dough that holds together. Do not overwork. Shape the dough into a rectangle and sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up like a jelly roll and cut into roughly 1/2 inch pieces. Cut off a dummy piece from the end to make sure your oil is hot enough and not too hot to burn. Fry in one inch of very hot oil one or two at a time, until golden brown. Drain on paper towel. Drizzle with the icing sugar that has been made into a paste with a bit of water. You can filter the oil and use it again on the next rainy day.

Bon appétit!