On Wednesday, Sept. 29th, the grade 10 class canoed from downtown Ottawa back to the school. The day started with a ride on the OC Transpo, which for some was a new experience, to the War Museum. From there we walked to Victoria Island just below Parliament Hill, where we got into the canoes and started our trip downstream on the Ottawa River.
There has been a lot of rain in recent weeks, which meant that there was a good flow. This along with sunshine and the wind in our back, promised to be a fairly quick trip. The 1st hour saw us paddle below Parliament, Rideau Falls and the Prime Minister's residence. In the 2nd hour, we entered a section of the river where the Gatineau River joins the Ottawa River and the wind is funneled to give us an even greater push. This is where we pulled out the lunches and the sails, and we managed to cover quite a few kilometers without a lot effort.
The last hour we paddled past a number of islands in the middle of the Ottawa River. On one of these islands Matt & Aaron found small sailboat and desperately tried to tow it back to school. Quite the sight, especially when Matt got in the sailboat, leaving Aaron in the bow of the canoe doing circles. Once they caught back up to the rest of the group, we had some Halloween chocolate and began the last part of the paddle to our take out just below the St. Louis Retirement Residence. After a quick portage back to school, our trip was complete.
This was the 1st time one of our outdoor ed classes completed this trip and what a great experience. It is really cool seeing some of Ottawa's great landmarks from a canoe, something not a lot of people can say that they have done.