Rideau River Slow Motion Boats

While location scouting for HPFP.ca I had a chance to film some boats on the Rideau River. It’s mainly test footage for slow motion as I’m still learning how to maximize the quality right out of the camera and I goofed a few settings. But none the less, it looks cool!

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival – Friday night

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival – Friday night
We were at the Friday night event because my wife was a member of the CFUW-Ottawa team that was one of the top sixteen pledge ($) raisers and as a result they had an opportunity to be part of the Opening Ceremonies and a bonus “race” on the Friday night. After parking my car at the Post Office parking lot and walking over to the Mooney’s Bay Park, the next step was to find their tent location #56. When I got there, they were completing the last minute discussion about paddling positions so I spent a bit of time watching the kids at the adjacent Tim Horton’s Kids Fun Zone.


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The boats themselves were ready for the evening’s challenge and had been newly decked out with their polished dragon heads and the drummer’s drums were safely secured in the bow of the boat.

RON_3765-Dragonboat   RON_3766-Dragonboat-drum

Although I was interested in the CFUW boat and crew, I decided to take a few shots of the other top fund raisers as well. I wasn’t sure who was who out on the water but it was interesting to see how some of the teams dug right in and headed for the start line under a good head of steam while some of the other teams were much more laid back. A couple of the boats even looked like they intended to race each other to the starting line 500 meters away. Here, in no particular order, are some of the “competitors” for this evening’s honorary “race” (two heats of 8 boats in each heat – distance 500 meters).













As the CFUW-Ottawa team headed out they slowed their speed and found time for a wave to the many family members and spectators gathered along the shore line. These ladies were enjoying the moment. The real racing would begin on Saturday :-).


The heat that the CFUW women were in was pretty quick and the fastest boat of the evening was in their heat. Some of those all-male crews were really moving their boats along at a pretty good clip even if this was billed as just an honorary warm up race for the top fund raisers!


As the CFUW-Ottawa team crossed the finish line, drummer Sue gave them the sign to rest and they did just that.



The big races would be on Saturday. Friday was just for fun :-).


CFUW, Ottawa – Dragon Boat Race Preparations

CFUW-Ottawa – Dragonboat Race Preparations


My wife is a member of this year’s entry into the Ottawa Dragonboat Festival weekend events and Wednesday was their last practice day on the water at the Rideau Canoe Club. Since the weather was beautiful and it is unlikely that I will be able to get very close to the actual boats on the day of the races (June 21 -23rd, 2013), I decided to head down to the docks of the canoe club and enjoy the weather, the activity and opportunity to take some relaxed photos of the CFUW-Ottawa group at their final practice session. (Online donations form)


RON_3659-Paddles-and-jacket  RON_3658-Dragonboats

After a short discussion and review of some seating arrangements, the group headed off into the open waters of Mooney’s Bay (Location).  No one got wet during this practice session but, on the day of the races, I expect that more than one of the many participating boats will run afoul of bad steering or rough waters. The weather forecast looks good for the morning races but thundershowers are forecast for later in the day so the afternoon racers might encounter some swirling winds and choppy waters. I’m sure that all of the participants hope that they stay dry!



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RON_3682-Dragonboats  RON_3681-Dragonboats


For today’s preparations, the participants spent an hour on the water working on timing and final tweaking of technique and making sure that instructions from the bow were fully audible and understood.  In the hectic moments of actual race day, with numerous commands from various boats intermingling with plenty of splashing, there is always the possibility of some misunderstandings 🙂 but on this last day of preparations for the CFUW – Ottawa team everyone arrived back at the dock in good spirits.

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Parking a dragon boat can sometimes be a bit tricky, but as video clip shows, it can be done :-).
Parking a dragon boat

About the festival:

Admission for spectators is FREE to the Tim Horton’s Dragon Boat Festival – Ottawa so the beach of Mooney’s Bay is guaranteed to be well-populated with spectators over the three days of the event. For anyone, who might tire of watching the on-water racing, the organizers have plenty of on-land activities to fill in any spaces in the on-water activities.

CFUW and the race day events (FRIDAY images) (SATURDAY images)

Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival Location

Dragon Boat Festival website

Online donations form

CFUW – Ottawa Website

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Awaiting the unwary. Paddlers beware 🙂

Upper Canada Village – The Asseltine Woollen Mill

Upper Canada Village – The Asseltine Woollen Mill

The Asseltine Woollen Mill was one of the buildings that I visited and photographed extensively during a recent visit to the Upper Canada Village located west of Cornwall, Ontario. The Woollen Mill is one of many 1860’s vintage buildings on this historic site. To see the other buildings and activities visit our website entry: Upper Canada Village.

The Asseltine Woollen Mill was moved to the Upper Canada Village location in 1957.  Prior to that, it had operated from 1828 until the 1930’s on the banks of Mill Creek in Ernesttown Township near Kingston,Ontario. At the Village, it now continues as a functional water-powered woollen mill providing a look at mill activities as they might have appeared in the 1860’s.

As visitors enter the mill on the main floor, they are greeted with the smells of the raw wool process and can examine both the bins of uncleaned wool as well as the washing vats where the wool would have been cleaned before being set out to dry.

As I wander around places like this, I am always intrigued by the signs and the rules that were in place in that time and place. Continue reading

The Encampment at the Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 22th, 2012

The Encampment at the Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 22th, 2012

After the water battle drew to a close, I had some time available to wander among the many tents of the encampment to say hello to some of the reenactors whom I had met in previous years. It’s a fun time for me as I try to find a few more scenes or items to photograph that  one would not normally encounter in present-day life.
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Water Battle Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 22th, 2012

Water Battle Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 22th, 2012

Always interesting to see the various boats and bateaux plying the waters off the lighthouse point.

(Tech: This year my water shots were taken with a 300mm lens with 1.7x on a DX format camera body but without remote release this time around. This introduced some shutter depression movement compared to shots from previous years. Hopefully everyone will enjoy seeing them anyway. :-)) Continue reading

2012 Jock River Canoe and Kayak Race, Richmond, Ontario

March 31, 2012 – I visited the Jock River Race official site (http://www.jockriverrace.ca/) again today. I knew that they have decided that the lack of snow cover and no ensuing rainfall to speak of had forced them to move the date for the race ahead to today’s date. No indication this morning that the race might have been canceled so I’m off with my camera to see what interesting action I might be able to capture again this year.

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Upper Jock River Canoe and Kayak Race – 2012

Upper Jock River Canoe and Kayak Race – 2012

The unseasonably warm weather of the past week or so is beginning to have an effect on lots of things.  X-C skiing is certainly tough with no snow but another local event, the Upper Jock River Canoe and Kayak Race is also affected by the warm weather. The race organizers rely on the Spring snow melt to provide sufficient water flow in the Jock River to allow them to stage a race without too many boats scraping bottom along the route.

I was visiting their official site (http://www.jockriverrace.ca/) today and see that they have decided that the lack of snow cover has forced them to move the date for the race ahead again. It is now tentatively scheduled for March 31, 2012 but it is strongly advised to keep going back to their site in case they have to change the date again. At the moment, Graeme and I might be along the shoreline at some point with our cameras as we have been in two of the past three years. With any luck it won’t start snowing :-).

2009 Jock River Race blog and photos
2011 Jock River Race blog and photos.

Best of luck to everyone who is entered for the 2012 event.

UPDATE: March 31, 2012 – The 2012 race is now over and uploading of the photos from that event has begun. View here: 2012 Upper Jock River Canoe and Kayak Race




Water Battle Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 24th, 2011

Water Battle Re-enactment of French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY July 24th, 2011

This is the third year that Graeme and I have traveled to Ogdensburg, NY to photograph the various re-enactments. Our Previous postings of these events can be found at:
July 2009 – Plains of Abraham re-enactment
July 2010 – 250th anniversary of the French and Indian Wars. (WATER BATTLE)
July 2010 – 250th anniversary of the French and Indian Wars. (LAND BATTLE)

On previous occasions we had traveled to Ogdensburg for the Saturday events. For 2011, we decided to do the Sunday event. As in the previous year’s blog, the photos of the 2011 event will be uploaded as two blog entries, one focused on the water battle and the other focused on the land battle. This blog entry covers the water battle re-enactment. You will find the land battle photos, etc. here: Land Battle Re-Enactment of the French and Indian War at Ogdensburg, NY – July 24th, 2011

Many of the participants in these re-enactments sleep out overnight in their basic white tents and cook their meals over open wood fires. It’s part of the true-to-history aspect and part of the fun and adventure although not far from the amenities of civilization.

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