SISKA's  September 2018 Newsletter. Upcoming events, reports and articles
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September 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)
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

September 8 - Spirit Bay to Becher Bay

September 16 - Cadboro Bay to Discovery/Chatham Islands
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

August 31 - September 2 - Classic Boat Festival
September 2 - Paddle for ȽEL¸TOS (James Island)
September 8 - CRD: The Beah Rocks - Guided Walk
September 8 - Bateman: Gorilla Tactics - how to save a species
September 11 - CRD: Sandy Shore Explore - Guided Walk
September 23 - CRD: Birds of Witty's - Guide Walk
September 24 - VNHS: Lessons Learned from Killer Whales
September 27 - Southern Resident Killer Whales: Risks and Realities
September 29 - TLC: Passport to Ayum Creek
September 29 - CRD: Hawk Watch - Drop-in event
September 30 - VNHS: Pelagic Birding
September 30 - GVHA: Defence on the Dock

Do they kayak on the prairies? A quick farewell from the editor

Well, it was short lived, but it was fun!  My run as editor of this SISKA newsletter has come to an end much sooner than I thought as I've accepted a new job in Edmonton and I'm hitting the road next week.  Thanks to Mike, the executive, and previous editor Ben for letting me have the editor reigns for a short while, and to everyone in the club for paddling with me over the past 8 months.  It has been a lot of fun and I hope to join you on a paddle over a future vacation sometime soon!

Moving to Edmonton will have quite an impact on my paddling, and my life.  I am a fourth generation Vancouver Islander on one side of my family, and I've never been away from an ocean before for more than two consecutive months.  I've been kayaking with family since I was 4, and just purchased my first boat last summer.  But, I can find solace in the story of my grandfather: he grew up in Moose Jaw yet he managed to join Sea Cadets and spend some years in the North Atlantic during the Second World War!  Maybe, like him, I'll turn my new prairie lifestyle into a maritime career.  Or maybe I'll just get a canoe...

Happy paddling,

Ben Fast

SISKA Meeting Update

September 26 meeting starts an hour early: 6pm.

Come share or hear about others summer trips.  Tables will be set up, for those sharing, to lay out the trip chart etc... and tell your stories. 

November meeting begins an hour early, so at 6pm, for a Gear Swap. For those looking to sell gear, come ready to stake your claim to a table and sell your gear.

A free table will be set up for those who are wishing to just give away gear. 

SISKA Member David Anderson named to the Order of British Columbia

- Blair Dwyer

At the time of the announcement, David was kayaking with other SISKA members in the Broken Group Islands segment of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  This was appropriate timing, as David was instrumental in the 1971 creation of Pacific Rim.

It may seem self-evident today that the west coast of Vancouver Island should include a national park.  However, self-evident truths tend to become self-evident only after someone has first had a new thought and then taken the time to bring the thought to fruition.  In the late 1960’s, various groups were strongly opposed to creation of the park. David and others had a vision and persisted in implementing that vision. Today, we are able to enjoy the result of those efforts.

David is a member of the Order of Canada, is a former federal MP and cabinet minister and also served as a provincial MLA.  As federal Environment Minister, David shepherded the Species At Risk Act through Parliament and secured Canada’s signature on the Kyoto Protocol (again, in the face of considerable opposition).  David has received a number of environmental awards, including the following.

Congratulations to David on another well-deserved honour.  And a very heart-felt thanks from all his kayaking companions, especially those who enjoyed kayaking with him in the Broken Group Islands.

Around the Island in 57 Days!

Bob and Elizabeth Purdon along with their friend Marg Rees completed a 57-day circumnavigation of Vancouver Island by kayak on August 19.  Posting updates to Facebook along the way as "Bobby and the Sea Stars," the trio returned to Island View Beach and were met by family and kayaking friends (and a nice cake!). 

Watch for a future presentation on their amazing accomplishment, but for now enjoy these photos taken by Blair Dwyer.

Safety Tip - Communication

- Lynn Baier

Search and Rescue believes that the most valuable piece of safety equipment you can carry is a VHF radio.

Familiarize yourself with yours and take a course to be radio operator certified.

What’s in a Name? Vancouver Island

- Vic Turkington

Vancouver Island: “our home and native island” - but was it always called “Vancouver Island” ? ..... read on !

While Spain ruled the world in the mid 1500's, it is speculated that the British explorer and corsair Sir Francis Drake arrived here during the reign of Elizabeth 1st:. (Elizabethan coins found on Quadra Island and in Oak Bay).

Some 200 years later (1774), the Spanish arrived on Vancouver Island and named it “Gran Isla de Fuca”. Four years later, Capt.James Cook (1728-79) arrived and is credited with being the first British explorer to visit Vancouver Island.

Later in 1792, Capt. George Vancouver (1757-98) circumnavigated and charted Vancouver Island. He met up with the Spanish Capt. Bodega y Quadra, who had also circumnavigated the island, to initiate the terms of the Nootka Convention (later concluded by London & Madrid). The two captains became good friends and readily exchanged charts and information on the area, even though their countries were rivals. To mark their friendship and mutual respect, they decided to name the island “Quadra and Vancouver's” Island. This name appears on early charts (see below). However, as Spanish influence waned and British presence increased (1860s), the name was abbreviated to “Vancouver Island” and remains so today.

So here in Victoria, the history of these intrepid explorers is commemorated in our street names: (Cook, Vancouver & Quadra). In addition, the statue of Capt.James Cook's stands in the inner harbour (opposite the Empress Hotel); a bust of Capt.Quadra is found in Quadra Park (Belleville\Oswego), while the gilded statue of Capt.George Vancouver stands atop the BC Legislature.

Capt. George Vancouver, Royal Navy
Early chart of "Quadra and Vancouver Island"

Tips from the trips

- Debbie Leach

Boot Dryer. Take advantage of rudders for drying wet boots. If you drop the rudder, you can turn it to catch the incoming wind.