As I write this, we are sitting onboard Stormy Petrel hauled out and on land waiting to be put back in the water this afternoon. A few days ago while motoring up the Otter Creek to visit Vergennes VT I managed to find the only submerged rock in the creek. When you hit a rock in a sailboat going 5 knots, it stops very quickly; our cabinet door in the head opened and the sliding door slid forward a few inches. A quick check below showed no water coming in so with the help of a friendly Canadian sailor we heeled the boat over and were off the rock in no time and back underway to the town dock at the foot of the Vergennes falls. After sitting at the dock for a few days we saw a very small leak so I made the decision to haul out to see how bad it was. I found a section about 6×8 inches where the fiberglass had been damaged so I got out my grinder, epoxy resin, and fiberglass cloth and went to work. Now we are all patched up and ready to go back out to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake.
Lake Champlain is the valley between the Adirondack Mountains of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont. The views as you sail up and down the lake are just magnificent. The sun rises over the Green Mountains and sets over the Adirondack Mountains and the water is clear, fresh, and a little cool. The winds seem to always be blowing gently and ideal for relaxed sailing. The anchorages all provide an opportunity to either enjoy the mountain views or get close up and enjoy the rocky cliffs of the shoreline. Lake Champlain is deep and in some spots you can sail right up to the rock cliffs and still be in 100 feet of water. Anchoring can be a challenge at times in the deep water sometimes anchoring close to shore and tying to a rock or tree. One of our favorite things about sailing in the lake is the fresh clean water is that if you get hot, and we’ve had a few 90 degree days, you just jump overboard into the 75 degree water and you are cooled off immediately. Hiking the trails of Valcour Island, biking the Burlington Bikeway to the Colchester Causeway and around Plattsburgh NY, as well as swimming almost every day has kept us active the past month and a half.
We had a nice visit with our son Scott and his friend Sara a few weeks back and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our daughter Dawn and son-in-law Juan this afternoon. They head back on the 21st and we will then begin our return trip down the Champlain Canal and the Hudson River back to New Jersey for a month or so before heading south again. We anticipate a stop in our nation’s capital in the fall.