- - Skiing Season Starts
- - Skating on the Rink of Dreams
- - A Cyborg/Human Frolic, or: Pursuing the Wild Cyborg
- - Biking Season Ends
- - Sailing Season Ends
- - Last Sail of the Season
- - Bicycle Picnic at Hog's Back Falls
- - Sailing Together
- - Locked
- - A Visit to the Diefenbunker
- – - Debbie's Visit
- - Sailors on Vesper
- - Lynn Makes Like A Fox
- - Vesper Goes Electric
- - Jane's Visit to Ottawa
- - Bicycle Picnic to Lac Leamy
- - Bicycle 30th Anniversary
- - Sailing In Higher Winds
- - Sailing to Aylmer Island
- - Sailing
- - Ready to Sail
- - Sail Testing
- - Our Sailboat is Launched
- - Our Sailboat is Almost Ready to Launch
- - Working On Our Sailboat
- - We Get Our Own Sailboat!
- - Bicycle Picnic
- - At The Tulip Festival
- - Biking Spring
- - Elaine's Birthday Hike in Gatineau Park
- - First Painting Expedition of the Summer
- - No Sailing on Scotfree
- - Skating on the Rink Of Dreams
- - Temporary Spring
- - More Indoor Skating
- - Skiing Restarts
- - Indoor Skating
- - Canal Skating
- - More Skiing
- - Meetup Skiing
Click to enlarge photos, hover for caption
Skiing Season Starts
Lynn already got out skiing last week, but a cold slowed me down for the last few days. It had abated enough to get out for a trail-blazing ski today, though, to start the season.
Skating on the Rink of Dreams
We haven't had a lot of winter this year so far, no skating on the canal or cross country skiing yet, but the artificially-cooled Rink of Dreams at city hall is in operation. As can be seen in the video there were lots of people there on this Sunday afternoon.
A Cyborg/Human Frolic, or: Pursuing the Wild Cyborg
Lynn's show A Cyborg/Human Frolic, or: Pursuing the Wild Cyborg was first presented at Research in Art at the end of November. The show also has its own webpage and the script is available too. The show was well-received and a video version is now available, for those who missed it.
Biking Season Ends
With a pretty good snowstorm on the way it looks like biking season is done until spring. I managed to bike 4715 km this year. This is less than most recent years, but then I did get lots of sailing in, instead!
Sailing Season Ends
Today was our haul-out day, as Vesper came ashore by dock crane for the winter and we got her all packaged for winter. Sailing should resume in the third week of April, if the weather cooperates.
Last Sail of the Season
Wednesday was a beautiful fall day, with a temperature that reached +16°C. We planned our last sail of the season for that day and had a lovely sail of more than three hours in winds of 8-12 knots.
This voyage completed our first year sailing Vesper. In all we had 24 sailing trips in the 18 weeks between 28 June and 02 November, sailing almost every day that conditions permitted. Now that we know the boat a bit better we hope to do some trips further afield next summer.
We made a video of our last sail.
Bicycle Picnic at Hog's Back Falls
Today, Thanksgiving Day, we did a fall bike picnic to Hog's Back Falls. It seems many other people had the same idea as the site was very busy, despite the cooler temperatures.
The laying up of Scotfree hasn't stopped us all sailing. This evening we got the three boats owned by former Scotfree crew on out on the water together, our US Yachts US 22 Vesper, along with the Tanzer 7.5 Somerled and the J/22, Great White J.
25 September 2016 marked two years since we met. To mark the occasion we put a lock on the Corkstown Bridge, near the University of Ottawa.
A Visit to the Diefenbunker
Lynn and I biked out to the Diefenbunker in the village of Carp for an art opening of works by Ottawa steel sculptor Anna Frlan.
Debbie, my friend from junior high school, came to Ottawa for a conference. We figured that we hadn't seen each other in 36 years, so we had a lot to catch up on. On the Friday Debbie, Lynn and I I all went for lunch and then spent the hot summer afternoon at the National Gallery.
Sailors on Vesper
Now that Vesper is working well and we are getting comfortable with her capabilities, I have been taking some other sailors out sailing. So far I have sailed with Dave Dowling and Scotfree's skipper, John Quarterman.
Lynn Makes Like A Fox
As part of her participation in The Wolf Project, Lynn made a fox costume. It was very well received during her nine days on the project, camping near Haliburton.
Vesper Goes Electric
After being "grounded" for two weeks due to trouble with our two-stroke gasoline motor, our new electric motor arrived and we were able try it out it on a day with great winds. The Torqeedo Travel 1003L came via the local Ottawa dealer, Laurentian Marine.
The Torqeedo works really well. It is quiet, economical, pollution-free, much more reliable, light weight and can be recharged with solar power. It quickly disassembles to three parts for easy transport. In fact it is light enough at 14 kg (30.8 lb) to easily carry it home at night, so it doesn't need to stay with the boat.
The day was almost perfect and we breezed along with a south wind on a broad reach up to Aylmer Island and back late in the afternoon. On our first trip out and back the motor only used 25% of the battery capacity and that included a motor run back into the marina against a good wind, pretty much a worst-case scenario.
We made a video about the voyage.
Jane's Visit to Ottawa
Jane came to Ottawa for the long weekend and the three of us triked and quadracycled the Colonel By Drive and then went to Wakefield for the afternoon. It was lovely to see Jane again!
We made a video about the Colonel By cycling trip.
Bicycle Picnic to Lac Leamy
We have done quite a number of one of our favourite summertime activities, bicycle picnics, but today we did 40 km round trip to visit one of our favourite spots, Lac Leamy's beach in Gatineau, Quebec.
Bicycle 30th Anniversary
It was exactly 30 years ago today that I bought my Norco Alpine mountain bike in Winnipeg for $209.95. It has turned out to be a pretty good bargain over the years, as I think I have put about 60,000 km on it! So far this year I have ridden 2362 km on it.
Sailing In Higher Winds
Today we went sailing in winds of 20 knots (37 km/h) and Vesper did really well! It was a bit of work being out in the wind, with waves of about 3.5 feet (1 metre), but we had fun sailing in the conditions and didn't break anything.
There is a video about this trip.
Sailing to Aylmer Island
Today the sailing conditions were quite good and we sailed all the way to Aylmer Island and back, into the wind both directions! It was a really enjoyable voyage for us both and we hope to do more in the near future.
There is a video about our voyage.
We've been doing some short sails, learning Vesper to see how she sails. So far we are pretty impressed, she is really responsive and fun to sail.
Ready to Sail
With everything all fixed up and servicable on the boat we are ready to sail at last!
We had no wind today so we were able to hoist Vesper's sails and check them out. We found we need to replace the main sail halyard, but otherwise the boat is good to go.
Our Sailboat is Launched
We got Vesper launched and the mast raised! The boat spent a couple of days at the service dock, waiting for our slip to be freed up and then we motored her over to it.
There is also a video of the launch.
Our Sailboat is Almost Ready to Launch
This week we got lots of work done preparing Vesper to sail. One of the more interesting jobs was installing a new spinnaker halyard inside the mast, with electrician's "fishing line" from the NSC shop. Lynn finished all the wood work sanding and varnishing and washed the topsides. On we installed the boat's name on the transom.
Working On Our Sailboat
Since buying our boat on , we have spent the last week equipping it for the water, carrying out upgrades and maintenance work.
The boat now has its own webpage.
We Get Our Own Sailboat!
After finding out in April that the boat we had been crewing on would not sail this year, Lynn and I decided to get our own boat. After some searching we found this lovely little cruising keelboat, a US Yachts US 22 and bought it to sail on Lac Deschênes.
One of our favourite summer activities is going on bicycle picnics and today we did one to the Zen garden and Lac Leamy in Gatineau.
At The Tulip Festival
The Canadian Tulip Festival is always fun to go to. Lynn and I went to Commissioner's Park at Dow's Lake on a quiet Thursday evening when the crowds were quite small. That meant there were no line-ups for BeaverTails!
So far this spring has been cool, but quite dry, so almost ideal for biking. As of today I have already covered 625 km.
Elaine's Birthday Hike in Gatineau Park
The end of April has been a bit cool, but ideal for hiking, with no bugs and nice temperatures for walking. Today, to celebrate my friend Elaine's birthday we decided to hike up to Shilly Shally cabin on the Eardley Escarpment in Gatineau Park. We brought lunch on the hike and lit a fire in the wood stove at the cabin. It was a really nice hike.
First Painting Expedition of the Summer
Today was warm, 23°C, with calm winds and sunshine, so Cyndy, Louis and I headed to Bate Island and Remic Rapids for the first painting expedition of the year so that Cyndy could paint the high and fast-moving water from the spring run-off.
No Sailing on Scotfree
I received an email today indicating that the boat I have been crewing on for the past two years, Scotfree, will not sail again this year. The boat was eventually sold to a new owner in October 2016.
When we moved the boat by crane on I made a video of the moving process.
Skating on the Rink Of Dreams
Elaine and I got out skating on a nice spring day on The Rink Of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall. This turned out to be the last day for skating as the rink was closed that night, due to freezing rain and then warmer temperatures.
After being housebound for a month with a stupid health issue, I got it solved today, just in time for some sunshine and a temperature of +3°C, which was enough to celebrate with the first bike ride of 2016 for me. Tomorrow we have a large snow storm forecast, however.
More Indoor Skating
With another two-day melt taking out our skiing conditions here in town, Elaine and I went indoor skating at the Jim Durrell complex once again, this timne at the Sunday public skatig session. It was pretty busy, with perhaps 300 people on the ice at one point, more that half of them kids out having fun.
On 16 February 2016 we got a record single-day snowfall for Ottawa of 51.2 cm of snow. This made up for losing all our snow to the big melt a few weeks ago and got the city back out skiing again. The snow in the wetlands was quite deep and and that made bashing out new tracks quite a challenge. We only got two days of skiing though before it started raining.
I managed two days of skiing in February before the rain started, a big ice freeze followed and then a health issue took me out of skiing. I finished the season with 113.6 km skied, over 16 days, which wasn't too bad considering the El Nino winter we had.
On Family Day, Elaine and I went indoor skating at the Jim Durrell complex. It was Elaine's first time on skates in many years, but she did well and enjoyed the smooth ice conditions at the arena.
I went skating with the Ottawa Social meetup group this morning on the Rideau Canal, as part of Winterlude, Ottawa's winter festival. Our timing was perfect, as by the end of the day, a warm front had brought rain and melted the canal. In an El Nino year like this you have to do outdoor winter sports when you can do so.
The winters here in Ottawa tend to be short, so you have to get out and ski while you can do so, especially as we have a "big melt" in the forecast for next week. Today I skied 7.5 km in the wetlands, which brings me up to 94.6 km over 13 days for the season.
The next day I finished 100 km for the month, just before the snow all melted.
Today was my first ski with the Ottawa Social meetup group and we did 9.5 km in two hours in the Greenbelt's Pine Grove. So far this year I have skied 49.5 km over seven days.