Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ottawa's Tall Ship

Yesterday evening, walking downtown, we made a detour down to the Rideau Canal locks to make sure the bottom one was closed. It was, and you can walk across, which means that my husband will be able to cycle to work in Kanata following the riverside trails without having to go through the traffic on Parliament Hill first; he can simply ride down the steep bike path from the National Gallery and then under the cliffs. There is still some ice on the bike trail but none in the river itself, now.

From our vantage point by the locks we noticed two wonderful things. First, the rusty old Alexandra Bridge over the Ottawa River was magically gilded by the setting sun from the west, especially dramatic with a grey sky for a backdrop to the east. I wished I'd had the foresight to bring a camera along. Secondly, as we walked past the penultimate lock, we saw the "Bytown Brigantine," still under tarpaulins, with her masts stowed horizontally, waiting to be sailed this summer. She's called Fair Jeanne and a visit to her website informs you of all kinds of possible adventures aboard. The section about Summer Activities in 2013 suggests that you
... be a part of history-in the-making, as Bytown Brigantine and the Fair Jeanne participate in three major events: the opening of Tall Ships Landing and the Aquatarium, the Tall Ships America Great Lakes Challenge 2013 and the Thousand Islands Flotilla.
You can participate in groups, as young teams (either in the 12 to 14 age group or the 15s to 18s) or as individual adults. It is not prohibitively expensive––each year, 20% of the ship's berths are made available to families through a bursary fund.

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