SWPA new owner of Garmin inReach SE+

Southwest Paddlers Association now has a Garmin inReach satellite communicator. This is a safety device that can be used by SWPA members who are planning wilderness trips or ocean paddling expeditions.

In a nutshell: in the event there’s a serious accident or a life is in danger in remote areas that are not accessible by ambulance, this unit has an SOS feature that can be used to call in a helicopter and medics.

The Garmin inReach has many other functions including allowing family, friends and emergency contacts the ability to track paddlers on a trip, and to send or receive messages.

The unit cost close to $500 and another $500 was required to subscribe to a world-wide satellite service. The money from the Municipality of Argyle ($200) and Yarmouth Recreation ($200) along with member donations ($600) covered the purchase cost, as well as the satellite subscription fee for the coming year.

The unit will be available to members of SWPA who are planning trips and the association will be asking for a $20 donation per person per trip to cover the satellite subscription fee going forward.

The terms of use and recommended FLOAT PLAN can be found in the menu at the bottom of the ABOUT page.

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PADDLE! … a success

Thanks to the presenters and everyone who came out Tuesday night for PADDLE! at the Yarmouth Co. Museum. Over 40 people attended; it was a great way to showcase what’s going on in our region. We are now taking a break from programming until the fall, but mark your calendars! Tuesday Oct. 2 we’ll resume our monthly dinner get-togethers followed by a presentation. It will be at 6 p.m. at The Argyler Lodge. Meanwhile, don’t forget to subscribe to this site as there’s good news to come and you don’t want to miss it!

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Open invitation to join SWPA members on Tuesday May 7th, at the Yarmouth Co. Museum on Colins St. at 7 p.m., for PADDLE! Learn about the events and resources in our region as canoe, kayak and SUP outfitters give short presentations about what they do. Tea/coffee afterwards + desserts by Jonathan from The Argyle Lodge. Open invitation. Bring friends, colleagues and family!

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Note from the Pres…

I normally don’t post anything that is not related directly to paddling … BUT … We all need to be concerned about clear cutting; it affects all paddlers.

There’s a section on the books to be clear cut in Shelburne Co. and a citizen action group has formed. They plan to form a human blockade when the machines move in. I plan to go and will let everyone know. Right now, however, you can lend support by signing this letter (electronically).  https://www.stopclearcuts.com/letter?fbclid=IwAR1iFgBqhl_VDjEjAejexmH1cB52V2zUWlI7xehksKq4k5M_BXmXHIX9870

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If you click on this link, you’ll see the amount of forest that no longer exists in Nova Scotia (if you get the world map, just find NS and keep enlarging it until our province fills your screen.) The turquoise and red dots represent clear cuts just in the past two years. https://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest It’s a very unsettling picture. Terrifying actually. 

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Meanwhile, a friendly reminder to consider joining the Southwest Paddlers Association. It’s only $15 and you can do this via e-transfer to the treasurer Dan Earle.  [email protected]> or mail him a cheque. Info. on the website http://www.southwestpaddlers.com/ 

Happy to say that four of our members will receive $75 to offset costs of taking a Wilderness First Aid course this spring. Also lots of programming and sharing info. sessions. Coming up:

Tues. April 2 at Tusket Fall Brewing Co. at 6 pm … (you can get a pizza on site or pick up something from Anchored Grounds or La Tchuisine close by)   After our bellies are full Will Pool will do a slide show/commentary about paddling in the Tobeatic and restoration work on one of the Warden’s cabins.

Sat. April 20th. Yarmouth Farmer’s Market, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. SWPA will have a table there and will be promoting the association + paddling sports. 

Tues. May 7. Yarmouth Co. Museum. A great “Show & Tell’ is planned with six companies in this region that provide paddling experiences (canoe, kayak, SUP) + info. about Bay of Fundy Kayaking Symposium + Shelburne Kayak Festival. Refreshments. Free. Promises to be a fun night.

There you go. Enough propaganda for now. 😉

Ice should be leaving our lakes and rivers sooooon. Picture yourselves on the water!

Cheers, Sandra

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April meeting

Our next meeting is Tuesday April 2nd at at the Tusket Falls Brewing Co. (across from Par en Bas school in Tusket). Please arrive by 6 pm so we can socialize and have something to eat together.

SWPA member Will Poole will be our presenter of the evening. He will share photos of his extensive trips in the Tobeatic and rescue of a Wardens Cabin converted to present use. It promises to be an informative and fun presentation!

NOTE re: FOOD: The brewery has asked that we do not bring our own food from home. However, you can order pizzas, risotto balls or cheese trays at the brewery. They are made to order by Speakeasy (menu attached). They also say it’s OK if you pick up something from Anchored Grounds. They usually have chili, rappie pie, pizzas, soups, chicken pot pies etc. Menu also attached.

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Up-coming events

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Grants available

SWPA has allotted four grants of $75 each to assist its members taking a 3-4 day Wilderness First Aid course. First come-first served! See below for dates/information about spring courses in HRM. Contact Dan Earle at <[email protected]> to express your interest. Copy of your registration is required. SWPA’s reimbursement will be made after course is completed and your participation documented. http://adventureandsafety.ca/

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Latest News

Here are a few things that may be of interest.

Only 52 days left to spring. Not that we’er countin’. 


Please consider joining. It’s only $15 a year (simple e-transfer to Dan Earle <[email protected]> or mail a cheque to SW Paddlers, c/o Dan Earle, 97 Chebogue Point Road, Rockville NS, B5A 5E8. Remember to include your email to be added to the membership e-loop.

Keep in the paddling loop by checking out SWPA website http://www.southwestpaddlers.com/ (check out the menu for canoe and kayak points of entry with public access and parking!)  and FB page https://www.facebook.com/groups/201129713331842/ 

SWPA members keep in touch during the late fall and winter by meeting the first Tuesday of the month and having dinner together. *** Next gathering is at Anchored Grounds in Tusket, Feb. 5th at 6 p.m. Let me know if you plan to attend as I’ll be making reservations.

We’ll have some special programming coming up at the March, April and May gatherings (first Tuesdays) so mark your calendars. More info to follow.

SWPA contributes to the costs of a SPOT which is available for members to borrow (and we’re now looking into GArmin INreach … another tracking device.) SWPA also has a bothy bag which members can borrow for trips (emergency shelter … think “balloon.”)

… and there are other benefits to being a member. Do consider joining!


With Blair Doyle this winter/spring.  Fabulous courses! http://adventureandsafety.ca/wilderness-first-aid/ Anna Mallin is planning to take one so get in touch with her if you want to team up with someone for one of the weekends.  <[email protected]>


Seaward fiberglass G3; like new condition; used 16 times over 2 seasons. Comes with c-tug and carbon fiber accent paddles. 2012 Kayak of the year. Canadian made. 22′ long and 90 lbs. Paid $8000.00 new for package. Check it out online at:  http://www.seawardkayaks.com/products_fibreglass.phpAsking $5000 OBO  

Call Mike at 902-229-8924 or email at [email protected]

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Get together – February

We had our monthly meeting/get together on Tuesday evening at Anchored Grounds in Tusket. This was a new location for us and we found it very comfortable. We were able to move tables around and get up to chat. Food is ordered at counter and delivered to table. Nice assortment of food and coffee choices. Staff friendly and helpful. We had about 15 members there.

The group at Anchored Grounds

We had a special presentation thanking Andy and Ginny Smith for all the support and good things they have done on behalf of Southwest Paddlers over many years.

Sandra Phinney presents card/gift to Ginny
Ginny shares card with Andy

Ginny show photo of Andy

Ginny shares her photo

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What’s New

What’s new with Southwest Paddlers Association

Hi Fellow Paddle Sport Participant:

The executive group met at Sip on January 21 to review and come up with ideas for better serving our paddling community. 

1. We have revised our monthly meeting plans to use different restaurant venues AND have presentations at each meeting. Location and topics will be announced. This approach will give us more variety of food choices and give us all a better appreciation of paddling opportunities and adventures in our region. We are looking at places like Anchored Grounds and the Tusket Brewery for a start. 

2. We discussed the topic of informal information sessions using knowledge of members in canoe and kayak skills and the relatively new paddle board. A chance to improve skills or try something new – maybe even a Voyaguer canoe.

3. We are looking at a Spring Splash-up meeting in May with presentations by trainers and local program/services providers. Each would have about 10 minutes to go over their sport segment – canoeing, kayaking, paddle board, trip opportunities, symposiums and festivals, etc. 

4. We want to do a display and promotion at the Yarmouth Farmer’s Market in April to introduce new people to the paddling community.

Details of all above will be coming along so stay in touch on Facebook and our web page.

Minutes of the meeting follow. 

South West PaddlersExecutive Meeting January 21, 2019 Sip Coffee Shop

Present: Sandra Phinney, Dan Earle, Sue Hutchins, Elaine Howatt and Barrie MacGregor

  1. Brief History: The history of the SW Paddlers was outlined by some of the long standing members. 
  2. Public Comments: It was agreed that any comments made on behalf of the association would require the consensus of the executive. 
  3. Informal Training: There was some discussion regarding the possibility of some informal training. Canoe – Marcel Comeau, Kayak – Anna Mallin. 
  4. Agenda for future meetings: It was generally agreed that future meetings (starting in March) would include a presentation on canoeing or kayaking after dinner. As well, locations may vary. e.g. such as Anchored  Grounds; Tusket Brewing Co. etc.
  5. Voyageur Canoe: Sandra reported that Canoe/Kayak NS had purchased a Voyageur canoe. A training session (and possibly a loan of the boat) could be set up in Southwest NS if there was enough interest. 
  6. Professional Services: It was agreed that for our last gathering in May we could invite professional trainers and/or providers of paddling programs/services  in the area. Matt Dulong, Becky Cottreau, Nancy Lacusta, Hantford Lewis. Also reps from Kayaking symposium and the Shelburne kayaking festival. 
  7. Next Dinner Meeting: Elaine agreed to look into Marco’s  as potential for the next dinner meeting in February. 
  8. Public Information: It was agreed that a display be prepared for the Market on a Saturday in April. 

Next gathering Feb 5th at 6:00 PM at location to be announced.

To become a Member please see the Membership Page in the masthead listing.

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