Shelley Lear

Shelley Lear is a long-time club member and trip leader. She edited the Paddle Newsletter in the 1990s.

SKABC – History 1994 - 1998
Contributed by Shelley Lear
Date: February 3, 2019

When I first joined SKABC around 1994, monthly club meetings were held in Bayview School in Kitsilano and Harald Riffel was the President. I started as the newsletter editor at that time.

Rick Davies was not only on the Executive in 1994 (and many other years) he was also one of the main instructors for SKABC for a very long time.

SKABC organized a 3 day kayak “symposium” on Thetis Island on the May long weekend. This was a big undertaking as we chartered a boat which departed from Coal Harbour. The kayaks were pulled up the side of the ship using a system of pullies and ropes. All levels of kayaking skills were taught and there were evening lectures on trip destinations, nature etc. The accommodation was at a private camp and the food was catered. Most of the club training took place at this event.

The symposium was phased out as a SKABC event a few years later and was run by Mercia Sixta as a separate entity.

June 1998 – Harald Riffel was President. Rick Davies was VP. Secretary Cindy Pellant. Trips: Janna Morrison, George Shepherd, Max Cohen, Roger Pilkington.
Newsletter: Shelley Lear, plus 12 other people and 2 Vancouver Island reps. It was a large executive group.

The internet had not been invented, but some members had email accounts, although we didn’t all have personal computers. Membership fee was $40 per year and SKABC had a post office box in downtown Vancouver for club mail. There was also a club telephone number with voicemail for impromptu trips.
I have fond memories of trading articles on floppy disks or handwritten copy. The final newsletter was copied, stapled, folded, stuffed and stamped at a print shop. I then printed the mailing labels and stuck them on each copy. There was often a last minute “hold the presses” request for an extra, important article.

SKABC moved the monthly meetings to the False Creek Yacht Club about 1998 as the rental cost for Bayview Community School increased significantly.

At Thanksgiving, there was a 3 day event at a church camp near Cultus Lake, which continued for many years. Paddling on the nearly deserted lake was a great experience, although a few members were disciplined by the local law enforcement for launching kayaks in the swimming area. The fact that no one was swimming or even on the beach was apparently irrelevant.

May 1999
Executive changes: Rick Davies was President, Cindy Pellant was VP, Graeme O’Neill (former President) was Training, Inge Zegel was Newsletter editor, Tony Clayton was Outdoor Recreation Council rep + 14 others.

Tony Clayton organized a popular kayak cuisine camping weekend. The objective was to share information on food planning, storage etc. for long trips. Tony purchased all the food and provided recipes for a hands on learning experience. This event continued for many years (at least up to 2001) and was always full.

Terry McGinnis was a member of the trip committee in 1999 and he led many long trips over the years. Terry was famous for bringing lots of gear, including a folding umbrella which he used as a wind sail.

March 2001
Executive changes: Cindy Pellant (now Dopson) was President, George Shepherd was VP, Derek Spragg and Heather Kirk were newsletter editor + 16 others. The club now had a website.

July 2001 – Tony Clayton organized a SKABC trip to Baja Mexico – Loreto to La Paz using a local guide.

April 2003 long term SKABC member, Don Griffiths, gave an entertaining discussion with his tips for kayak touring. Don completed several long trips along the mid-coast of BC. His quirky sense of humour and story telling skills were amazing. The most unusual thing I heard was that Don takes a microscope in a wooden box on kayak trips so he can examine flora and fauna up close. There was also a hilarious tale about camping on an island when the water rose above the level of his tent during the night – complete with the information that Don sleeps in the nude. Who can forget Don’s detailed demo of the pee funnel he made for his wife, Nan. His maxim was: cheap can substitute for waterproof.