Becher Bay Blessings - April 9, 2017

We sure got lucky for this relaxed paddle around Becher Bay – the first sunny, clear, day in a stormy week – that perfectly highlighted the multi-hued profusion of Spring flowers all over the rocky islets. Among the 14 paddlers were two first timers. Here are their impressions:

Julie Deans - 

 As a new SISKA member the first thing I learned was ARRIVE EARLY, because even though I was on time I was still the last to arrive - but not to worry, SISKA folk were a welcoming bunch. On the water by 10 AM, 14 paddlers enjoyed a leisurely pace under clear skies along the east shore, into coves and around islets, admiring spring blooms and an otter onshore. Our leader Beth informed us that on this trip someone always hangs up on some barely submerged rocks. Sure enough, that was me, not once but twice making a not-so-good impression. A following wind assisted a bumpy crossing to the west side of the bay where a sea lion surfaced to greet us. Lunch on Aylard Beach included home-baked cookies, a toast to us new paddlers, and a blessing of Tony Copping’s new Solstice GT. A perfect day on the water wrapped up with tea and scones at Glenrosa Farm. Thanks Beth and everyone!


(Note from Beth - you definitely weren’t the only one who got snagged on the rocks Julie! And we all noticed how much better Tony’s new boat performed after its beach blessing!)


Rhonda Markel –


I was fortunate to join the SISKA paddling group on a relaxed paddle at Spirit Bay. After all the boats were taken off the vehicles we formed a circle and introduced ourselves.  Two of us were new members of SISKA and paddling with the group for the first time. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. We explored many of the nooks and crannies of Becher Bay looking at the intertidal zones and observing the marine life. We saw seals, an otter and one sea lion on our journey. I was surprised that we didn’t see any jelly fish as I have seen many on previous paddles in the area. After paddling along the east side of the bay we traversed to the west, aiming for the petroglyphs in East Sooke Park. The wind and waves picked up a bit aiding us to paddle to East Sooke Park. We ended up passing on the visit to the petroglyphs due to the conditions and headed to the main Beach near Aylard farm for lunch. While eating lunch we shared stories and were treated to wonderful cookies baked by Beth. The winds died down during lunch and we had a nice paddle back to the marina. It was fun to be paddling with such knowledgeable and skilled paddlers. After packing up the boats and gear we headed to Glenrosa for tea and scones. What a nice way to end a lovely day. I will definitely embark on other paddles with SISKA.


Portland Island Kayak Campout - Sep 18-19, 2015

SISKA's Annual Campout this year was rescheduled and then abbreviated due to forecast strong winds, but the hardy souls who came had a great time nonetheless!

Read more: Portland Island Kayak Campout - Sep 18-19, 2015

Spirit Bay to Becher Bay - August 8, 2015


14 paddlers left Cheanuh Marina under cloudy skies and with calm seas...

Read more: Spirit Bay to Becher Bay - August 8, 2015

Oak Bay to Chatham, Discovery I - Birding Paddle - July 26, 2015

Jennie Sutton led this birding paddle from Oak Bay to Discovery I and the Chatham I mudflats.

Birder extraordinaire (!) Daniel Donnecke recorded the following marine shorebirds and

contributed the photos below:

[34 species (+3 other taxa) total]

12           Harlequin Duck

2              Double-crested Cormorant

1              cormorant sp.

3              Great Blue Heron

3              Turkey Vulture

2              Bald Eagle

1              Black Oystercatcher

3              Black-bellied Plover

32           Semipalmated Plover

5              Killdeer

2              Greater Yellowlegs

3              Black Turnstone

20           Least Sandpiper

80           Western Sandpiper

60           peep sp.

1              Short-billed Dowitcher

2              Common Murre

2              Pigeon Guillemot

30           Rhinoceros Auklet

3              Heermann's Gull

1              California Gull

5              Glaucous-winged Gull

6              gull sp.

2              Belted Kingfisher

1              Peregrine Falcon (eating shorebird)

1              Pacific-slope Flycatcher (heard only)

15           Northwestern Crow

2              Violet-green Swallow

2              Barn Swallow

1              Red-breasted Nuthatch (heard only)

1              American Robin

30           European Starling

4              Cedar Waxwing

1              Spotted Towhee (heard only)

1              White-crowned Sparrow

1              Red-winged Blackbird

4              American Goldfinch



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