Written Sept 18, 2021
We did a fairly fast trip to Lake Champlain. One day from Montreal to Chambly, where we took 5 days on our way to Montreal. And then one to Lake Champlain to Chambly where we took 4 going north. Beautiful country, but we were heading south. That headed for the barn syndrome does kick in. However, there are things we want to do farther south, so want enough days of weather fudge and unexpected stops.
Crossing the border
Crossing back into the US was uneventful. Yeah! We used the ROAM app on our phone, entered all our info and even told them we had fruits and veggies and meat, because we did. Cross the boarder, hit send. Pending. Processing. Approved. We never stopped, just kept going and we were in!
When we headed north we did not spend much time in Lake Champlain so wanted to on the way south. Most of our time was in Burlington, exploring and getting COVID tests to prepare for Canada. I really WANTED to visit several bays and anchor out.
We had two issues. 1. There were anticipated winds on 40 – 50 MPH out of the south. Champlain is notorious for building pretty big waves when you get a south wind. And 40 – 50 MPH could product 4 – 5 foot waves. We DID NOT want to be somewhere where we’d be subjected to this. We don’t know this lake so were perhaps overly cautious. But, that is not always a bad thing. Unfortunately, most or all of the anchorages that had been recommended to me might not provide the level of southern wind protection we wanted. Willsboro bay is a long narrow bay that you enter from the north. Narrow and deep. We WILL have southern wind protection here. And 2. The mast is down and we can’t get the dinghy off the boat with the mast down. So, if we anchor out, we can’t do any excursions.
Anchor or a marina? We’ve not done tons of anchoring and definitely not in strong winds. So we are a bit uncomfortable. And, the mast is down and we have more low bridges through the Champlain Canal. We choose a marina. It has good reviews and can take us.
The marina is fairly empty, but a very pretty spot. The wind is already picking up a bit, but easy docking. Actually twice. We docked and a local suggested we might want to face into the wind as opposed to having the stern slap from the winds. Talk to the marina and move inboard in the marina and facing south. Perfect!
The big winds are not expected until the middle of the night. We enjoy our evening, making sure the boat is quite secure before going to bed. About 2, we definitely head and feel the wind, but we are snug and is good.
The spot is so nice and there MIGHT be bigger waves in the main part of the lake, so we decide to spend another day. We’ve got catching up to do on life and happy to have a down day.
We also have to figure out what we are doing next. The mast is down which means we can’t use our dinghy (it’s trapped). We want to visit our friends in Ticonderoga which is father down the lake. No marina there, nor one close so we need to dinghy to them. We’ve got to raise the mast. We are feeling motionless and tired of this up and down activity. But, we finally decide, lets do it. We’ll find help.
The mast is up and we have a plan. Anchor off Fort Ticonderoga and dinghy to their boat ramp where we can then meet up with our friends Penny and Rob. They have an extra car we can use as well which will make doing a few chores easier. There are three potential spots to anchor, none perfect from the reviews but we choose the one with southern wind protection as there could be some gusty winds the 2nd afternoon.
We have a lovely dinner with our friends the first evening This dinghy-ing thing is pretty easy. Weather is great and the ride is not too long; just around the corner. The next day we visit Ft Ticonderoga. They have folks in custom doing all sort is activities that would have happened at the fort during 1775 when held by the British.
An interesting place in that it was originally built by the French, captured by the British and finally the Americans. This is all over a period of years between 1755 and 1781 during the French and Indian Wars (the 7 Year War) and the American Revolution.
The most interesting story is that early in the revolutionary war (May 10, 1775), Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold (he was till on “our” side) and the Green Mountain Boys from Vermont capture this fort peacefully from the British who only had a very small garrison there. There was great concern that the British would use the Champlain route to move troops and supplies in the the Colonies and cut off New England from the rest of the budding country. Thus, between the capture of Ticonderoga and the battle at Saratoga, the US shut down this route for the British.
We also visited our Friend Rob’s family home about 30 miles out of Ticonderoga up in the Adirondacks. The original home is pretty rough at this point, but makes a good place for Rob to escape and paint.
Today we left our oh so lovely anchorage off Ticonderoga and headed and headed south. We were a bit say to leave, but did I mention the barn? We did not leave until nearly 11 as we had to get the dinghy back on the boat, deflate it and then lower the mast. Jim and I can lower the mast buy ourselves! We still think we need one extra person to raise it.
We were hoping to make Fort Edward this evening, about half wa through the Champlain Canal (6 locks through). We got into lock 9 and the Lock master told us 8 and 7 were closed due to lightening and potential tornado’s. Best to tie up. Smith Basin as Lock 9 is rural and quite pretty. So, here we are! It has rained on and off, but we did manage a nice walk.
Tomorrow? Not sure yet. Maybe Troy, NY.