- - Snow = Skiing
- - Indoor Ice Skating
- - Ice Skating Starts
- - The Poets' Pathway
- - The Biking Season
- - Vesper's Haul-Out
- - At The Carleton University Butterfly Show
- - Nigel & Charlyn's September Visit
- - Kathryn
- - September Sail on Wind Spirit 3
- – - Jane's Visit to Ottawa
- - Vesper's Upgrades
- - August Sail on Wind Spirit 3
- - Nigel & Charlyn's August Visit
- - Flying Vesper's Spinnaker
- - Vesper's Woodwork
- - Sailors on Vesper
- - Nick & Steph's Wedding
- - The Commodore's Sailpast
- - Launching Great White J
- - Sailing on Wind Spirit 3
- - Sailing with Friends
- - Five Years Without a Haircut!
- - First Sail of the Season
- - Vesper is Launched
- - Vesper is Ready to Sail
- - More Ice Skating on the Rink of Dreams
- - Last Ski of the Winter?
- - At the National Gallery
- - Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal
- - Ice Skating on the Rink of Dreams
- - Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
- - Snowshoeing Expedition
- - Skiing in the New Year
Click to enlarge photos, hover for caption
Snow = Skiing
We got 13 cm of snow in south Ottawa this week and so, once the temperatures warmed up a bit, it was time to get the skis out, try out the new snow and get the ski season started!
Indoor Ice Skating
The weather has been above freezing in Ottawa lately and there is not much snow around. This is the season for indoor skating, to get ready for skating the canal once winter actually arrives. Kathryn and I went skating together for the fist time today at the local arena.
Ice Skating Starts
In the messy weather of the autumn, between the end of sailing and the start of cross country skiing, I often end up ice skating indoors at the local arena. It is a good way to train for skating on the Rideau Canal, when that starts.
The Poets' Pathway
The Poets' Pathway is a network of paths that meander from Britannia Beach, down to South Keys and back north again across Ottawa to the Beechwood Cemetery, last resting place of many of Canada's Confederation Poets. The pathway features 14 bronze plaques mounted on large stones, in 12 different locations along the route. The project's website is woefully incomplete, though. While it has a vague map of the pathway, it doesn't have any pictures of the plaques or their locations, making finding them very difficult. It helps greatly that Paul Galipeau created an independent map of the plaques' locations. I thought I would remedy the lack of photos of the plaques and so Kathryn and I travelled the pathway this fall and took our own photos of them.
Some good articles on the project:
- Day trip: Poets' Pathway, by Kristin Goff, Ottawa Citizen
- The Poets’ Pathway, Ottawa XYZ
- Updated! – The Poets’ Pathway, Ottawa XYZ
The Biking Season
This was a great year for me for cycling! I biked 5000 km by 07 November and finished 5337 km by the end of the season on 21 November 2017. That is one way to stay in shape!
Vesper's amazing 2017 sailing season came to an end when she was removed from the water today by dock crane for the winter. The little boat completed 58 sailing trips and 122.8 hours on the water this summer, taking a total of 29 crew members out sailing.
At The Carleton University Butterfly Show
Each year in October Carleton University's Biology Department puts on a tropical butterfly show in one of their greenhouses. This year I went with my friend Tammy and we spent some time with the butterflies in the heat and humidity of the greenhouse, watching them flying about.
Nigel & Charlyn's September Visit
My brother, Nigel, and his girlfriend, Charlyn, came back to Ottawa at the end of September and we all went sailing on Vesper again.
This was Vesper's 47th sail of the year.
September Sail on Wind Spirit 3
Today Kathryn and I sailed with Dave on his Hunter 34 sailboat, Wind Spirit 3, out on Lake Ontario. The winds were 10-25 knots and we sailed for 5:15.
Jane's Visit to Ottawa
Jane came to Ottawa for a short visit and a sail on Vesper. We also did a hike at Pink Lake and the Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park. It was really lovely to see her again!
Owning an older boat (Vesper was built in 1981) always means there are little things to fix and upgrade, but in many ways that is the fun of it, making the boat just the way you want it, so everything works right.
So far this year Vesper has had her woodwork all sanded down and redone in teak oil several times, the motor mount refinished, a new adjustable topping lift constructed, a new mainsheet car, block and righting spring, lightweight and heavyweight spinnaker sheets added, plus a new spinnaker launch chute.
Kathryn and I met on 05 September 2017. We started with coffee, lunch and an art gallery tour. Since it was a nice day we went sailing on Vesper. Kathryn really enjoyed that, so we sailed together some more over the next few days. We went on to do many bike rides and hikes together in Gatineau Park, too. Being together has become a regular thing for us.
August Sail on Wind Spirit 3
Today my friend Tammy and I were invited to sail with Dave on his Hunter 34 sailboat, Wind Spirit 3, on Lake Ontario. It was a perfect day with winds of 10-15 knots and we sailed for 4:45.
Nigel & Charlyn's August Visit
My brother, Nigel, and his girlfriend, Charlyn, came to Ottawa and we all went sailing on Vesper in what turned out to be quite good wind conditions.
This was Vesper's 26th sail of the year.
Flying Vesper's Spinnaker
With Dave and John along as crew on Vesper today we rigged and got the spinnaker up and flying in quite light winds. We even picked up a north wind and were able to sail back to the marina under the spinnaker.
Today marks the halfway point in the sailing season. This was Vesper's 21st sail of the year so far and 42.9 hours at sea.
I have been slowly working on rehabilitating Vesper's woodwork over the last month or two, but Laura and I got a lot of it done today, sanding, taping and teak-oiling. The last of it was completed by us together on 06 August 2017.
Sailors on Vesper
I have been sailing with lots of new people on Vesper this year, a good opportunity to get more people out on the water. I'll add more photos here as more people come out sailing.
Click to enlarge photos, hover for crew's name and sail number
Nick & Steph's Wedding
Nick and Steph got married today in Guelph. It was truly an honour for me to be there for this event, along with Matt and Katia.
The Commodore's Sailpast
Today was the Nepean Sailing Club's Commodore's Sailpast. This is an old naval tradition that many clubs continue each summer for fun. The boats in the fleet are sailed past the anchored club Commodore's boat for a salute, followed by a BBQ back at home port. It is an event to mark the formal opening of the summer sailing season and this year we had about 100 boats participate.
For Lynn and I this was our 8th sail of the season. We did one more sail together and then Lynn broke up with me.
Launching Great White J
Today Lynn and I helped our friends Thomas and Stan get their J/22 sailboat, Great White J, into the water on a cold and windy day in early June. It looks like everyone is set for a summer of sailing, if the weather cooperates.
Sailing on Wind Spirit 3
Today Dave invited us to help move his Hunter 34, Wind Spirit 3, to its new home, which involved a voyage on Lake Ontario. The wind was blowing and the seas were up, but the big sailboat gave us a lovely ride, followed by lunch at the dock once we were tied up. I am looking forward to some more sailing with Dave on Wind Spirit 3 this summer.
Sailing with Friends
Today Lynn and I did our sixth sail of the season and our first with passengers, as we took Leanne and Leeloo out in what turned out to be really nice sailing conditions, with winds of 8-17 knots
Five Years Without a Haircut!
Today marked five years since I last had my haircut. Looking back two years I really don't think it is getting any longer now.
First Sail of the Season
We made our first sail of 2017 on Vesper today, on a warm 26°C day with good winds and sailed for an hour and a half. Even though it had been almost six months since our last sail, it felt like a very short lay-off.
Vesper is Launched
Vesper was launched today on a beautiful and warm spring morning. After she was in the water we rigged her and gave her a good washing and she is already to sail.
Vesper is Ready to Sail
April has been pretty wet so far this year, but Lynn and I found a dry day today to work on the boat and get Vesper ready for launch.
More Ice Skating on the Rink of Dreams
Outdoor sports have been difficult in the last month due to many thaws, rain and freezing rain making it hard to ski, snowshoe or even skate on the canal (which has been closed since ). The artificially-cooled Rink of Dreams at City Hall is still open for use, though, so Lynn and I went skating there.
Last Ski of the Winter?
With a big two-week long melt in the forecast it looks like winter might be already at an end. We took the opportunity of a last day below freezing to get out and ski on all the new snow.
With the weird weather it has been an odd year for skiing and so I have only done 13 days of skiing and 96.8 km to date.
At the National Gallery
We were at the National Gallery on a very quiet Thursday afternoon. We were there for The Advent of Abstraction: Russia, 1914–1923 and the The Intimate World of Josef Sudek photography exhibit, too.
Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal
At last the weather has cooled off and our previously melted Rideau Canal has become available for skating! This first time out on the canal this year Lynn and I did the 15.6 km end-to-end skate and included a stop for lunch. Yes, Lynn ate all the saurkraut.
Ice Skating on the Rink of Dreams
January 2017 has so far been quite warm. The Rideau Canal has only been open briefly for skating and even then the conditions were not good. With a recent warm spell it has closed again. Lynn and I met up downtown and went for a skate on the artificially-cooled Rink of Dreams at City Hall instead.
Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
For Lynn's birthday we did a snowshoeing expedition in the NCC greenbelt. Due to a big thaw and refreeze the conditions have been poor for XC skiing, but good for snowshoeing this past week.
Lynn and I took our new snowshoes and set off along the Ottawa River shoreline for a hike. Snowshoes give the ability to reach places that can't be accessed any other way, especially at this time of year and we saw some things other people wouldn't see from the roads and pathways, like an abandoned power boat.
Skiing in the New Year
Today was my first ski of the new year and I covered 7.5 km in the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetlands in great conditions. So far this winter there has been lots of snow and I have skied 38.9 km over seven days to date.