Boating & Cruising

Photos, ramblings and the occasional bit of useful information from our voyages aboard the runabout Sunset Chaser and other small boats.

Weeds and props

The weeds are really, really bad this year. The folks at Zero to Cruising have commented a few times on how thick the weed mats in Collins Bay are- some of their weeds have even trapped birds. And on the Rideau this weekend, we rarely made it more than a minute or two without getting a weed ball of some kind wrapped around the prop.

Locking through the Rideau

Not much has changed in the last 180 years or so. Not on the Rideau Canal, at least. Sure, there are shorepower ports these days, and electric lighting, and the lock staff have even started carrying short-range radios. But the lock gates are still winched open by hand, the water flow is still controlled by hand-cranked valves, and boats are still coaxed into position with rope, muscle and a bit of shouting. Even in the chaos of the August long weekend, it's a tranquil throwback to a simpler age.

Well, most of the time.

Boats of the Rideau

The August long weekend is one of the busiest times of the year on the Rideau Canal. If you're the patient type, it's a great time to go through a few locks, camp out for a few nights, and check out the local scenery, wildlife and boats, as Katy and I did this weekend. We'll start off with the boats....

World robotic sailing championship 2010

Take an eclectic fleet of experimental radio-controlled model yachts. Add a mix of engineering and computing students from around the world. Add coffee, shake, and let the engineers work for a year. Then turn the boats loose on the race course- and leave them entirely to their own devices. That is the essence of the World Robotic Sailing Championship.