12.08.10 Ottawa

Today was the team’s last non-shooting day before the end of the tour. Most of the team enjoyed a lie-in before heading to the ranges to watch and support the Athelings shooting the final stage of the Rex Goddard match and the ACF cadets shooting the Canloan match alongside. It was great to see the Athelings win the Rex Goddard, with a sprightly Rex himself present in this, the centenary year of the Athelings. This also gave us an opportunity to meet the Athelings and ACF cadets and offer them our assistance during the DCRA Meeting should they need it. However, from the good scores that they were getting in the match, it is apparent to us that we shall need to take care not to be beaten by them too often in next week’s individual competitions! The Canadian strong performance in the Rex Goddard was also noteworthy, given that this year’s Athelings’ team is particularly strong.

After this we were able to get the keys to one of our team rooms a day early so we took the opportunity to collect the GB team kit from storage and move it across to our team room, which should save us a fair bit of time tomorrow.

The team then headed back to the hotel before splitting off to various activities. One bus however, stopped off at the local Dairy Queen on the way back to the hotel for chocolate and cherry blizzards. (This mention is dedicated to the memory of the late Andrew St. George Tucker, always a regular DQ patron at lunchtimes when on his almost annual tour to Ottawa with the GB team!).

During the afternoon one bus headed off to the local Bay Shopping centre for a fruitless search for small camping stools for use on the range. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be available anywhere in Ottawa now that summer is well advanced. On the bright side, we were able to purchase a Frisbee and some balls for diversion when not shooting (this before being told that similar invaluable items are stowed in the team kit that has yet to be fully unpacked!).

Others spent the day exploring downtown Ottawa, with an emphasis on Parliament Hill and the Changing of the Guard ceremony (all strangely familiar to us Brits) and the Museum of Art.

The rest of the team, less culturally inclined, headed off to explore the caves on the Bonnechere river. These turned out to be both further away than expected and a little less exciting than hoped. However, they did offer opportunities for the brave to have a paddle in the river, avoiding both fast flowing channels over the cascades and the rampant poison ivy. They also produced another gem from our geography student who, when asked to name the three main types of rock, promptly answered Sedimentary, Igneous and ‘Metaphorical’. The tourists were also taken aback by a sighting of the long looked for black bear – this large specimen was spotted a few kilometres from Kanata, an Ottawa suburb, nowhere near any mountains where we had expected to see one. Sadly, this bear had been knocked down and was lying dead by the side of the road.

This evening, one party visited La Pointe, a local fish restaurant well known to visiting teams for the excellence of its fish. (Our Channel Islands friends should know that the lobsters are still considered worthy!) Others opted for pizza by the hotel pool and the chance to catch up with some work on the team website. This correspondent is informed that captioned photos are now possible and that Kitty-Cam is still scheduled for release very soon!