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Ottawa 2006

We couldn't resist the urge to go back to the Ottawa for some fun on the waves and some pre Zambezi training for some of us.

Flying from Manchester we were lucky not to get delayed in all the new security checks that have been introduced in light of recent events, hand baggage was pared down to a minimum and no more than the usual raised eyebrows where raised when we pitched up with our boats at check in.

Canadian Affair use Thomas Cook and My Travel airlines who charge £60.00 return for your kayak on top of your fare but this does allow you your full 20 KG luggage allowance.  Flying into Toronto leaves you with a 5 hour, 430K drive up to Foresters Falls / Beachburg area.

We packed some stuff in the boats on the return journey to keep the weight of our check in lugggae down as we had packed wet kit, the weather having let us down the last couple of days meant we could not dry out all of our stuff.

Staying at Riverrun again this is the quieter option compared to the bigger Wilderness Tours operation a few K's further down stream.

There's loads of places to eat, try breakfast at the Broken Paddle cafe just outside Foresters Falls or the Diner by the Gas station in Cobden, in the evening there is a chinese in Beachburg, just by the LCBO beer store, further afield, try Frescos in Pembroke if you are on the way back from the Petewawa.

WT played host to the world cup competitors providing accomodation and meals as part of their entry fee, Brit paddler Ed SMith was gutted on the saturday night having missed out on a last 15 spot for Sunday by 2 places and only 5 points.

Higher than last year the river does change a little and is a bit more challenging in places.  We got the opportunity of running Initiation one of the smaller chanels running parrallel to McCoys. Initiation is more what we would be used to paddling in the this country being about the size and volume of what we are used to paddling, with a line running left to right, punching a diagonal at the top moving left through more mush to avoid the trashy shallow hole at the exit of the rapid, no pictures of this unfortunatley as it was pouring down on our last morning on the water.

Baby Face is the last wave in McCoys and is a favourite for the rafts with a large eddy providing service for even the 18 ft monsters, there is no love lost between boaters and rafters so don't be surprised if  you get pushed around or one drops in whilst you surf, WT where the worst culprits by far with Owl and Riverrun alternating boats and rafts.

Baby Face

The Push Button pictures were taken early morning, we where on the water about 7.45, early for us but people had been on since first light at 6.00am.  As we arrived a dozen or so paddlers paddled back upstream for their breakfast leaving us to enjoy the wave with only a couple of other paddlers and EJ who joined us for a pre Garb warm up, cartwheels front  and back loops, blunts all executed smoothly and seemingly without effort, although in the end he was knocked out of the World Cup competition Sunday morning.

Push Button

Push changed during the week becoming less retentive but the top wave then comes into play giving you a choice of a super smooth green wave or the pile of a breaking wave just behind.