Friday, August 5, 2011
Lake Champlain, Day 1
It's about a 4 hour drive from our house in northern NH to Vergennes VT. On the drive over we narrowly missed a hail storm that dropped golf ball sized hail and covered the ground. It stripped about half the leaves out of the trees and the ones still remaining were very tattered. While we missed the hail, we got clobbered by bouts of heavy rain.
Fortunately, by the time we got to our boat launch, the skies had cleared. My cousin Lindy and her son Alex, who live in VT, met us at the landing. Button Bay has a ramp, but I don't recommended it for launching anything bigger than a canoe. I knew the bay was shallow, but I did not know the launch would be too so shallow to prevent the boat from floating off the trailer. The smart thing would have been to take the mast down and look for a better launch. However, I was ready to sail. I tied the bow line to the truck, backed the trailer into the water, and stopped quickly. The boat slide partway down the rollers. Then I basically pulled the trailer out from under the boat. Not very elegant, but it did the job.
We all had a nice sail across the lake to the NY side. It was windy enough for us to move near hull speed, about 5.5 knots. After a nice 10 mile sail, we returned my relatives back to their cars. One of the really nice things about sailboats is that it's possible to talk without shouting over an engine. It was a good visit.
The day was getting on, but my lovely wife wanted to sail some more. We crossed back to the NY side and pulled into a crowed little anchored. Sailors have a nightmare of a amateur boaters trying to anchor too closely. We looked like that nightmare. We squeezed between the inside boats and the rocky shore. There really wasn't much room for the boat to swing freely on one anchor, so we deployed two, one off the bow and and another off the stern. They pretty much kept us in place. The bow anchor did drag a little, however, the second anchor kept us from going very far. The neighbors need not have worried.
We retreated into the cabin during the mosquito hour. I'm happy to report my new homebuilt cabin screens worked well. Quite a few mosquitoes landed on the screens, but none found their way into the cabin. Later, we went out into the cockpit. Clear skies made for good star gazing and meteor watching. Eventually our long day caught up with us, and we retired for the night.