Early Fall or Summer?

It has been great this week with unseasonably warm weather and paddling conditions. Was out on the Rideau last night going upstream from the WA Taylor park.

Finished a nice 10km loop. Of course, no matter how nice the weather I am starting to chase sunset by the time I am back to the car.

Won’t be long till I’m limited to weekend paddling only because of the disappearing light.

Being Radical, Murphy Radical that is!

After surveying the current fleet of available kitplanes with solid backing I was able to identify the best value that would meet my mission:

  • Reasonable STOL performance
  • Ability to install floats and skis
  • Can carry both of us, two German Shepherds and camping gear
  • Reasonable cruise for cross-country work
  • Manageable operating costs
  • Metal primary structure
  • Modern design
  • Proven design with lots of built examples or derivative

After looking at all of the kits currently available I’ve decided on the Murphy Radical by Murphy Aviation. I’ve always been interested in the airplanes that Murphy makes and they are a solid Canadian company who also happen to be 5 minutes drive from a bunch of my west coast relatives in Chilliwack, BC. The Radical is a modern design and is manufactured using state-of-the-art laser cutting that will ensure a well aligned and durable airplane.

I’ve put down my deposit on the stage 1 kit and am eagerly awaiting the first shipment in November.

Loon drive-by

I was out enjoying what feels more like early fall than pre-labour day conditions today. Had a loon that was along my path but hung out close when I paddled by. It was apparently not interested in giving up its prime hunting grounds to the the orange interloper. Really nice to hear the call that close:

Mississippi Loon Video


Sportsman scrapped

After I heard the very disappointing news about the change in direction with the Sportsman’s manufacturer there was a lot of discussion at our house about whether or not I should continue to build this airplane. While I had close to 300 hours and significant money invested I was less that 25% through the kit and as such we decided that continuing to invest in the project was not a good risk. As such I’ve started to look at the kit planes that are currently available and are backed by solid companies that have a future in kit manufacturing.


In a sure sign that summer has arrived, I was walking out to my car and noticed this baby robin hiding out inside the front wheel well of my car.

Seems to approve of the tread on the GO15s as being secure and safe. Obviously just out of the nest and still figuring out the whole flying thing but convinced them to fly over to some nearby bushes for cover.

Beautiful morning on Mississippi Lake (with baby Loons!)

Had a great paddle this morning out on Mississippi Lake. It was very quiet and just a few rain showers in advance of the storms that were arriving around noon. Saw three separate Herons hunting along the shoreline and in also saw a Loon with three babies in tow. Mom was not impressed that I had taken an interest in them and I was careful to keep my distance as I paddled past them.

Managed to cover 8km before the weather started to look dicey and I turned back.

Finally installed the G015 tires

Finally got the Yokohama Geolandar G015 all-road tires installed this morning. They look great mounted on the titanium colored MR502 rims.

Initial impressions on asphalt handling are positive. I’ll have to make sure I take them onto some gravel and mud this weekend and see how they handle forestry roads.

Windy day on Mississippi Lake

Went out Sunday morning on Mississippi Lake in the breezy conditions (40-60km/hr) and it was a beautiful day. Launched from the Loon Lane ramp and went south on the lake for an hour and a half and hopped around the small island chains on the south east side of the lake. Had a few stretches of 2ft waves that the Pungo handled very well. After a short nap in the lee of one of the islands


I decided to surf the boat down the lake in the now 2-3ft waves and take advantage of the wind.

The Pungo handled the downwind surfing very well. I was able to catch and ride a few waves for a while and the boat didn’t try to immediately broach. Unfortunately the boat suddenly started to get very sluggish about 2/3 of the way down the lake and was starting to dig the bow in and want to pitch pole. When I got back to the launch ramp there was 10″ of water in the forward hatch. After some investigation it looks like I have a serious leak in the forward hatch so I’m off to Trailhead on Monday to see if they have some replacement seals for the hatch. Otherwise a fantastic day.

New rims have arrived for the Subaru

For those who follow rally racing these rims are legendary. The VT Spec version of this wheel was on a Subaru factory team car that blew a rear tire at the start of a 14mile special stage. The car was able to complete the stage including jumps and stretches over 100mph with the intact (but badly damaged) wheel. These are the famous Method Race Wheels MR502s in 17×8 and the Outback bolt pattern. Since the Outback will be going places this fall where a tow out can be thousands of dollars I figured these were a good choice to go with my new Yokohama Geolandar G015 adventure tires.

East side of James island is closed

In the early spring on the Rideau river you have the choice of following the main channel west of James island or the shallow channel to the east. Unfortunately the weeds grow very fast on the east side and when I looked tonight it would have been difficult to get through.

There were always lots of fish to see along with an eagle’s nest along this side of the island so it is too bad it is impassable but it also reduces the damage from powerboats that you see in other areas of the river.