Trip Reports

East Wind Brigade Trip Report

East Wind Brigade Trip Report 2017

DSC00856Seventeen RACCC members paddled as part of the Four Winds Voyageur Brigades that involved over 200 paddlers from across Canada.  The North, South, East and West Wind brigades traveled ancient routes along the 4 directions, to gather at 3:00 PM on July 1st in Ottawa at Askinabke - Victoria Island - a place where people have gathered for at least 5,000 years. Our East Wind group travelled from Montreal to Ottawa.  Click here** to see the route taken along with daily progress reports.  Click on Read More to read about the highlights of the trip and to see additional photos.

**To see the daily progress reports sent by the East Wind Brigade, you must click on the down arrow under the name Karen Hurd and the messages will appear.  To see on the map where the message came from you can use the Zoom In and Out arrows at the top left.  





Highlights from the East Wind Brigade include:

Our departure delayed by a huge (!) storm during final packing at the RA boathouse.
First night surprise: no poles for one tent. no prob! We switch about to make room for everyone.
“Camping sleepovers" on the porch at the Greenwood Centre and the hall floor at Grace Church.
Packing the van and the truck each morning!

oops: plug-in cooler was set to “hot” vs “cold” overnight. no prob! Our wonderful support crew grocery shop for us en route.
oops: Our stove not workin: so, cooking at sunset for 16 over a Pocket Rocket stove. No Prob! Neighbouring campers loan us their propane barbecue to cook supper about 9 pm. We use it to cook breakfast too. Thanks Jeff!

Our first paddling day was a doozie with big winds, big waves and a 'have to make distance to Carrillon Locks. No prob! We paddled! Locks stayed open late to lock us through.
Beautiful municipal camp grounds at Carrillon, L’Orignal...Montebello: not so much just after their rockfest!
Plaisance is lovely - just wet and it continued to rain.
Showers: Sweet saving grace of hot water on aching muscles! :-)

Paddling teams: Bluebirds and Redbirds! Everyone trying the Avant (bow) and Gouvernail (stern). Paddles Up!!
Great paddling! Distances made...and well earned upstream about 5 km per hour, sometimes faster in calmer water.
We hear our stroke counting in the distance: Stroke! Stroke! 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9- 10 ....
Singing the òldies`, words unknown.. `na na na na na na...`works and the kilometers flow past more quickly.
We got the Voyageur Salut down pat, greeting passers by, folks on the bridges, at the ferries, on the banks, on their porches....

Magical to paddle in the mist, shorelines appearing like ghosts. Wetlands are pretty... wet!
Ancient routes: We paddle with the spirits from 5,000+ years ago, do we see what they saw....the hills will not have changed.

Great team spirit: kindness, laughter, great meals (!), cooperation and collaboration. Canoes stored, tents up, tarps up, food ready...
Dancing to the rock music at Rockland! Doin' the 'Paddle' groove :-)
HUGE thanks to our 2 support vehicles and drivers! Reinforcements at Cumberland: Shuttle to/from Grace Church Orleans: everyone fit into four vehicles in one round :)
Rain pouring down (again)...happily ensconced on the floor at the church. Dry, fed and sleepy.
Judy’s voyageur songs & fiddle music.

Early starts. Everything ready. Everyone ready.
The last day arrives. gosh... Paddles up! Lets go!
The rain is falling, the rain is pouring, the rain is still falling, the current is stronger. We earn the kms...
and arrive at Dagmar's house for a quick lunch.
We paddle the last few kms to Asinabke, our flags flying, grins on our faces. Emotion rising. joining other canoes.
Helicopters overhead “wave”.
Paddlers greet us from the shore, lined with Voyageur Canoes.
Greetings and hubub... and quieter ceremonies.
Let us thank and take care of this earth and the water.
Let us find ways to make friends and to live together well. Let us paddle these rivers together!
Here is to a better next 150 years.

What a way to end the day and the trip: Dagmar's more than generous and delicious feast, and the fireworks!

Thanks to all those who helped us along the way!


 Greenwood Centre for Living History (Hudson, Quebec):  The voyageur salute


 Greenwood Centre for Living History


 The less-efficient van & truck (support team) must take a ferry to cross the Ottawa River!


Voyageur canoes require coordinated team work to move them!

 DSC00908 2

 Launch at Carillon


 L'Orignal beach


 Camping beside the beach at L'Orignal


 Time to warm up :)


 Launch at L'Orignal


Team work skills 


 Early morning discussion of the route to be followed (Montebello)


 Launch at Montebello


Calm water early in the morning at Montebello 


 Plaissance National Park