Just returned from a great sailing adventure on Lake Champlain.
I drove up to Essex, NY and was met with a hearty greeting by Mac MacDevitt.
After a bit of grocery shopping Mac led the way to Port Douglas where we rigged our boat and set off for Valcour Island. The passage was a down wind run in 15-20 mile an hour winds. Great surfing and good speed all the way. After about two hours we were able to tuck around and into Paradise cove. We set up tents for the evening and then hiked up to a bluff overlooking the lake and worked on getting the freeze dried meals cooked.
Oh man! The winds continued to build from the south all night. What to do? We left the cove under power as there was insufficient room to work our way safely out of the cove under sail. We motored south to the next cove which had plenty of room to get the sails reefed and boats set for a beam reach across the lake to the Vermont shore. What a ride. Punched through 16 MPH several times. Spray everywhere. Main sheet always in hand and wind dumped more than once as, even reefed, there was too much sail presented during many of the heavier gusts. Once about 1/4 mile from the Vermont shore we tacked and headed back to Valcour Island.
Mac said, "Man, I love it when were are out in those conditions and think I might die...and don't."
We spent the afternoon beating south in the passage between Valcour and the NY shore. We'd poke in and out of the coves and anchorages. We hiked about the island quite a bit and eventually settled on a night anchorage. Fried up potatoes, peppers, salami and a couple small steaks. Yum, much better that freeze dried.
Weekend forecasts were for rain and dying wind. Saturday we left anchorage in drizzle which worked into a pretty good rain. Fortunately the wind clocked around to the north and we were able to broad reach back to Port Douglas. Once the boats were out and secured we made the drive back to Essex. A nice dinner was had on the porch of Chez Lin & Larry overlooking the small marina.
Mac's hospitality was unmatched and Sunday morning I was on my way.
If you haven't been to lake Champlain let me just say that it is a beautiful body of fresh water surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains and is steeped in history. If you have the opportunity...