by Kathy Aldridge
Members of the Rideau Nautical Modelers are back on Wednesday evenings at the Brown’s Inlet pond (Holmwood and Craig). Peter and Sheldon Ebenhoech and Adrian Camfield started using the pond in the summer of 2015 to navigate their model ships. Peter Ebenhoech was captivated from a young age by the radio-controlled models. He once saw a model on this very pond at the age of 13 and joined the Capital Marine Modellers boat club, which used this pond for a few years.
This year a few other members of the Rideau Nautical Modellers have been coming out to join the guys and greet the community. They have anchored a boat dock in the pond, which even the ducks use when the modellers are not there. Many of the neighbourhood children have noticed and come out every week to enjoy the wide array of ships. Two of the younger children even joined in, with their ships running alongside the club’s. At times, the club members invite the youth that come and watch to take the controls to get a feel for navigating.
Rideau Nautical Modellers is a not-for-profit club that collects a small annual fee to cover operating costs, the largest of which is public liability insurance. The club also incorporates an elected executive comprising a president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary. Their main pond is at Tomlinson Howe-Ross Quarry on Moodie Drive at Barnsdale Road. The 45+ members share an interest in building and operating various types of radio-controlled watercraft. These include both surface craft and submarines. The only restriction on the type of craft is that internal combustion engines are not permitted. Electric, steam, and wind-powered vehicles make up the fleet.
During the winter months they meet at the Royal Canadian Legion in Bell’s Corners to discuss news, plan events, exchange information on topics such as assembly and design techniques, and show off new model boat accomplishments. The meetings are usually on the first Wednesday of every month; since the winter is long and some members have newly completed ships they want to sail, they rent time during the winter months at City of Ottawa pools.
The club also participates in a variety of community events throughout the summer in locations that are more accessible to the public. This past June they held their 15th annual Ottawa meeting of the SUBCOM ON at Iroquois, Ontario, bringing together model submariners from across Ontario and Montreal. Submarines are the most complex of models, as they perform various sailing maneuvers and compete against one another. On July 16, the club was at the Stewart Park festival in Perth, sailing in the mighty Tay River in the heart of downtown Perth, with lots of musical entertainment for the family. On July 30, they were in the beautiful park setting of Canalfest in Merrickville, running with the big boys in the Rideau Canal locks. The Rideau Natutical Modellers website at www.rideaunautical.ca provides details on upcoming model boat events.
Closer to home, a few members head to Brown’s Inlet with their boats on Wednesday evenings during the summer. Come out and have a look.
Kathy Aldridge is a neighbour and dog-walker who often chats with the guys with the radio-controlled boats at Brown’s Inlet.