Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Official Notice; Summer is here.

The Boat master showing off his nice new 19 footer.

It's official. Summer has arrived in Eastern Ontario. And here are the reasons I know this.
1.) Today the temperature reached 30ÂșC.
2.) I got my first basket of real, luscious, red-all-the-way-through local strawberries. Tender enough to clean with a spoon. Sweet, deep red and firm. I have just consumed a soup bowl full of these glowing gems, with yogurt on top. Aaah.
3.) Today I got my first sunburn.

Although covered in SP 30 sunscreen, I neglected the area around my watch and did not spread the goop far enough on my shoulders and so I have a red strip on either side of the white strip covered by my watch and a red crescent on the top of my shoulder. I do this every year, silly person that I am. The most annoying job I ever did on myself by far, however, was the burned on red crescent I ended up with while planting my garden in jeans that pulled down and a shirt that pulled up. It was only a few inches wide but, ow!, did it hurt.

We finally got the boat out for its inaugural spin. We live close enough to the Rideau Canal system to tow our boat to one of the locks and launch it there. This gives us access to Big Rideau, Upper Rideau and the lock and river systems north to Ottawa and south to Kingston. We drive a 19' outboard, big enough to withstand the waves that even a moderate breeze whips up on BigRideau and small enough that I can wind it up onto its trailer myself while The Boat master, aka JG, sits in glorious ease inside -- after having driven it up the launch and onto the trailer, that is. Today he made a perfect landing on the first try. And most of the trip was lovely.

The launch was not without its problems. Specifically, neither of us put the plug into the drain hole before we launched. The Boat master remembered this just as I was pulling the boat up to the dock at the lock and we had to reverse everything, turn the boat around and push it back up the ramp. Then I had to crawl around in two feet of water, insert the plug by feel and screw it in. It is a Good Thing that it was hot; I was completely soaked by the time I got the wretched plug in place. It is much easier to put it in when the boat is still on the trailer. Then we had to pump out the well. Luckily the lock was deserted and no one saw this debacle. We once did this with guests in the boat.

We played up and down Big Rideau for a while and had lunch at Narrows Lock. There always seems to be a breeze there, there's lots of shade and picnic tables and, on a weekday, few people around. It was lovely. Then we crept home around the south shore, looking at the cottages, the loons, and one intrepid water skier. Water's still pretty cold; you would have to be a teenager to enjoy it today. Our motor is almost silent at slow ahead and so we were able to hear the birds on the shore singing away -- there were a lot of them. It was lovely! And the loon babies are out. They are at the stage where they ride on their parents' backs and this makes a pretty strange silhouette seen at a distance.

Then we came home, threw a steak on the BBQ and had steak and salad and the aforementioned piggish bowls of berries. Lovely.

And I am so stunned with wind and sun and water and strawberries that this is the best I can come up with for a post.


  1. hurray for summer! Things must have slowed down a bit for you to get a moment to blog this grand adventure for your (waiting patiently) bloggy friends.

  2. I don't have a boat and there's no extensive waterway system here but! I did spend two hours today lounging by the river with a friend while our kids dug in the sand. Aaaaaaaaaaah. Summer.

  3. Wish I had been there (and why not put a little sticker on the winch or somewhere obvious to say "drain plug, silly"?) But glad you got out - and hope your knee and back are not feeling the strain of crawling around on the launch pad.


  4. Yes, summer has started rather gloriously in these parts. I'll bet it was lovely out on the water.

  5. Pretty darn good post if you ask me! Glad to hear the weather over there is looking up as we land in Nova Scotia on Tuesday! Yippeee!

  6. 93F here today, and I am finally out of fleece, fur, and flannel! Hooray! Of course, all the men are crabbing and complaining and have cranked on the air conditioning, but I am thrilled. Sorry about your burn, but the berries more than make up for it.

  7. maybe it's time to change your header picture. ;)

  8. It's wondrous sometimes, isn't it, that this kind of weather is even possible, when it feels that weeks ago we were battling something else entirely.