Monday afternoon, 27th June
We are home again from Kingston. PTN made an untoward noise of protest on start-up, which means we'll probably have to replace her starter soon, but there was no problem with our take-off on Runway 19. At 1200ft asl we were already in cloud, first flying above the dazzling white clouds at 5000ft, then in and out, then more in than out (too bouncy for my liking), then over the top again as we reached the Ottawa Valley, finally doing a "vectored LPV approach" towards Gatineau. Chris said he'd never practised one of those before and that it was interesting to be doing it for the first time "in real IMC," not breaking out of cloud until we'd dropped to about 1200ft, during a long final on the "suspended / unsuspended" RNAV approach to Runway 27, when we cancelled our IFR flight plan, able to change our destination to Rockcliffe because the morning mist had been broken up by the sun into scattered cumulus. We had been warned of windshear on the descent and Chris told me to stop fussing because we were up here now and had to land the [insert emphatic adjective] aeroplane somehow, we didn't have any choice. In the event the expected turbulence wasn't too noticeable and we landed safely at Rockcliffe in a crosswind from the south that suddenly disappeared as we passed the aviation museum, so the plane bounced a little along the runway. Lots of anecdotal material here for future groundschool classes!
The rest of this post was written yesterday.
Sunday evening, 26th June
We had a plan to go away today, to spend a night or two on the Isle aux Grues in the St. Lawrence river, northeast of Quebec. When I rang the hotel on the island I found they had no vacancies, and I was reminded that it was the St-Jean-Baptiste weekend, when Quebeckers traditionally take a holiday. I also noticed that the weather forecast for Quebec wasn't good. Onto Plan B therefore, a flight in the other direction. We have never been to Owen Sound which looks like a nice place to stay and has an airport, so I booked a room at the Great Western hotel on the waterfront.
|Weather systems in North America, 2016-06-26|
|The Wolfe Island ferry|
The island is named after General Wolfe who is adulated in this part of the world (the historic plaque on Main Street describing him as a paragon of virtue), though not in Quebec. There's a General Wolfe Hotel, too. At first glance the island has a rather lazy, old fashioned atmosphere, as if we'd floated back to the 1960s, with hippy types living in one of the run-down roadside cottages. We bought drinks at a roadside shack with plastic tables on a shady lawn and I found a local art show at the information centre. I was interested to discover that you can rent bikes on the island and spend the day touring around it that way. It's an appealing suggestion. Not today though, too hot. It was too hot to move at times; the breeze as we crossed the water on the jam-packed ferry was a great relief.
|Abandoned marina on Wolfe Island|
|Local art exhibition at the Wolfe Island Information Centre|
|View from our hotel room: Kingston's market square|
It had cooled down by the evening so we walked along the paths by the water as far as the yacht club and back; for supper we found a flowery outdoor patio at an Asian restaurant on Ontario Street. I ate an excellent Cambodian wonton soup followed by a blackcurrent ice at the gelato place opposite. We did some more sitting and gazing in the park where young couples were energetically practising swing dance in the park pavilion near Queen's University and saw the sunset and the many wind turbines turning on Wolfe Island, a light coming on at the axis of each one as night approached.