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Ten Days on Lake Champlain
Saturday August 28, 2004 00:16:55

August 27, 2004

It has been ten days since we have had an Internet connection and could update the cruising log so we will cover most of our cruise on Lake Champlain with this entry. Tomorrow we will be heading south to Whitehall, NY and the entrance to the Champlain canal which will return us to Troy where we started the northern triangle.

On August 18th and 19th we continued our stay in the Lighthouse Marina at Rouses Point, NY, on the northern tip of Lake Champlain. The wind was howling out of the South as a strong front approached with intermittent strong rain showers. There was an open water wind advisory for the lake so we decided to land cruise for the two days. We portaged the crew in a rental car through the Adirondack Mountains and toured Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. We found the best prime rib we have ever tasted at the Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Co. in Lake Placid. The second day we crossed the bridge and drove down the islands on Vermont side to Burlington. When we arrived in Burlington the skies opened up and it poured. We had to give up on walking around the interesting downtown areas. It was good to see this cruising area from the land side before we passed through by water.

On August 20th we moved south about fifteen miles, cut through the Vermont Hero Islands at the Gut. Five miles to the east we tied up in the inner basin at Burton Island State Park for a four day stay. You can see MYTIC ROSE above providing us a comfortable lakeside island cabin complete with a screened in back porch. The 253 acre island park can only be reached by boat. It has no restaurants, cars, or shops. There are trails and campsites and the feeling of having left most of noisy civilization behind. Our stay provided a complete shift in gears and allowed us to walk, read and hang out in delightful scenery. There is a picture of Carol on one of our walks on the island in the photo gallery.

On August 24th we passed back through the Gut and headed south another eight miles to Smugglers Harbor, a small cove on the east shore of Valcour Island. This island is a New York State Primitive Area which is covered with mature forest and no infrastructure except for a dozen out houses. There is a picture of this beautiful cove in the gallery. We walked the trails for a couple of miles and enjoyed a quiet night on the hook.

The next morning, August 25th the wind had shifted to south and increased to twenty knots. The boat began to roll so we lifted the dingy which required an interesting dance on the rocking boat by the skipper to get the dingy secured to the cabin top. We upped anchor and headed south into a three to four foot chop. Approximately twenty miles to the south we found a well protected marina at Essex, NY.

The Essex Shipyard has very accommodating owners who gave us a ride to the grocery store and back. They own a mahogany Chris Craft runabout and a wooden Sparkman and Stevens Voyager sloop from 1939. These people appreciate nice boats. The town reminded us of Oxford on the Maryland Eastern Shore. The town is very pedestrian friendly with colonial houses, small shops and restaurants a block from the marina. We stayed two days and caught up on laundry and boat cleanup. We will come back to Essex.

Today August 27th we left Essex after a short rain shower and headed across to Point Bay Marina in Vermont where fuel is 45 cents cheaper a gallon due to tax differences with New York. After fueling we moved south again to Westport, NY on the western shore.

We found ourselves tied up across the pier from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museumís canal schooner, LOIS McCLURE. The 88 foot boat was just launched July 3rd as an authentic reproduction of the type from the 1860s. They are on their inaugural lake tour. We toured the schooner and had a long conversation with her skipper. There is a picture at the end of the photo gallery.

Westport has much the same feel as Essex but just a bit smaller. Westport does win in the area of restaurants with two excellent eateries. Tomorrow we leave with many areas of the lake still unexplored. We can see returning another summer with at least three weeks to cruise Lake Champlain. The clear fresh water is amazing.


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