8 June 2008

 The weather was just about perfect for the 5th annual Paddlequest which raised about $4000. for the Miramichi Lodge Long Term Care facility. Canoes and kayaks paddle a distance of 15 KM on the Ottawa River from Petawawa Point to Riverside Park in Pembroke. It is not a race - just a fun event. Renfrew County ARES has provided safety communications for all 5 of these events. This year, zodiacs were used for most of the safety boats to allow the boats to get into shallower water and assist paddlers wherever they might be on the river. An ARES member was on each boat to help with positioning the zodiacs and provide any other communications necessary. The Pembroke Fire Dept. and the Base Petawawa Fire Dept. each provided their rescue boats, and Base Petawawa provided some Assault boats.  Also, the OPP provided one of their patrol boats and our past EC, Les, VE3PL was along with his pontoon boat.

George, VE3GPD, organized the ARES part of the event and was the land based station. Mike, VE3ODJ was aboard the OPP boat. Richard, VA3BIX rode the bow of one of the Assault boats and Don, VE3IGN was in the other Assault boat. Dale, VA3DNA was aboard the Pembroke Fire Dept. boat while Bob VE3YX was aboard the Base Petawawa Fire Dept. boat. Yvonne, VE3RYA travelled with Les on the Pontoon boat, and in true Paddlequest spirit, Ron, VA3MDL paddled aboard the voyageur canoe, taking occasional breaks to report on the radio. Fred, VA3FPB is one of the organizers, and unlike previous years, wasn't involved in the radio activities.

We used hand helds to work through the VE3NRR 2M repeater in the West side of Pembroke. The repeater location is ideal to cover the part of the river used for this event.



Some of the zodiacs waiting for their crews.


Fred, VA3FPB, one of the organizers, briefs some of the zodiac crews.


A frame from a video.  Some of the safety boats clustered before the start.


The paddlers set off with perfect conditions on the river.


 First Corner

The boats soon get seperated and cover a good length of river.

Lead Boat

The voyageur canoe leads the pack.


The voyageur canoe with Ron VA3MDL (5th from left) doing double duty, paddling and radio.

Assault with VA3BIX

One of the Base Petawawa Assault boats with Richard VA3BIX in the bow.

BIX crew

Richard's view of the crew.


The best decorated boat in the event.


Too far!! Need a tow! The Pembroke Fire Dept. helps out.


Mike, VE3ODJ is hiding under the white hat.

Base Fire Crew

The crew of the Base Petawawa Fire Department rescue boat. This is the crew that rescued the people from the only upset of this year's event.


Part of ARES group

Some of the ARES group at Riverside Park after the event.

Left to right - Bob, VE3YX; Don, VE3IGN; Rob, VA3AGN who paddled without a radio this year; Dale, VA3DNA.

This is an article from the Pembroke Observer.
Click on the thumbnail for a larger view. (0.5MB)

Observer Article


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