- - More Ice Skating
- - Quilting
- – - In Thunder Bay
- - Volunteering
- - Cross Country Skiing Starts
- - Hike in Gatineau Park to Huron
- - Vesper's Haul Out
- - End of the Sailing Season
- - Ice Skating Starts
- - Biking Season Ends
- - Baby Shower in Montreal
- - Autumn Sailing
- - Near Miss From Hurricane Florence
- - Two Hikes in Gatineau Park
- - One Year Later
- - Biking to Pink Lake in Gatineau Park
- - Hike in Gatineau Park to Healey and Herridge
- - Hike in Gatineau Park to Western
- – - An Overnight Trip on Vesper
- - Quadracycling the Colonel By Drive
- - Biking to Osgoode
- - Vesper's Upgrades
- - Sailing on Great White J
- – - Quick Trip to Montreal
- - The Commodore's Sailpast
- - Bike Trip to The Rideau Falls
- - Matt & Katia Visit
- - It's Official, We've Moved In Together!
- - Sailing on Free-n-Easy II
- - At the Canadian Tulip Festival
- - The Common Thread Quilt Show
- - Sailors on Vesper
- - First Sail of 2018
- - Vesper is Launched
- - Hiking in Gatineau Park
- - Cycling Season Starts
- - Skating With Jane
- – - Trip to St. Catharines
- - "D" Dock Rebuild at Nepean Sailing Club
- - "E" Dock Rebuild at Nepean Sailing Club
- - Skiing in Mid-March
- - Skating at Landsdowne
- - Last Skate on the Rideau Canal
- - Skiing Gatineau Park
- - Skiing Resumes
- - Night Skating on the Rink of Dreams
- - Skating on the Rideau Canal
- - Ice Skating Indoors
- - Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
- - Skiing in the New Year
Click to enlarge photos, hover for caption
More Ice Skating
The weather this fall and early winter has been generally cold, with lots of rain and freezing rain, resulting in ice, but very little snow. Due to the weather we have been doing more skating than anything else. By the end of the year we had skated 13 times, including once at Landedowne and twice outdoors on the Rink of Dreams. On the Rink of Dreams we skated once in the daytime and once at night, which is Kathryn's favourite. We shot two videos on the Rink of Dreams, that show the difference between day and night skating:
- Skating on the Rink of Dreams in the daytime, 26 December 2018
- Skating on the Rink of Dreams at night, 30 December 2018
Kathryn has had an amazingly creative fall this year, completing five large quilts. This latest one is a gift for friends.
In Thunder Bay
In late December we went for a visit to Thunder Bay to see Carolyn and Mike's new house, attend their baby shower and also to see Heather, who came into town for Christmastime.
Kathryn and I do quite a bit of volunteer work throughout the year. Aside from rebuilding docks at Nepean Sailing Club together and doing some safety boat duty for the Bring on the Bay swim event with Vesper in the summertime, Kathryn also just finished up a three year volunteer stint on the board of the Common Thread Quilt Guild and has been doing some quilt-making for volunteer projects.
For my part this year I have also been doing lots of volunteer work for Wikipedia, moderating for Diaspora and volunteering with National Capital FreeNet, including a presentation about free software this evening at the Ottawa Public Library in Orleans. The presentation was part of an NCF series called "Saved With a Click", entitled Open Source Options.
Cross Country Skiing Starts
An early snowfall on 16 November this year got skiing started much earlier than last year. We managed to get out today for 4.9 km, before a melt put an end to the snow.
Hike in Gatineau Park to Huron
Today we did a hike in Gatineau Park to Huron shelter for a picnic lunch. There was already about 1-2 cm of snow and ice on the ground and some people were already skiing!
Vesper's Haul Out
Today was Vesper's haul out. Despite a weather forecast for no rain, it proved to be a showery day, which was less than ideal, but with help from Doug Patterson and his crew, the boat is now put away for winter.
End of the Sailing Season
All good things come to an end and the sailing season for us ended today, with a sail on a brilliant blue day, as we sailed for almost two hours in lightening winds. We even had one last lunch on the water.
Our sailing season ended with 54 sailing voyages and 146.5 hours on Vesper, so a great year!
We shot a video of the last sailing voyage, too.
Ice Skating Starts
Our sailboat is still in the water, so summer is not officially over for us yet, but we had a calm day, so decided to go ice skating and start off our winter sports.
On we also shot a short Indoor ice skating video.
Biking Season Ends
Biking season ended a bit early this year, as October proved far colder than normal, weather that continued into November with early snow. With the shorter season, my distance cycled was less than last year, too, at 3817 km for the year.
Baby Shower in Montreal
Today we drove to Montreal to attend Matt and Katia's baby shower for their upcoming daughter, due in January. It was a big party, and we got to meet many of their friends and relatives. For the occasion Kathryn made a Woodland Critters quilt and we also brought an orange teddy bear that had belonged to the child's grandmother, Ruth, and that she had asked me to save for her granddaughter.
With autumn here we are still sailing Vesper, even as some other boats at the club are being pulled out for the winter. While September had some unusually calm weeks, October has brought some good winds.
Near Miss From Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence passed us to the south this evening. We missed the rain entirely, but got a beautiful sunset instead.
Two Hikes in Gatineau Park
With no wind for sailing this week, we did two hikes in one day in Gatineau Park instead, the waterfall trail at the Mackenzie King Estate and the trail to Carbide Wilson's ruins.
One Year Later
Today marked one year that we have been together. Still having fun, too!
Biking to Pink Lake in Gatineau Park
We did a bike ride to Gatineau Park up to Pink Lake and then hiked the 2.5 km trail around the lake.
Hike in Gatineau Park to Healey and Herridge
Today we did a hike in Gatineau Park to Healey and Herridge cabins, in the northeastern part of the park.
Hike in Gatineau Park to Western
Today we did a hike in Gatineau Park from the Champlain Lookout, to Western cabin and beyond, to some other lookouts.
An Overnight Trip on Vesper
We finally had the weather and everything come together to do a sail up the river, anchor overnight and sail home again the next morning.
The trip took us to the anchorage at Pinhey's Point, some 7.5 nm from home port. Total sailing time was 5:54 and we were aboard for almost 24 hours.
The trip involved lots of "firsts" for us and Vesper. This was our furthest trip up-river, first anchoring (which went fine), first time the dinette was converted into a bed, first night on the boat, first use of the bug screens I had made (which worked, but needed to be installed earlier in the night), first use of the ladder to swim, first use of the toilet (which worked fine, although it required some serious cleaning back home) and first use of the spinnaker this year to get us home downwind the next day.
Quadracycling the Colonel By Drive
As the weather has remained warm and a lot less humid, we did a Sunday Bike Day ride downtown on the Colonel By Drive, on the quadracycle.
Biking to Osgoode
Today the hot weather abated, so we decided to make the 52 km round trip to the Village of Osgoode, via the Osgoode Pathway, which is an old railway track bed dating from 1854.
As an old boat (37 years old now!) Vesper is always getting upgrades and improvements. This year I added a new topping lift, built a new 2:1 traveler for the mainsheet, which makes tacking in higher winds much easier. For fun the lines are colour-coded for port and starboard. I also modified the boarding ladder to make it less than vertical, instead of over-vertical and switched the fenders to new "Fender Tender II" clips, so they can be easily removed. There was also the inevitable maintenance work, like oiling the teak wood.
Sailing on Great White J
We got to sail with Thomas on his J/22, Great White J, and were out in some good winds.
Quick Trip to Montreal
We did a quick over night trip to Montreal, to meet up with Kathryn's daugther Carolyn and son-in-law Mike, who were visiting from Thunder Bay. We were able to deliver their wedding quilt to them.
The Commodore's Sailpast
We sailed in the traditional sailing season opening event, the Commodore's Sailpast, with Thomas along on Vesper's crew.
Bike Trip to The Rideau Falls
There was little wind for sailing today, so we did a bike trip down the Rideau River Pathway to the Rideau Falls. We even biked over the newly restored Minto Bridges.
Matt & Katia Visit
Matt and Katia were in Ottawa today and dropped by for a short visit and pancakes.
It's Official, We've Moved In Together!
We made it official and moved in together today. It's a happy event!
Sailing on Free-n-Easy II
We were invited by skipper Kevin Davis to come sailing on his classic C&C Corvette 31, Free-n-Easy II, and went out on a day with some good winds. The boat handles well and we sailed up to Aylmer Island and back in about three hours.
At the Canadian Tulip Festival
We dropped into the Canadian Tulip Festival today to see how the flowers were doing. It was a beautiful Monday evening and not too busy, for once.
The Common Thread Quilt Show
Kathryn was treasurer for the 2018 Common Thread Quilt Show, had two quilts in the show, plus we both helped with the show set-up, too.
Sailors on Vesper
We started in early taking friends out on Vesper, with Jane coming out on sail #2 for the year.
First Sail of 2018
Losing no time after our launch yesterday, we took Vesper out for a first sail today, sailing 1:51 from KNB→K3→E→K4→S→K1→KNB. We did note that "E" mark is once again missing, although I have its former location marked in the GPS.
Vesper is Launched
With the ice finally out of the harbour, we launched Vesper today and got her to her dock. We got her rigged and washed, all ready for a summer of sailing.
Hiking in Gatineau Park
With the weather finally warming up a bit we did a 12 km hike today in Gatineau Park, to Shilly Shally for lunch. It is quiet in the park at this time of year, with the roads all still closed to cars, but there were a few die-hard skiers still skiing on the ice there.
Cycling Season Starts
It has been a cold April so far, with temperatures running about 10C° below normal, but it made it to +7° today, so we got our bikes out, oiled the chains, pumped up the tires and did a 16 km ride. It felt good to be back on our bikes.
Skating With Jane
My friend Jane recently moved back to the Ottawa area and today the three of us met up to go ice skating on the Rink of Dreams at City Hall, have dinner in Chinatown and go to a folk music performance at the National Arts Centre.
Trip to St. Catharines
Over the Easter weekend Kathryn and I went on a trip to visit some relatives. We started off visiting Nick, Steph and Kayden in Guelph.
Next we went to see Kathryn's family for Easter in The St. Catharines area.
We got to Niagara Falls.
And to Niagara-On-The-Lake, too.
On the way home we visited Nigel & Charlyn in Toronto.
And stopped for ice cream in Belleville.
"D" Dock Rebuild at Nepean Sailing Club
The work went so well last weekend at the sailing club that the dock rebuilding crew came out to do another dock this weekend, while the winter weather held out. This time we moved lumber for "D" dock
Kathryn and I volunteered the Saturday morning crew, mostly delivering lumber to be used in the dock rebuild, as well as transporting the old lumber off the docks.
"E" Dock Rebuild at Nepean Sailing Club
The sailing club is engaged in a complete dock rebuild, starting with the dock that Vesper is on, "E" dock. Naturally this has to be done during the part of the year when the docks are not being used for sailing.
Kathryn and I volunteered to be on the first morning tear-down crew, on what turned out to be a very cold day in March with really high winds. We cleared ice off the docks, removed the steel cleats and organized, packaged and delivered lumber. That kept us warm out there in the cold temperatures.
The work went so well that the crew was called out again the following weekend to do "D" dock.
Skiing in Mid-March
In recent years XC skiing is usually over by the beginning of March and, after a February when we lost all our snow, that seemed to be the case until this week. Suddenly we have had lots of snow and that got us out skiing once again.
This day turned out to be the end of the ski season for us. It was my 17th time skiing this year and I skied 122.5 km. Kathryn skied a total of 13 days and 93.5 km this winter.
Skating at Landsdowne
With winter pretty much over for the last week, the canal closed and temperatures above freezing, we headed to Landesdowne Park and the outdoor artificially-cooled rink there for some skating.
Last Skate on the Rideau Canal
Today was our fourth and last skate on the Rideau Canal for this year and so we went out, with about 30,000 other people, and skated end-to-end. We got a big melt and rain the next day and no further winter weather for now.
Skiing Gatineau Park
Today conditions for skiing were excellent and so we went up to Gatineau Park for the first time this winter and skied from P10 to the Champlain Lookout and onto Shilly Shally for a picnic lunch, before skiing back down the big hill.
With three melts and a freezing rain event recently, skiing had come to an end for a while, but a good load of new snow overnight got us out skiing again.
Night Skating on the Rink of Dreams
With skating on the canal impacted by the melt we had this weekend, we decided to go downtown and skate on the Rink of Dreams at City Hall. Kathryn wanted to skate after dark, when the rink is lit by the coloured lights mounted inside the boards. They change colour as you skate, too.
Skating on the Rideau Canal
We have been watching the weather and ice conditions on the Rideau Canal and finally today we had a warm enough day at -6°C and good ice conditions and went out for a skate. We skated end-to-end and back again and even had BeaverTails, too.
We managed to get out on the canal again for a second time on and a third time on .
Ice Skating Indoors
The last few weeks have seen a lot of difficult winter weather, with two big thaws and a freezing rain storm, all of which has made outdoors sports tricky. When the weather doesn't cooperate we do indoor skating at the local arena instead.
Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
With the deep winter cold weather here and windchills up we decided to take a break from skiing and do a bit of snowshoeing. It really keeps you warm outside in the cold as it is way harder work than skiing is!
Skiing in the New Year
Today was the first ski of the new year for Kathryn and I after recovering from some holiday season colds. We skied 7.5 km in the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetlands in some good conditions. So far this winter I have skied 50.0 km over seven days to date.