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

Saturday, September 11th, 2021 - 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM - SISKA Fall Picnic
Saturday, September 11th, 2021 - 12:45 PM to 4:45 PM - Light Paddle - Cadboro Bay to Caddie Bay Picnic Tour Paddle
Sunday, September 12th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Spectacle Falls Paddle
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM - Monthly Meeting - Ecological Reserves off Oak Bay - Marilyn Lambert
Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Light Paddle - Brentwood Bay Ferry Wharf to Senanus Island and area Paddle
Saturday, September 25th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Relaxed Paddle - Spirit Bay to Movie Set Beach Paddle
Sunday, September 26th, 2021 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM - Energizer Paddle - Whiffin Spit to Cabin Point Paddle
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 - 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

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


by Alan Campbell

Since Covid-19 cases are once again rising rapidly throughout BC, SISKA has cancelled the planned resumption of in-person monthly meetings in September and will continue instead with Zoom sessions until indoor meetings can be held safely with fewer restrictions.
If you are not yet fully vaccinated, you are urged to do so, to protect yourselves, fellow paddlers, friends, families, and communities. We hope vaccine passports and the resumption of an indoor mask mandate, together with the continuing vaccination campaign, will help bend the infection curve back down in this 4th (Delta) wave of the pandemic. The latest BC Public Health Covid-19 orders can be reviewed at .
Happily, SISKA’s paddles and other outdoor activities are Covid-safe and can continue within the renewed restrictions as per our Guidelines for Paddling included below:
SISKA’s COVID-19 Guidelines for Paddling at Step 3 of the BC Restart Plan
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?

Siska September 2021 Zoom Meeting

by Fred Pishalski

Ecological Reserves off Oak Bay

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Ecological Reserve Program in British Columbia. Ecological Reserves (ER) are part of an international program to preserve representative and special natural ecosystems, plant and animal species, features and phenomena. The principal uses of ecological reserves are for scientific research and educational purposes. Two ERs lie just off the shores of Oak Bay. Trial Islands ER has been set aside to protect the most outstanding known assemblage of rare and endangered plant species in British Columbia. The Oak Bay Islands ER, has been set aside to protect vulnerable nesting seabirds, uncommon meadow plant communities, showy and rare early spring wildflowers and representative shallow water marine habitats.

This talk will give you information about the importance of Ecological Reserves and why these islands are protected.

Marilyn Lambert Bio

A native Victorian, Marilyn has been exploring the Oak Bay Islands area since 1968. She worked in the Birds and Mammals section of the BC Provincial Museum in the 1970’s where she was involved in a Glaucous-winged Gull banding program on Great Chain Island and waterfowl surveys in the area. Marilyn spent time with the warden for the Oak Bay Islands Ecological Reserve and when the position became vacant she became warden in 1998. Her interests include seabirds, native plants and exploring tide pools. Marilyn has travelled extensively, but the islands of Oak Bay are her favourite places to explore.

Topic: SISKA Monthly Members' Meeting
Time: Sep 22, 2021 07:00 PM Vancouver

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 821 5396 5059
Passcode: 401854

SISKA - VHF Radio Operator Certification ROC(M)

by Edgar Hulatt/Kirstine Mu

The Royal Victoria Yacht Club is holding two sessions during the Fall allowing you to obtain your ROC(M) Restricted Operator Certification - Marine.

This certification is highly recommended as well as being a legal requirement to operate your marine VHF radio.

SISKA does put on a VHF Clinic for Kayakers during the winter which is specifically designed for kayak situations but this is not a certification course.

SISKA will also have a VHF Information Table for member’s questions at the Club Picnic on 11th September at Cadboro Bay.

For registration to obtain your ROC(M) please see details below:

Additional Information
This course is at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club on Tuesday nights November 2, 9 & 16 at 7pm.

Start Date: Nov 2nd, 2021
Start Time: 7:00 PM
Room #: Discovery
Address: Royal Victoria Yacht Club
3475 Ripon Road
Contact: Alex Kerr

Pricing and Packages:
( )Maritime Radio DSC with Printed Book
Non-Member Price
Member Price
( )Maritime Radio DSC - No Book option for a 2nd Family Member
Non-Member Price
Member Price
Additional Information
This course will be held at Royal Victoria Yacht Club on Wednesday night September 15, 22 & 29 at 7pm.

Start Date: Sep 15th, 2021
Start Time: 7:00 PM
Room #: Discovery
Address: Royal Victoria Yacht Club
3475 Ripon Road
Contact: Alex Kerr

Pricing and Packages:
( )Maritime Radio DSC with Printed Book
Non-Member Price
Member Price
( )Maritime Radio DSC - No Book option for a 2nd Family Member
Non-Member Price
Member Price

Siska 2021 Picnic

by Jane Jacek

Siska 2021 Picnic (On and Off- Water Clinics and Gear Swap/Sale )

Saturday September 11th

Cadboro Bay Beach Gyro Park

Prizes, Prizes, Prizes

Enjoy tea, coffee and goodies while you browse the Gear Swap and Sale, and “Pop Up” Off Water Clinics.

Lunch: bring your own picnic

Gear Swap and Sale 9am-12pm

Looking to buy or sell kayak gear and/or a kayak, then this is the event for you.
Buying: Bring cash!
Selling: Please label items with your name and price.

Pop Up Off Water Clinics:

Browse individual tables and chat with knowledgeable Siska kayakers. Some of the topics are:
Kayak Friendly Accommodation
Tides and Currents
Chart Management
Soft Gear Repairs

On Water Clinics:

Morning and Afternoon Sessions
Clinics will require pre-registration. Information will be sent to members with details and payment soon.
Cost per clinic per person is $15
Clinics will include:
Forward Stroke
Rescues and Re-entry
Playing with your Kayak

Light Paddle: Afternoon

To be held off Cadboro Bay Beach
Registration prior to event date as per usual paddles

Neoprene Clinic At Picnic

by Edmond Duggan
Soft Gear Repair Clinic
Dr Neoprene will bring his portable soft gear repair clinic to the SISKA picnic on the 11th. See demonstrations of several procedures such as drysuit gasket transplants, torn “randeckotomy" on sprayskirts and dealing with neoprene lacerations in wetsuits via “neopreneplasty.”
Also, the doctor will consult on your damaged gear via walk-in sessions. Bring in your damaged sprayskirts, wetsuits, dry tops or other items for a consultation; he’ll make referrals if needed.
Additionally, there will be a brief lecture on care, maintenance and repair of soft gear. Gear marking supplies will be available for you to try out as well.
A surgery/walk-in schedule will be posted onsite to allow visits through the morning.

Shoreline Cleanup

by Dave Chater

This is a late submission from a shoreline clean-up we completed in late May, but I still wanted to highlight it as a “project” we could do (and should do) at any time of the year.
We got a jump on the June 8 World Oceans Day by doing a clean-up of styrofoam and other large marine debris on Gooch Island (a privately owned island a few miles east of Sidney).
We had a "team" of 6 kayakers, led by Gary Weeks. This styrofoam "grave" has been there for a few years and seems to pile up in this one spot by heavy SE winds and big waves in a natural crevasse on the rocks just above the high tide mark on the island.
We were able to pull all the debris off the rocks and stuff it into a lot of it into large industrial sized garbage bags. The other large debris was able to be pushed down to the water's edge for transport.
The crew towed all the bags and other debris to the other side of the island- where we were able to load it into the island caretaker's boat.
After paddling back to Sidney, we met the caretaker and his boat and loaded it into two vehicles and a trailer for its final "resting place" at the Hartland Road landfill.
It was a great paddle overall, but it was sure nice to be able to clean up a small bit of the Salish Sea. A major thanks go out to Gary Weeks for seeing the need out there to do this clean-up, pull all of us together and then doing all the organization so that we could succeed. Also, thanks to the other clean-up team members Gary Davidson, Bob Purdon, Dan Dunaway and Luc Courtemanche.
Dave Chater