The trip was originally planned for Tuesday, but due to the warning of severe thunderstorms, we decided to postpone it by a day and are we ever glad we did. On the Tuesday, we would have spent the entire day paddling into some strong headwinds, which would have lined us up perfectly to be hit by a very large thunderstorm. Instead, we had perfect blue skies and the wind in our back.
To call Wednesday the perfect day, would have been an understatement. We started the day on the OC Transpo, as we made our way to Victoria Island at the base of the Parliament buildings. This is where our trip began, with motor boat support from Mr. Champagne, down the Ottawa River back to the school. It is a trip that generally takes 3 - 4 hours, but on this occasion, we broke some records.
It started out as a leisurely paddle past the Parliament Building, Rideau Falls and The Prime Minister's residence, which took about 45 minutes. Then as we passed the Gatineau River, the winds started funnelling in our favour and we put up the sails. This was the last time we put the paddles in the water (besides an occasional rutter) and we sailed at an average of 8 km/hr all the way to Orleans. The entire canoe trip took only 2.5 hours, which is the fastest and easiest paddle I have ever had over this stretch.
A great way to spend a day on the water