SISKA's October 2021 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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October 2021 SISKA Newsletter


Dear Tony,

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.
PS: Siska now has it's own Youtube Channel
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, October 21st, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Senanus Island and area Paddle
Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Telegraph Cove to Cormorant Point Paddle
Sunday, October 24th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Discovery Island Paddle
Saturday, November 06th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Gonzales Beach possibly via Trial Island Paddle
Thursday, November 18th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Cadboro Bay Tour Paddle
Saturday, November 20th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Coles Bay Paddle
Sunday, November 21st, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Cadboro Bay to Discovery Island Paddle
Thursday, November 25th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Amherst to Tsehum Harbour Paddle
For more details, go to the SISKA website

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

Canada’s 1st National Day of Truth and Reconciliation – Sep 30, 2021

by Alan Campbell
The first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation was a day of reflection and learning for many.
To help continue the process of learning about First Nations in BC, particularly Coastal First Nations, the following information and links are provided regarding the First Peoples’ Map of BC, an interactive online map-based compendium of First Nations languages, arts, and heritage. The map was created and is maintained by the First Peoples’ Cultural Council.
Link to CBC News Article – Jun 15, 2021
Link to First Peoples’ Map of BC,https%3A//,-Click%20To%20Copy

SISKA and Covid-19 Precautions as of September 28, 2021

by Alan Campbell

Although Covid cases have increased and restrictions remain, sea kayaking remains one of the very best choices you can make for your fitness and health!  

As of Sep 28, 2021, 87.8% of eligible people in BC have been vaccinated once, and 80.6% have been vaccinated twice. The very great majority of new cases in BC are among those who have either not yet been vaccinated at all or have had just one dose so far.

If you have not done so already, we strongly encourage all SISKA members to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible to protect yourselves, fellow paddlers, friends, families, and communities.

BC Public Health now requires masks for public indoor spaces and proof of vaccination for designated services and events. Even if fully vaccinated for more than 2-3 weeks, some may wish to mask outdoors when 2m distance cannot be maintained. Certain regions of BC have been placed under tighter restrictions due to increased cases and hospitalizations, Vancouver Island cases remain high, but no additional public health restrictions have yet been imposed.

We had hoped that SISKA could return to in-person indoor meetings this Fall, but it now appears increasingly unlikely that the ongoing high Covid case numbers and resulting pressure on hospital care capacity will drop significantly in the near future.

SISKA paddles and on-water courses, including pool sessions, continue, and many of us enjoyed a terrific outdoor club member gear sale/information/paddling/picnic event a few weeks ago!
Limitations on the size of groups on SISKA-led paddles are set at the discretion of the responsible club leaders, taking into account paddle plans and paddler skill levels.
SISKA’s COVID-19 Guidelines for Paddling
As active sea kayakers we maintain our health and fitness partly through regular paddling. The following guidelines have been amended to follow the direction of our public health authorities at Step 3.
  •  group numbers will be set by the paddle leader
  • Face masks may be used by individual paddlers if/as desired
At the discretion of individual paddlers, rides, carrying of kayaks and gear, entering, and exiting kayaks, food and/or beverages may be shared. The use of hand sanitizer for contagion control and maintenance of 2m distance from others may continue for those not fully vaccinated and/or those who wish to do so.
NOTE: Participants should still only attend paddles if they can answer NO to each of these questions:
In the past 14 days, have you:
1.  experienced any symptoms related to COVID-19?
2.  travelled outside Canada?
3.  had contact with anyone travelling outside Canada, or with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, or who has experienced symptoms related to COVID-19?

October Monthly Meeting Agenda

by Fred Pishalski

Note - A determination whether this presentation will be held in-person or by Zoom will be made closer to the meeting date.

Monthly Meeting presents Norm Hann -

Expedition paddleboarder Norm Hann will share his 6 day, 260km standup paddleboard adventure with his partner Jen Segger along the Salish Sea Marine Trail from West Vancouver to Mile 0 in Victoria. Spectacular sunsets, cozy campsites and the stunning beauty of the islands, inlets and inland sea of Coast Salish territory await you. This is a repeat of the show he did for SKABC which was very well received. Based in Squamish, Norm Hann's expedition company offers remote sup tours to world class destinations, paddle surf courses and sup instruction and training. Norm Hann Expeditions | Wilderness Adventure Tours & SUP Trips


After working as a high school teacher in Sudbury, Norm enrolled in a wilderness guide training program in Vancouver. He was fortunate to be hired as a guide in the Great Bear Rainforest. The rich traditional territory of the Gitga’at people became his home for many summers. In 2008 he discovered the sport of stand up paddleboarding. He knew that the paddleboard was going to be an incredible way to intimately experience our coastline. From there, Norm Hann Expeditions was born. Norm is currently a certified Paddle Canada Instructor. After sup trips to the Great Bear, the real threat of the Northern Gateway Project oil tankers traveling through this area began to take shape.


In May 2010 with the support of kayaker Brian Huntington of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, they paddled the proposed tanker route. The route was from the Haisla village of Kitimaat, the site of the proposed tanker port, 400km south to the Heiltsuk village of Bella Bella. The expedition was called Standup4Greatbear


In 2012 Norm worked with filmmaker Anthony Bonello to bring the message of the oil tanker threat to our coastline and its people to a larger audience. STAND is a multiple award-winning documentary which takes viewers core of the issue on a journey through the waters of British Columbia’s west coast. Stand - Norm Hann Expeditions

What’s in a Name?

by Vic Turkington

Baynes Channel

Most SISKA kayakers planning to cross Baynes Channel from Cadboro Point to the fabled islands of Chatam and Discovery, carefully check the conditions before launching. As tides squeeze through this narrow channel, currents can reach <6kn and confront kayakers with daunting tidal rips, turbulence, standing waves and a possible capsize! Kayakers, therefore, usually approach Baynes Channel with a certain degree of trepidation and concern. Some, however, relish the challenge and delight in playing in the death-defying currents and standing waves around Strongtide Is., especially when the wind is against current, during an ebb tide. (see video below). Baynes Channel is a secondary current station based on Race Passage in the Canadian Tides and Currents Tables (Vol 5) and can help kayakers to estimate the times and strength of max. currents (75% of those at Race Passage) and therefore plan a safe passage.  

This infamous  channel was named after Admiral Baynes (1796-1869) of the RN. He came to BC in his flagship HMS Ganges to preserve stability and rule of law during the 1858 gold rush. During the 1859 conflict over the ownership of the San Juan islands (Pig War), he assembled his warships but refused to engage in hostilities, as demanded by Governor James Douglas. This led to an armed standoff, the so called Pig War. (started by the shooting of a pig!) However, his tact and discretion prevailed and war was avoided, allowing a political resolution through the arbitration of Kaiser Wilheim1st. The San Juan islands subsequently became American, as a result.
Admiral Baynes also recommended the RN to move their Pacific HQ to Esquimalt, which they did in 1862.
So, as we paddle towards Baynes Channel with some trepidation and anxiety, we can be mindful of  potential hazards that may lie ahead and the role of its namesake, Admiral Robert Lambert Baynes.
Paddling in Baynes Channel during a storm is only suitable for the very experienced as shown here! Nick Castro of Victoria shows us how it's done!

Tips from the trips

by Debbie Leach

Rubber Gasket Repair

Carry along clear Type A Fabric Patch Tape such as Tear-Aid to repair gaskets until you can replace them. See ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos from Seán Finucane.