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Ottawa River

I live near the mighty Ottawa River. At night, we can hear it rumble over the Deschenes rapids. 

One late summer day I wanted to go sailing on the river. The sun was shinning and the wind was blowing gently from the west. I called all my friends but none wanted to go sailing with me. Well too bad for them. I trailered the open back 18 foot Minstral and rigged up the main sail and the jib. A good push off the trailer into the shallow water and the boat was ready to go. I sailed it up the river, gently, looking at the birds, the other boats and the shoreline. I could hear the gentle waves against the hull. Classic afternoon slumber sailing. Too bad my friends were not here.

A few more miles up the river and the shoreline was looking a little unfamiliar. A quick look up river woke me from my sleepy spell. The horizon was dark blue and yes I could see a lightning bolt come down. Suddenly the wind picked up a lot. It was full of moisture and stormy gusts. Hmm maybe my friends were right. Time to go home.

I turned the Mistral around and set course downriver with the wind and the current. I was moving. But also not exactly in the right direction. The strong pre storm wind was pushing me to the other side of the river. The far shore in this piece.

I looked at the shore where I came from and it was far away and I could not make out any familiar landmarks. The Mistral was hauling now and I was hanging way off the port side by the foot straps trying to balance the craft occasionally dipping the top of my head in the rushing river. I was being pushed more and more to the other shoreline. Not where I wanted to go. I tacked and decided to go across to the other side now very far away. The western sky was now completely dark and I could see thunderbolts. Everybody was getting off the river.

I let some sail out and put all my wight off the port side using the foot straps. There comes a point of no return, I have been there many times, when you know the boat is going over and there is nothing you can do about it. Sure enough the wind breathed a little gust and I was catapulted as the boat started to tip over. First the starboard side  went into the water, then me, and finally the mast teetered over and splashed into the water with the two sails.

This is the mighty Ottawa River.

Mixed media on aluminum panel with thick acrylic finish. Looks like glass. 18” by 24”.  Mounted in wooden floating frame.