Organizer Sasha Kvakic discusses the 4th annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea, travelling through the Southern Gulf Islands, WSANEC/Hul’q’umi’num territory, from August 9-13, 2017. Learn more at: www.turningthetide.ca.
By Lauren Boothby, VICTORIA NEWS
After five days paddling the Salish Sea and breathing the ocean air, Emily Rogers is resolved to fight for what she loves.
In the early morning of Wednesday, Aug. 9, more than 80 people young and old will depart from Dolphin Dock in Swartz Bay on a five-day paddle across the Salish Sea in protest of increased tanker traffic, advocating for greater environmental protection of the waters and the wildlife it sustains.
Rogers is one of the event coordinators for the event called Turning the Tide now in its fourth year. She says paddling the ocean built a bond stronger than any connection she’s experienced in her life.
She hopes the experience of being on the water inspires other participants to advocate for protecting the ocean as well.
“When you’re sitting in the middle of our ocean, it’s impossible to not be awestruck by the beauty and the fragility of our amazing coast,” she said. “It feels very humbling. When you look around and you see the diversity of species that rely upon this body of water, the importance of protecting this place is magnified.”
The journey takes paddlers in their kayaks and canoes from Swartz Bay to Portland Island, Salt Spring Island, North Pender Island, Prevost Island and Moresby Island, for about 29 nautical miles (54 kilometres) in total. Participants stop at each to rest and participate in workshops such as ocean navigation and reading tides.
Jeremy Loveday, a Victoria city councillor and event organizer, sees the event as a way to connect with the community.
“The theme this year is building solidarity across the Salish Sea, so it’s to bring people together, to get that experience of being on the water, to break bread, make those connections and to leave with a stronger network of solidarity across the islands of people who are willing to stand up and fight to protect our coastline,” he said.
Loveday says the trip has been one of the most memorable experiences of his past three summers.
“The highlight for me is getting out on the water and, when you’re travelling in the kayak or a canoe, you’re right down at water level and experiencing it an a very intimate way. There’s no distractions its just you and like-minded people you’re travelling with.”
For more information, visit turningthetide.ca.
Luke Wallace Live Recording and Performance on Salt Spring
Thursday August 10 @ 7:00 pm
Ruckle Park Group Campsite, Salt Spring Island
Come out and sing with Luke Wallace and the folks of Turning the Tide 2017! Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea.
We are going to record a song which will be apart of Luke Wallace’s next record. His next record will be a collection of songs recorded live in series of frontline communities featuring voices of those who are fighting to protect their homes.
Find out more about the record by watching this video: https://www.facebook.com/lukewallacemusic/videos/1534992389857159/
Picnic Dinner & Discussion with Adam Olsen on Salt Spring Island
Thursday August 10 @ 5:30 pm
Ruckle Park Group Campsite, Salt Spring Island
Bring a picnic meal and join this discussion with Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, taking place as part of the annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea. Adam will share his ideas and vision for the Salish Sea bioregion and Saanich North & the Islands, drawing from his role as an elected official and his background as a member of the WSANEC Nation.
Sponsored by Turning the Tide
Due to popular demand, Turning the Tide 2017 is now at capacity and registration is closed. For those who have signed up and completed registration, we look forward to seeing you on the water and islands in August. For others, we look forward to paddling with you in 2018! A waitlist is being maintained in case of last-minute cancellations. If you would like to be added to this list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for actions and events over the next year as we build on-the-water and inter-islands solidarity for the Salish Sea!
THE TURNING THE TIDE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Join Turning the Tide 2017!
This year’s 4th Annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea promises to be another exciting and meaningful family-friendly journey, uniting people from across the Salish Sea in community and solidarity for people and the planet.
The Paddle will take place over five days and four nights, from August 9-13, 2017, beginning at Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island and proceeding to Salt Spring and Pender Islands. Camping and dinners have been arranged for paddlers on all islands, and are included in the participant fee of $95 per person over 15 years (subsidies available, please contact us, and consider donating an extra $20 with your fee to help fund a fellow paddler).
This year’s theme is “Solidarity Across the Salish Sea.” With the federal government’s recent approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion project, and the election of one of the most regressive presidents in American history, our movements need to strengthen and grow. Now more than ever, we need to stand up and build a culture of resistance on both sides of the border.
You can learn more by reading the Turning the Tide 2017 Participant Package and then complete the Registration Form here.
Paddlers are responsible for arranging their own boats. If you have additional capacity in boats or would like to request a spot in a boat, please let us know and we will endeavour to help match you up. Discounted canoe and kayak rentals from several agencies are also available.
We look forward to paddling with you this summer as we demonstrate our love for the Salish Sea — and build our on-the-water and inter-islands community of solidarity for people and the planet!
Open the registration form in a separate webpage
Get involved with the Turning the Tide UVic Club, joining a community of students and allies around a shared love for the Salish Sea and human-powered marine recreation, with fun and meaningful events building toward the annual Turning the Tide: Peoples’ Paddle for the Salish Sea!
By Kendra Wong, Victoria News, July 21, 2016
Wading into the waters of the Salish Sea at Dolphin Dock at Swartz Bay was an emotional experience for Emily Rogers.
Usually, Rogers, along with hundreds of other Victoria residents, will take the B.C. Ferries to travel from one island to the next.
However, at 6:30 a.m. on a Friday morning three years ago, Rogers, along with roughly 80 other people, quietly glided their canoes, kayaks and sailboats into the waters next to the ferries to embark on a journey of the southern Gulf Islands to raise awareness of the Salish Sea and the importance of protecting the ecosystem.
She felt dwarfed sitting in her kayak next to the giant ferry, but quickly began to form an emotional and personal connection with the water she was bobbing in, in a way she’s never experienced before.
“It really changed the experience. Being down on the water that close and being able to touch the water and see the sea life underneath me gave me a newfound appreciation for the diversity of the ocean and how dynamic of an entity it is,” said Rogers.
The five-day paddle, known as Turning the Tide, started three years ago and is a peaceful protest of tanker traffic and the expansion of industrial development in the Salish Sea.
During the roughly 70-kilometre journey, which included exploring and camping at Pender, Mayne and Salt Spring islands, Rogers spent hours on coastal waters and encountered wildlife such as birds, otters, seals and other sea creatures. She gained an appreciation for the waters that many coastal communities rely on.
“It envelopes all your senses. Your hands are wet and somewhat sore from the salt that they’re bathing in. But you can reach down and feel the coolness of the ocean, you can look down and see the depth of the sea life. You can see the huge abundance and variety in the ecosystem that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to,” Rogers said of her first Turning the Tide experience.
“Your body is sore, you’re using your muscles for four days straight. But that’s what it takes to power one’s self through the ocean and I think it creates an intimate experience with the environment.”
This year’s paddle begins on Friday (today) and goes until Tuesday, July 26, beginning and ending at Dolphin Dock.
Victoria city councillor Ben Isitt has participated in the paddle with his family for the past three years and said the event helps build community on the water.
“We see a lot of threats to the Salish Sea and to the coast particularly relating to pipelines and tankers and the extraction of fossil fuels and even broader climate change impacts. For the communities that depend on the Salish Sea and for the marine ecosystem, it’s important to demonstrate our love for the coast and our commitment to protect it and that’s what Turning the Tide is all about,” said Isitt, who will be travelling in a canoe.
“It’s a paddle with a purpose.”
For more information visit turningthetide.ca.