- – - Sailing Up River
- – - Our Engagement Cruise
- - Summer Sailing
- - Sailors on Vesper
- - First Sail of 2019 on Vesper
- - Launching Joya II
- - Working on Vesper
- - One Year of Cohabitation
- - Captain Kathryn
- - Vesper Launched
- - At The Canadian Tulip Festival
- – - Heather, Carolyn, Mike & Leo in Ottawa
- - Sandbagging at Nepean Sailing Club
- – - Trip to St Catherines and Toronto
- - Biking Season Begins
- - Rebuilding B & X Docks at Nepean Sailing Club
- - Last Skate on The Rink of Dreams
- – - Kathryn in Thunder Bay
- - Quick Trip to Montreal
- - Rebuilding B & C Docks at Nepean Sailing Club
- - The Last Skate on the Rideau Canal for this Year
- - Wildlife
- - Skating for Transportation
- - Skiing to Shilly Shally Cabin in Gatineau Park
- - Skiing to Keogan Cabin in Gatineau Park
- - Snowshoeing in Andrew Haydon Park
- - Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
- - Skiing to Renaud Cabin in Gatineau Park
- - Skiing in Gatineau Park
- - Skating the Rideau Canal
- - Skiing Restarts
- - Skating in the New Year
Click to enlarge photos, hover for caption
Sailing Up River
We did a three day/two night trip on Vesper. Friday afternoon we sailed and then returned to anchor just outside the NSC harbour overnight, in our position as a safety boat for the morning's Bring On The Bay swim. After the swimming event was done, we rafted up with Chuck and Gillian on Joya II for an hour. Then we headed up the river in a southwest wind. While the winds were fickle and light earlier in the day, by the time we crossed Constance Bay they became very high and gusty, hitting 30 kts and we had to beat to windward against them in challenging sailing conditions. We finally made it around buoy K15 to Buckham's Bay to complete our 18 nm leg to dock at John and Kelly's harbour at Barking Mad Cottage. We went for dinner in Arnprior with them and then slept on Vesper, on what turned into a calm night. On Sunday morning we departed early, motored into a growing northwest wind that was touching 15 kts by the time we made the K15 buoy and hoisted sail to run home. As we passed Aylmer Island, the winds were 25 kts and then increased to 30-35 kts. We were moving very fast running downwind, surfing down the building waves and hitting 6.4 kts. We dropped our mainsail at KNB and sailed in under jib alone on a beam reach, easily staying ahead of the exodus of sailboats quickly trying to get off the water by motoring. We dropped jib at the harbour mouth, motored the last few yards to our slip and were tied up just after noon. Our sailing time was just under 12 hours and we spent a total of 37 hours on Vesper over the three days. As Kathryn noted, "it was an eventful trip".
- Video: Bring On The Bay 2019
Our Engagement Cruise
We did our first overnight voyage in 2019 on Vesper, anchoring in Crystal Bay on a beautiful evening, with a gorgeous sunset. While at anchor there I proposed to Kathryn and she said "yes", so we are now officially engaged.
We had a great Canada Day sail! Today was our 12th sail of the season on Vesper. We are slowly catching up on our lost spring sailing, slowed only by lack of wind.
Sailors on Vesper
Today was our 8th sail of the season and we took our first passenger along today on Vesper. I'll add other photos as we get more people sailing.
First Sail of 2019 on Vesper
Transport Canada's restrictions on boating on the Ottawa river were lifted late on so this was our first chance to sail Vesper this year. It was a cool day, with good winds, so we sailed west and checked all the buoy locations.
The high water cost us about five weeks of sailing time and the TC river restrictions cost us another week, so the normally 29 week sailing season has been shortened by about 21%. That said, by this time last year we had only completed 7 sails of the 54 we did, so we will see how we do by season end.
Launching Joya II
This afternoon we helped launch Chuck and Gillian's Edel 820 Joya II.
Working on Vesper
With Transport Canada's restrictions on boating on the Ottawa river we are still unable to sail, so we have been working on Vesper, including doing some teak work.
One Year of Cohabitation
We marked one year of living together today! It has been fun, so it went by fast.
Kathryn completed her PCOC today and is now qualified to captain a pleasure boat!
Launch was a month late this year, due to the extensive flooding on the Ottawa River. Today the water dropped to 2.25 m over datum and were allowed to launch our boats. Vesper was the ninth club boat in the water and the first one on "E" dock. We were not able to start sailing right away, though, due to Transport Canada's restrictions on the river.
At The Canadian Tulip Festival
We went to the Canadian Tulip Festival at Commissioner's Park next to Dow's Lake, in Ottawa, with our friend, Tammy. As usual for a weekend there were huge crowds there, including a lot of tourists, even though it was neither warm nor sunny.
Heather, Carolyn, Mike & Leo in Ottawa
Heather, Carolyn, Mike & Leo were in Ottawa for a family wedding and we saw them several times, plus dog-sat Ziggie, too.
Sandbagging at Nepean Sailing Club
Ottawa had serious flooding this year, just like in . Today the water reached 2.5 m over datum and the two of us were at the sailing club filling sandbags.
We were back sandbagging again on 30 April, when the water was 2.8 m over datum. The river crested at 2.8 m on Thursday 02 May 2019 and then the level began to decline before a second crest at 2.7 m over datum on 14 May 2019.
Trip to St Catherines and Toronto
For Easter we did a trip to the St Catherines area to visit Kathryn's family and then stopped in Toronto to see my brother and his girlfriend on the way home.
Biking Season Begins
With the last snowfall hopefully behind us and the ice slowly melting, we got our first biking of the spring in on a +11°C day in mid-April.
Rebuilding B & X Docks
In April we continued work on the docks at Nepean Sailing Club, rebuilding the dock system, with B & X docks the focus for today. We were just two of the volunteers who worked on the two docks. It was much warmer than on past work days, reaching +6°C during our Saturday morning shift.
Last Skate on The Rink of Dreams
With warm weather on the way for the weekend we did one last outdoor skate on the Rink of Dreams for this winter.
Kathryn in Thunder Bay
Kathryn made a week-long trip to Thunder Bay to see her new grandson, Leo, as well as see Carolyn, Mike and also Heather, who had flown in from Vancouver, too.
Quick Trip to Montreal
Today we went to Montreal for Sunday brunch with Matt, Katia and Blake who is now seven and a half weeks old.
Rebuilding B & C Docks
This year the Nepean Sailing Club continued with its work rebuilding the dock system, with B & C docks. We were two of the volunteers who worked on the two docks, in cool temperatures and high windchills, just like last year!
The Last Skate on the Rideau Canal for this Year
Today was our last skate on the canal for this year, on the last day that it was open for skating. The surface conditions were good when we started out, but were getting soft by the time we finished our end-to-end run today, with the temperature at -1°C under bright sunshine. We had lunch on the canal including BeaverTails.
We have seen a lot of wildlife while out snowshoeing this winter, including many birds, river otters and quite a number of coyotes. We spotted this eastern coyote (canis latrans) on one snowshoe expedition.
Skating for Transportation
This evening I had a meeting downtown, so I decided to take the train to Carleton University and skate the 7 km to downtown on the Rideau Canal. I have done lots of skating for recreation in the past, but this was the first time I had skated as a means of transportation. It took 33 minutes to get downtown, which at that tme of day may have been quicker than driving a car.
Skiing to Shilly Shally Cabin in Gatineau Park
For Valentine's Day we decided to ski Gatineau Park again, this time to Shilly Shally cabin for lunch. After skiing we went to Les Saisons in Old Chelsea for hot chocolate and then the sailing club for some dinner, before going to an NCC Urbanism Lab downtown in the evening, entitled Reuse and Renewal: Designing Futures for Historic Places. It was a pretty good Valentine's Day!
Skiing to Keogan Cabin in Gatineau Park
Today we had quite good skiing conditions and so we skied to Keogan cabin for lunch, including some distance south in the hills on trail 1, the Ridge Road Trail. The total distance we skied was about 13 km.
Snowshoeing Andrew Haydon Park
We did another snowshoe trek today, in deep snow and high windchills in Andrew Haydon Park.
Snowshoeing in the Greenbelt
We did our first snowshoe trip today, working with deep snow under a layer of ice. It was a good workout.
Skiing to Renaud Cabin in Gatineau Park
Today we had excellent ski conditions and so we travelled to the north end of the park, to ski to the new Renaud cabin, built in about 2017. This replaced a much older cabin on the same site. Total distance was 19.0 km skied.
Skiing in Gatineau Park
We did our first ski in Gatineau park this winter today. The conditions were really quite good, with a temperature of about -5°C and no wind at all. The snow was deep enough and nicely groomed by the NCC crews. We skied from parking lot P16 up the Eardley Escarpment to the Champlain Lookout and then back to Huron cabin, where we found a fire blazing away in the woodstove, the place nice and warm for a lunch break. From there we skied back to P16, before heading home.
We also made a video:
Skating the Rideau Canal
The conditions were good today, with the whole canal finally open and the temperature at -9°C and a -13 windchill, so we skated the whole canal end-to-end and even stopped to share a BeaverTail.
We also shot a video:
We haven't been XC skiing in the last two months due to poor conditions. We had a repetative pattern of snow, rain, thaw, freeze for much of the December and into January, but winter seems to have at last returned and with it the chance to ski.
Skating in the New Year
2019 started off with a freezing rain storm and poor conditions for outdoor activities, so we started our year with lingonberry sundaes and then indoor ice skating. We have done lots of skating so far this winter, this was our 14th skate!