Courses supported by SWPA


1.  There’s a great cold water safety course being offered by the Canadian Safe Boating Countil. It’s two evenings totaling 5 hours. Held in February, March and April. Check out dates and info. here:  The workshops are $75 and SWPA is offering assistance to members of $25 to offset the cost of this workshop. 

2. Wilderness & Remote First Aid courses continue to be given every month, in HRM.  They usually span a weekend and cost $250. SWPA provides a $75 to help offset the costs. 

Just get in touch with Dan Earle with a course receipt/certificate after you’ve completed either of these courses.  <>

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Courses supported by SWPA

2022 Greetings

Greeting of the New Year to all all fellow paddlers!

It’s been a strange two years living with COVID and we’ve been woefully behind in regards to celebrating our paddling lives and sharing new activities. We intend to change this, COVID or not.

Also hope to  meet in person Tuesday March the 1st … and have dinner and a member-driven together. Place to be announced. If not, we’ll meet via Zoom and you’ll receive a link the week before with information about a program.

Meanwhile, please renew your membership! It remains at $15 and you can send an e-transfer here:

Keep warm, healthy and safe.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2022 Greetings

Tribute to Andy Smith

We are currently preparing a plaque in memoriam to Andy Smith to be installed on a solid rock base next to Gridiron Falls on the Tusket River. At a recent gathering at the site, Ginney Smith shared a few readings from Andy’s book.

The official dedication was held on August 7th with canoe folk from across the Province represented.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tribute to Andy Smith

April NEWS

1. Shout out to Christopher Lockyer who has set up a FREE  Zoom workshop for SWPA members on Tuesday April 21st from 7-8:30 p.m. Christopher says the outcomes for the program are  to: bring the paddling community together in these challenging times; look at a framework for planning paddling trips; gain confidence looking at route planning; and become a safer paddler. 


  • This session is for SWPA members only
  • Registration is required as the session is limited to 20 people. Register here:  If there is a waiting list, he will run another program on April 27th
  • If you are not signed up with Zoom, it’s simple (and free). Go here:  

 2. Andrew “Andy” Smith is now paddling in the next world.  As most of you know, Andy passed away March 20th. He was a co-founder of Southwest Paddlers Association back in 1999, and the author of Paddling In The Tobeatic which remains a classic (Nimbus). Ginny tells us that a memorial will be held for Andy in 2021 when family members and friends are able to travel. SWPA and TREPA will be arranging for a plaque to be installed in Andy’s memory, on one of the many river systems he especially loved, per the family’s recommendation. 

3. Paddling during COVID-19. As recorded in the minutes from Executive meeting held April 7, 2019:

It was moved by Dan, seconded by Barrie and carried unanimously that the South West Paddlers Association supports the province’s guidelines and encourages all members to do so. 

4. Ods & Sods

  • AGM is on hold. 
  • Wet Exit kayaking course at the YMCA on hold
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on April NEWS

Wet exit pool session offered

Kayaking wet exits and rescues pool session 

In preparation of the coming paddling season, the Southwest Paddlers Association is sponsoring a Wet Exit and Rescue Session for people who have never wet exited their kayak or those who have, and are still anxious about the experience. 

The pool session is at the Yarmouth YMCA Sunday, March 29th, 9 AM – 11 AM. Fee: $40 Register by sending e-transfer to Dan Earle or by calling 902 742-6382 

Though there will be a short demonstration of the techniques involved beforehand participants should note that these sessions are essentially of a peer-to-peer, paddler-to-paddler and friend-to-friend nature. Those with more experience will be encouraged to work with those who have less.  

Sea kayaks and paddles will be provided. Participants need their own PFD’s (personal flotation devices). Session leaders are SWPA volunteer: Vernon Doucette, Verna Wirth and Ken Pothier.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wet exit pool session offered

March Meeting – pot luck

NEXT DINNER GATHERING! Pot luck at the Wedgeport Tuna Museum, Tuesday March 3, at 6 pm. PROGRAM: Anna Mallin will present a slide show about her trip to Greenland and paddling to the Equip Glacier.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on March Meeting – pot luck

All the latest news…

Hello everyone ~

1. We now have 40 paid up members for 2020. WHOOP! If you still want to get notices of meetings, events etc. and haven’t paid up for 2020, please send $15 to Dan Earle, via e-transfer to him at <>   or mail a cheque made out to Southwest Paddler Association and mail to Dan 97 Chebogue Point Road, Rockville NS, B5A 5E8

2. We continue our monthly off-season dinner meetings, first Tuesday of the month. Upcoming one is Feb. 4th at 6 pm at The Argyler Lodge. PROGRAM this month is a double feature:

  • Member’s “Show & Tell”. Chose 1-5 photos (best trip, worst trip, funniest trip, etc.) and send your photos in the order you want to show them to Sue Hutchins.<> You’ll have 5 min. to yak about your pictures. Photos can be from same excursion or not. Excursion[s] could be short day trip or several days. Easy or grueling. Get the picture? 
  • Will Poole will be showing his trip on the Bonaventure River, PQ. (Slide show won’t crash this time!) 😉
    • Please let Sandra know if you plan to attend so Jonathan has enough seats (and food!) for everyone.

3. Planning a beach clean up at Comeau’s Hill (May 2) and cleanup of a mess in Second Carrying Lake, Birchdale (TBA). Details will follow. 

4. Interested in learning how to paddle a Voyageur Canoe a.k.a big boat? We may be able to set up a training session at The Argyler Lodge (in partnership with Canoe/Kayak NS). Then we’d tack on a day trip in the region or even a 2-night camping trip around islands from the lodge this summer. 

This is all possible but we need to assess the interest. Contact Sandra if you are interested in either training or tripping in a big boat.  

5. Items that members can borrow: 

    a) Garmin InReach … for use on wilderness trips. It’s a huge safety feature knowing you can reach family via email and/or get a helicopter to rescue you in case of emergency. 

     b) We also have a “bothy bag” that comes in handy when there’s a downpour or snow squall and you want to pull ashore but not set up tents etc. Available to members to take on outings.

6. Mark your calendars: UPCOMING PROGRAMS:

Tues. March 3 … POT LUCK dinner at the Wedgeport Tuna Museum. 6 pm.   PROGRAM: Anna Mallin will present a slide show about her trip to Greenland and paddling to the Equip Glacier.

Tues. April 7 … our AGM … Dessert party and guest speaker at the Yarmouth Co. Museum at 7:30 pm. Guest speaker TBA.

PROGRAM SUGGESTIONS for next year? Send along any ideas you have! 

Cheers, Sandra <>

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on All the latest news…

Scenes from January meeting

Over 35 people attended our monthly get together at the Olde Argyler lodge. Johnathan cooked up a variety of excellent dishes and the service was great. The meal was followed by socializing and slide shows.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Scenes from January meeting

January meeting set

Next SWPA gathering Tues. Jan 7th at The Argyler Lodge at 6 pm. Please let Sandra know if you plan to attend ( or 902 648-0462) so she can make reservations.  (Guests welcome!) PROGRAM: Will Poole will be doing a slide show about his trip down the mighty Bonaventure River PQ. Hope to see you there.  

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on January meeting set

SWPA Potluck

SWPA monthly dinner meeting will be a POT LUCK on Tuesday, Dec. 3rd at Beacon Church in the parlour at 6 pm. PROGRAM: Nancy Lacusta and Karlyn d’Entremont will be sharing slides and thoughts about their SUP trip into the Tobeatic last spring. Please let Sandra know if you plan to attend so we have enough plates & forks!

At Cofan

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on SWPA Potluck