Wild Whales of the West Coast with Caitlin Birdsall
Who’s out there?
“PHHOUGHT!,” an explosion of breath breaks the silence and suddenly you realize you are not alone on a paddle. 23 species of cetaceans have been recorded off the coast of British Columbia and on Tuesday, January 7th you’re invited to join Caitlin Birdsall of the BC Cetacean Sightings Network for a Whale 101 to get to know our aquatic neighbors. From the petite harbour porpoise to the massive fin whale, we’ll investigate cetacean diversity through a multi-media presentation featuring acoustic recordings and video. Uncover their unique natural histories, the threats they face, and how coastal citizens can participate in stewardship and research through the Sightings Network. This talk will also cover guidelines for kayakers on how to paddle around cetaceans to reduce disturbance.
The meeting is at the Vancouver Museum/Planetarium. Doors open at 7:00, meeting at 7:30. Public welcome! For now, there’s a great YouTube video of a huge pod of Orcas in Active Pass. Go to YouTube Video
January Meeting Speaker Bio:
Caitlin Birdsall is an educator and biologist focusing on marine conservation issues in B.C. She is currently the Coordinator of the Vancouver Aquarium’s B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network, a project that collects sightings of whales, dolphins, porpoises and sea turtles from the coast of British Columbia to better understand their occurrence and distribution. She holds a BSc in Wildlife Biology from the University of Northern B.C. and is a certified Heritage Interpreter. She has worked as a research assistant, naturalist, and educator in the Philippines, Australia, Central America and throughout British Columbia. She first fell in love with studying the ocean during her childhood summers in the Gulf Islands.
The new club executive met this month and is enthusiastically preparing for a busy 2014. A couple of changes have been made since the AGM — most notably Rodney Sands will be taking on the Communications role and Harald Riffel will continue as Treasurer.
We’ll be getting organized with committees this winter and hope to hear from you with your ideas. Email links are below and on the Contact page.
Dear Members and Future Members of SKABC,
On behalf of the newly elected SKABC executive and dedicated committees, I am pleased to be able to introduce your new team. We hope to continue the long tradition of promoting fellowship, safety, and the exchange of information and skills while above all enjoying sea kayaking. We will continue to strongly encourage concern and respect for the environment by gathering information relevant to the environment and to our beautiful coastline. Thank you to the outgoing executive under the helm of Leslie Hansen for their hard work promoting SKABC.
Please don’t hesitate to contact any or all members of your executive about any issue or idea(s) that you may have. We look forward to your input (please contact me by email email@example.com) and seeing you at our next member’s meeting or on the water.
Dates you may wish to mark are our executive meeting on November 19th , 2013 and the annual Christmas Party on December 07, 2013. Details to come. Finally, with the many changes that may impact our coastline in the future, the club’s Conservation Director, Ms. Linda Rushlow will be sharing with you information about a community event you may be interested in attending as individuals on November 16th, 2013 called the “Join The Flotilla”.
President SKABC 2013-2014.
Thank you Graham Knox, Manager of the province’s Environmental Emergency Program for the excellent presentation on A Kayak Based Assessment of Oil Spills and Marine Debris. The video he showed is at Skeena Wild.
Thank you Majbritt and Mike for this report. Photos are here: Harrison River Report and Photos
No sleeping in for us on a foggy Saturday morning, 6 am and coffee in hand we headed of to meet rest of the group from SKABC, 25 heads were counted and 24 boats.
The plan was to follow our fearless leader Karin down Harrison river, a spawning channel as well as a conduit for fish that swim well into the interior of the province up the Lillooet Lake and Anderson Lake systems all the way into the Chilcotin.
We saw some old pictographs at the lunch spot and some on a rock wall on the way to the lunch spot. Have goggled the hell out of them and can’t find any more information to pass on other than they are by In-SHUCK-ch Nation – sorry. While we started the day in thick fog, it lifted pretty early into the day. As you can see from the pictures we did have bright sun in our eyes all day, right until the end when the fog returned. Saw lots of dead and spawning salmon – Coho, Pinks, Chum and a few Sockeye, we think. There was enough water in the river this year to go up the side stream (all the way to the lake if you did not mind scraping the bottom of your boat) and also down the east spawning channel (once again – you had to bear with a few scratches on your boat). How we love our plastic boats. Smell of the dead salmon was quite noticeable – especially in the lake. But it was great to see them struggling up the stream feeding the lake. Nice to put a camera underwater there and get a few pictures. The dead and dying fish definitely attracted a lot of seagulls, less eagles and a few harbour seals. The half salmon lying around make us think that there must be bears but we saw no sign.
The wind behind us all the way to lunch turned into a nasty head wind for the 12 km after lunch – even with the current it was a hard paddle in places. The group split at the spawning channel – those who went left got to walk their boats over the shallow bits, those who went right apparently had a rollercoaster ride down the main channel.
It was nice to see the end at Kilby – pity about the lack of parking facilities. After once again organising the vehicles into their desired locations, most of us headed over to the Sasquatch pub – OCTOBERFEST! Pity they got the month wrong and even more pity there were only 2 waitresses. For those who ordered the “Dead Frog” stein, we hoped you enjoyed your 30 to 45 minute wait for your beer. But what a beer it was – see the pictures.
A great (but long) day good company, excellent turnout and well organised by Karin.
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Join SKABC for the Fall and Winter for reduced fees of $25 individual and $35 for a family. Fall and Winter activities include monthly meetings, a Christmas party, and occasional trips, training sessions and workshops.
To find out more about membership, click here
Thank you Gail Newell for these amazing photos and writeup. Burrard Inlet September 2013 with SKABC)
Sounds like it was a great weekend for our annual trip to Mayne Island. Thank you Joan Boxall for this report:
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