- - Christmas at Mer Bleue
- - Ice Skating
- - Biking to Osgoode
- - Hike in Gatineau Park
- - Vesper's Haulout
- - Last Sail of 2020
- - Fall Sailing
- - Qudracycling
- - Helping a Friend Haul Out His Boat
- - Hike to Lime Kiln
- – - Overnight on Vesper
- - Three Years!
- - Biking to Pink Lake in Gatineau Park
- – - Overnight in Crystal Bay
- - Wildlife
- - Sailing history
- - Biking to Osgoode Village
- - Vesper's Launch
- - The COVID-19 Pandemic
- - Sailing in 2020
- - Biking Season Starts
- - Snowshoeing P13 to the Tawadina & Mahingan Lookouts on Trail 62
- - Snowshoeing P13 to the Mahingan & Tawadina Lookouts on Trail 62
- - Snowshoeing P19 to Renaud Cabin on Trails 74 & 73
- - Snowshoeing P17 to Brown Cabin and the Trail 72 Loop
- - Snowshoeing P15 to Healey Cabin
- - Skiing P19 to Lusk Cabin Again
- - Skiing P10 to Huron Cabin via Trail 3
- – - Trip to Toronto
- - Skiing P16 to Renaud Cabin
- - Skiing P17 to Renaud Cabin
- - Skiing P19 to Lusk Cabin
- - Skiing Trails 51 & 53
- - Skiing P19 to Renaud Cabin
- - Skiing P8 to the Champlain Parkway
- - Skiing P9 to Huron on Ground Hog Day
- - Skiing the Gatineau Parkway from P9
- - Skiing P7 to Huron
- - Skiing P16 to Healey
- - Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
- - Skiing P10 to Shally Shally
- - Skiing Really Starts
- - Skating in the New Year
- - Kathryn's Quilts and Other Sewing Projects
Click to enlarge photos, hover for caption
Christmas at Mer Bleue
The weather has been a bit unusual this winter so far, with any snowfall quickly followed by warming and rain. This has left Ottawa with almost no snow for Christmas Day. We decided to venture out in the fog and do a walk at the Mer Bleue bog, which we found pretty much deserted.
Normally in the fall we do indoor ice skating during that period between the biking and skiing seasons. This year the indoor arenas are all closed due to the pandemic. At last the outdoor rinks are open and so we were able to do a morning skate on the Canterbury artificially cooled rink today.
Biking to Osgoode
Biking season is nearly done, but we had a warm day, reaching +15°C today, so we biked the 53 km round trip to Osgoode for pizza.
We only did two more bike rides after this trip before the snow arrived on . We finished the biking season with 3915 km completed.
Hike in Gatineau Park
To mark the end of sailing season, we did a fall hike in Gatineau Park to the Wattsford Lookout and onto Lac Fortune.
We had Vesper hauled out of the water today and stored for the winter. We hope that we will sail again in April, meanwhile ski season is hopefully coming.
Last Sail of 2020
Today we had a lovely sail on Vesper on a day that reached 25°C, some 15 degrees above normal for this date, and gave us nice winds. This turned out to be our last sail of the year, as the weather is turning cold and looks like it will stay that way.
This year we completed 45 sails and 124.1 hrs, which is not too bad, considering the late start and all the other COVID-19 imposed constraints.
September and October have been quite wet and rainy this year, but we have still managed to get in some good sailing days on Vesper with some great winds.
We have done a few quadracycling trips this year, including one today to pick up a library book and have a picnic in a park on a warm fall day.
Helping a Friend Haul Out His Boat
Fall is here and that means that some of the boats are already coming out of the water. Today we helped our friend Thomas crane out his J/22 sailboat Great White J.
Hike to Lime Kiln
On a warm, but windy day in September we did a hike to Lime Kiln, in the Ottawa Greenbelt.
Overnight on Vesper
After a great sail, we had a really quiet overnight at anchor on Vesper in Crystal Bay. There was a beautiful sunset and fog on the river in the morning, before we sailed home again.
Today we celebrated three years since our first date! Since it was a beautiful, cool morning we did a 22 km bike ride along the Rideau Canal and reached 3000 km of biking for the year, passing last year's total already.
Biking to Pink Lake in Gatineau Park
As part of celebrating three years together we biked to Pink Lake in Gatineau Park, had a picnic lunch and hiked the trail around the lake, before heading home via downtown. It was 57 km of biking over hilly terrain.
Overnight in Crystal Bay
With no thunderstorms or heat wave this week, we did an overnight at anchor on Vesper in Crystal Bay.
We see quite a lot of coyotes while biking in Ottawa, but often just quick glimpses. This one in the Experimental Farm was giving us a wide berth, but I was able to photograph him out in the open during daylight.
Andy McKerroll sent me (via his sister, Jane) this photo, with permission for posting, taken today, of the former Vandestadt and McGruer building, just northwest of Owen Sound, Ontario. It was in this building between and that thousands of Vandestadt and McGruer sailboats were produced, a real slice of Canadian sailing history. Today it is a Payless Self Storage facility. I am sure it is much quieter now, than it was in the past!
Biking to Osgoode Village
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have found ourselves doing more biking than last year, passing the 1200 km mark today. Today was a cool summer day, reaching only 21°C, so we biked the 52 km round trip to Osgoode and had a take-out Mexican lunch from La Cantina. We biked most of the way on the old rail route, the Osgoode Link Pathway, with detours at the north end for the ongoing LRT construction. We even saw raccoon on the pathway, a rare sight here in the daytime.
With COVID-19 cases on the decline in Ottawa we were allowed to start preparing, launching and sailing boats today, but only with immediate family members. We took advantage of the nice weather to get all our preparation work done, get Vesper launched and even got a 1:16 sail in. We were the first boat to sail on Lac Deschênes this year.
The COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 global pandemic seems to be something we will have to live with for a long time and also of historic importance. I have collected some photos from our personal experiences of the pandemic in Ottawa and will add to them over time.
The first case was recorded on 17 November 2019 in Wuhan, China. Our personal isolation started on Saturday 14 March 2020.
Sailing in 2020
The Ontario provincial COVID-19 isolation precautions that we are currently living under have ordered all recreational facilities closed, including the sailing clubs. We were able to secure Vesper's cover for the summer, as, at this point in the year it looked unlikely that we would be able to sail this year.
Gatineau Park and all the provincial and municipal parks are now closed, so we feel fortunate that we are still permitted to get out and bike for exercise, at least at the present.
Biking Season Starts
Even with COVID-19 isolation precautions in effect, we are still being encouraged to get out and get some exercise each day. Our recent snowfall melted as the temperatures hit +6°C and so we pumped up our bike tires and got out for a 10 km bike local ride, some three weeks earlier than our first ride last year.
We reached 1000 km biked on and 2000 km on .
Snowshoeing P13 to the Tawadina & Mahingan Lookouts on Trail 62
Today was our first snowshoe trek in Gatineau Park since the COVID-19 isolation measures took effect. The park is still open and is available for people to get out and get some exercise, so we did the last route that we did again, but in the other direction this time. It was 8 km round trip on Trail 62 (the Wolf Trail) from P13, to the Tawadina Lookout and then onto the Mahingan Lookout. With rain and much warmer weather on the way, this will probably be our last snowshoe for this winter.
Gatineau Park was closed to all users on Monday 23 March 2020.
Snowshoeing P13 to the Mahingan & Tawadina Lookouts on Trail 62
Another snowshoe trek today in Gatineau Park with our friend Jane. This one was about 8 km of fairly steep terrain along Trail 62 (the Wolf Trail) from P13, to the Mahingan Lookout and onto the Tawadina Lookout, the most remote lookout and the best view in the park.
Snowshoeing P19 to Renaud Cabin on Trails 74 & 73
Today was a snowshoe trek from P19 to Renaud cabin via Trail 74 and home again along the shoreline of Lac Philippe and Trail 73, a total distance of about 8 km. It was warm, hitting +12°C while we were out and, consequently, there were very few skiers about.
Snowshoeing P17 to Brown Cabin and the Trail 72 Loop
Today we did a snowshoe trek from P17 to Brown cabin and around the Trail 72 loop, through some beautiful countryside, a total distance of 10.0 km. The temperature was just above freezing, with some snow squalls in the morning.
Snowshoeing P15 to Healey Cabin
Recent warm weather left XC skiing less than optimal, so we did a snowshoe trek with Jane on Trail 70. This took us from parking lot P15 on Cross Loop, up the escarpment to Healey cabin and back, a distance of 7.4 km round trip. The day started off just below freezing and the temperature rose to +3°C by the time we returned.
Skiing P19 to Lusk Cabin Again
Our 15th ski of the winter was from P19, far in the north end of the park, to Lusk cabin again for our second visit there. We skied on trails Green 50, 55 & 54, a distance of 13 km round trip. It was considerably warmer today, reaching about -6°C under bright sunshine, while we were skiing.
We had a big melt coming after today and so proved to be our last ski of the winter.
Skiing P10 to Huron Cabin via Trail 3
Our 14th ski of the winter was from P10 to Huron cabin, via the Fortune Parkway and trails Blue 3 & Green 1, a distance of 12 km round trip. The day was cool, with a high of -10°C, but once again clear and sunny. After the recent melt and then a 22 cm snowfall the trails were in great shape.
Trip to Toronto
We had a short, three day trip to Toronto to see Heather and Sara there, as Sara was recieveing an ACTRA award. Despite the warm temperatures, we got to skate at Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto City Hall and even shot a video there.
Skiing P16 to Renaud Cabin
Our 13th ski of the winter was our longest ski yet, from P16 to Renaud cabin, via trails 50 & 55, a distance of 27 km round trip. The day was cool, with a high of -12°C, but clear and sunny. The trails, however, were in bad shape with lots of leaves, pine cones and branches on them, which made skiing slow and difficult.
Skiing P17 to Renaud Cabin
Our twelfth ski of the winter was from P17 to Renaud cabin, via trails 53, 51, 50 & 55, a distance of 19 km round trip. It was Family Day in Ontario and a beautiful, sunny day, so the park was very busy.
Skiing P19 to Lusk Cabin
Our eleventh ski of the winter was from P19 to Lusk cabin, We skied on trails Green 50, 55 & 54, for about 11 km total. It was a cold and windy day, after a cold front had passed.
Skiing P10 to Trails 51 & 53
Our tenth ski of the winter was from P19 once again, in the very northwest end of Gatineau Park, around the trail 51 and 53 loop, for about 8 km total. This ski also marked 100 km of skiing for the winter!
Skiing P19 to Renaud Cabin
Our ninth ski of the winter was from P19 in the very northwest end of Gatineau Park to the new Renaud Cabin, including the trail 55 loop, for about 15 km total. It was a great ski on 26 cm of fresh snow. This ski also marked the "break-even point" on our ski passes for the winter!
Skiing P8 to the Champlain Parkway
Our eighth ski of the winter was from P8 past P5 (Penguin) to the Champlain Parkway, for about 10 km total. It was a great workout on fresh falling snow.
Skiing to P9 to Huron on Ground Hog Day
Our seventh ski of the winter was from P9 past P10 and up the Eardley Escarpment to the Champlain Parkway and over to Huron Cabin via the Champlain Lookout, for about 13 km total. It was snowing pretty hard at times, as snow showers blew though, giving us some fresh snow to ski on.
Skiing the Gatineau Parkway from P9
Following a multi-day melt, our sixth ski of the winter was from P9 past P8 and on towards P5. It was a gorgeous sunny day for this 10 km ski.
Skiing P7 to Huron
Our fifth ski of the winter was to Huron cabin from P7, a distance of 14 km return.
Skiing P16 to Healey
Our fourth ski of the winter was from P16 to Healey cabin and then onto Herridge cabin, both located on Trail 50, a distance of 11 km return.
Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
With 15 cm of fresh snow on the ground today we went for our first snowshoe trek of the winter in the greenbelt.
Skiing P10 to Shally Shally
Our third ski of the winter was to Shilly Shally on a day where the Eardley Escarpment was in the clouds and there was hoar frost on everything.
Skiing Really Starts
Other than one single ski day we had in November, there has been insufficient snow to ski this winter, until last night's snowfall. The new snow gave us the opportunity to ski the 10 km round trip to Shilly Shally cabin on a beautiful sunny day.
Skating in the New Year
Due to the lack of snow so far this winter we have been doing a lot of ice skating. This evening we skated at the Fred G. Barrett arena with our friend Jane. This was my 21st skate of the winter and Kathryn's 19th!
Kathryn's Quilts and Other Sewing Projects
This pandemic year has given Kathryn a chance to do lots of quilts and other sewing projects.