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Outdoor Report: Parasailing and Water Skiing

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By Suzanne Leonard
Weather Broadcaster
@SuzanneTWN
Saturday, August 2, 2014, 9:23 AM

Many outdoor lovers gravitate to water in summer time – especially for a long weekend - whether it’s a back yard pool, local beach, campground or cottage lake, or annual road trip destination.

Now we’re into the hottest time of the year it’s a great way to cool off, but don’t miss your opportunity to try something new.

Enjoying the water can be as relaxing as floating on an air mattress or as exciting as the more adrenalin-filled watersports like parasailing. It looks very inviting in the video clip above featuring Kelowna’s Okanagan Lake. Spectacular panoramic views of the local mountains too as you soar like a bird up to about 90 metres. Exciting stuff!

www.okanaganparasail.com has catered to guests from age 3 to 87 as well as those with disabilities, and can take you on a single, tandem or triple ride – great ideas for outdoor adventure this summer.

Krissy & Gavin's wedding day parasail, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Krissy & Gavin's wedding day parasail, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

If parasailing isn’t an available activity where you live and play in Canada, keep it in mind for your next trip south. My on-air colleague Krissy Vann and her husband Gavin got married in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic in May 2012. When the weather turned rainy on their big day they decided to grab the biggest umbrella around – a parasail! “I always knew I wanted to add an extra element of adventure to our wedding day, to set the tone for our married life!” says Krissy – a beautiful thought and a fabulous picture.

Power boats and personal watercraft like Jet Skis offer plenty of summer thrills. Lots of Canadians have happy family memories of tubing, either being towed or watching from the boat – it’s a great introduction to speeding across the water.

From my album: Michael jumping the wake, water skiing near Huntsville, Ontario

From my album: Michael jumping the wake, water skiing near Huntsville, Ontario

Wakeboarding and water skiing are more challenging and are exciting sports to try, find out how you can learn here. My boyfriend Michael has been water skiing all his life near Huntsville, Ontario and makes it look easy. 

He’s taught many people how to water ski over the years and says the key to success is perseverance and a positive attitude. I didn’t grow up with this sport but as one of his “mature students” I’m excited every time I get the chance to skim across the water on a calm, hot day – there’s nothing quite like that feeling of freedom.

From my album: Michael making 'rooster tail', water skiing near Huntsville, Ontario

From my album: Michael making 'rooster tail', water skiing near Huntsville, Ontario

Whether it’s splashing in the shallows or racing across a lake, wherever you hit the water check the forecast here before you head out and the bug report too. Water safety is key for swimmers and boaters alike so know your limits, stay alert - and enjoy a great day outdoors!

Water is always a timely subject when it comes to gardening, it seems we often have too much or not enough of it for our gardens. Water is a precious resource and it’s all of our responsibility to use it wisely. It’s a sad fact but Canadians are among the world’s biggest water users and water wasters. Being water-wise in the garden just makes sense, and it saves you both time and money. Here are some simple tips:

In my garden: 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea

In my garden: 'Endless Summer' Hydrangea

  • Install one or more water barrels around your property to collect rainwater from the downspouts. Use them to fill up watering cans, or connect them to soaker hoses.
  • Spread a thick coating of mulch about 2”/5cm deep to cover any exposed soil in flower and vegetable beds. For more on mulch read Adventures in gardening: The joy of mulch.
  • Install soaker hoses throughout your garden. Thread them in between plants and shrubs, either on the surface of the dirt and under the mulch, or better yet dig them in to a depth of 5-10cm.
  • Avoid watering or using a sprinkler during the heat of the day. Much of that precious water will simply disappear before it has chance to penetrate to the plants’ roots, thanks to evaporation. The best time to water is always in the evening or early morning, that way the garden will get the full benefit. Watch perennials like this Hydrangea which have big leaves and blooms and can be especially thirsty. They’ll often droop in the evenings but may pick up on their own after a night’s cool rest.
  • Water deeply and infrequently rather than a light daily sprinkle, in order to encourage strong, deep root growth and healthy plants. The general rule of thumb is that gardens need about 1’/2.5cm of water per week, either by rain or watering. You’ll need to water new plantings and plants in containers more often – and will likely need to water more frequently during hot, dry weather spells.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me,) it’s always our self we find in the sea.”
e. e. Cummings

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