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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Burlington Boat House, VT

We are docked at the well know Burlington Boat House docks.  We sailed here from Kingsland Bay on the east side of Lake Champlain.  Alas, the weather remains overcast with rain, but the Turtle has an inside helm and we vacated the flybridge.  The cruise to Burlington was smooth except for the following wind and sea(lake) waves.  The waves against the stern tends to push the stern port and starboard requiring more helm work to keep her on a steady course.  But the mighty Turtle handled well and we made Burlington in 3-4 hours.  We cruised at 8 knots which translates into 9 mph.  The trawler has a 120 hp Perkins diesel engine and is perfect for a slow cruise.  Cruising can only be enjoyed at a leisurely pace. 

Burlington Harbor offers a .5 mile breakwater as good protection from what can be a rough lake.  As we approached the docks we hailed them on the VHF radio.  We had called to make a slip reservation but they do require contact upon arrival.  Now this is were experience can help.  This VHF channel is monitored by all including the U S Coast Guard.  I can almost see the expression on the faces of listeners to our Kentucky accents as we stumble through the "radio" talk like saying "over" after our part of the conversation.  But the dock answered and was patient.  We did have to idle for about 30 minutes prior to docking and the Turtle deck crew had to change all mooring lines and bumpers to the port side prior to entering the slip.  We did manage to dock without endangering lives and boats. 

Burlington, VT is a quaint town of about 39,000 which is the largest town in Vermont.  The waterfront is supplied with all type of boats, docks, ferries and great sea food restaurants.  Walking up College Street brings you to the center of the town with a wide variety of retail and any number of dining opportunities.  We of course tried to help out the local establishments with our share of food and spirits.  Good sailors must have their daily share of "grog".  By land Burlington is a good location for exploring Vermont with all the Revolutionary War history and a Maritime Museum.  To the east of Burlington is Mt. Mansfield and west of Lake Champlain are the Adirondacks.   While at dock we encounterd a wide variety of boaters from Canada, France and any location in the U.S.  Lake Champlain is perfect for sailing due to considerable wind on most days and sufficient water required for a sail boat.  The Canadians sails south from Montreal and can continue south to the Lake Champlain Canal and Hudson River to New York City.  This route can be part of the Great Loop we hope to experience in future sails. 

 As you sail Lake Champlain the lake is bordered by mountains providing spectacular views.  The water is clear but a bit cool by Kentucky standards.  However, the local folks ski, swim, and fish until the lake freezes over at 30" of ice.  Then they break out the snow mobiles.    We plan to sail tomorrow for a cruise across Lake Champlain to Four Brothers Islands, Willsboro Bay and then south for another night "on the hook".  Hurricane Irene has changed our sail plan.  We need to return to our marina prior to the worst weather expected to occur on Sunday.  We of course, will keep look out for "Champ" as our days on the lake are limited.  If we located "Champ" I bet CNN could be interested!

Happy Sailing,


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On the Hook

We are currently "on the Hook" at Kingsland Bay on Lake Champlain.  Day one of the cruise was eventful.  We happily cruised 33 miles north on the lake in 20=30 knot winds but the happy Turtle handled the wind and waves well.  Alas, at near our evening anchorage we lost the Bimini canvas on the fly bridge.  We managed to sale the sail but I did a 3 point landing with the Bimini in hand.  Flying into a sheltered bay we did manage to drop the hook and secure the Bimini.  It will not see service until our stop tomorrow at
Burlington Boat House docks.  But not all was lost.

We enjoyed a wonderful evening in the bay, had a great meal, I prepared of course and finished off with wine.  Our first night on this cruise will be in a cool breeze hopefully secure in this anchorage.  All is quite along the waterfront.  We will cover another 12 miles tomorrow to dock in Burlington and see part of the town.  It may never be the same when the Kentucky folks arrive.  If the wind subsides and Irene does not find us we will proceed further North up the lake.  Many islands to find along the way.  We have not found "Champ" as yet but we have hope.  No lake monster will deter this voyage of discovery.  The wind today must have been too rough for it or him.  We just cruised on by. 

We can certainly recommend the charter.  The first day has been exciting and most fun.  We keep looking over at each other on the fly bridge wondering if we are truly experiencing this adventure.  We continue to live and search for our adventures.  We can only hope many lie ahead to be experienced.  We promise to include all our friends and readers in the loop.

Happy sailing,

Denise, Barry, Bailey and Bella

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saratoga Springs, New York

View Larger MapWell, New York welcomed us with poor directions  to a mystery campground.  After driving straight through the middle of Saratoga, dodging cars, pedestrians and narrow streets we discovered campground person gave us misleading directions.  OOPS!  Well we turned the Phaeton around and make a call to another campground and departed the interior of Saratoga.  We are located at the Saratoga RV Park.  I was not confident in the management when asked for a pull thru site.  She indicated she did not know if the site was vacant but if not just come back and she would find a "spot". I suppose she has not driven a motorhome and tow vehicle measuring 60 ft. in length.  Turning around can be a PROBLEM.  But luckily the site was vacant and easily accessed.  Heart warming after our foray to the interior of Saratoga Springs.  Quaint looking town and we would enjoy a walk through the town.  But the big splash awaits tomorrow. 

The above pic is the actual trawler we have chartered.  She has a wooden hull but interior looks good and my perch on the fly bridge is spoken for.  I am the Captain but of course Denise is the Admiral????  We arrive today, Tuesday to provision the boat for our cruise.  Move over Samuel De Champlain, we are following in your tracks.  Fortunately the Huron and Iroquois REMAIN friendly.  Skipper and Ginger will sail soon.  Alas, we were forced to leave Gilligan in the nursing home for they had a Wee tournament today.  His sea legs are not what they once were. 

As demanded by our 12 followers, we will continue to post our journey progress with as much boring detail as permitted.  Pirates are now known to frequent the waters of Lake Champlain but I do understand they have a lake monster "Champ".  We will give it a pat for all.

See you on the water soon,

Barry, Denise, Bailey and Bella

Two Days to the Splash

We are preparing to depart Morris, PA after a good visit with family.  The Back to the Roots tour was a success and more Roots than on can count.  Certainly for a Non-Root.  The country side around Morris, PA and surrounding towns reminds use of Eastern Kentucky except cleaner and all the taverns serve local beer and on Sunday.  No lack of the brew here.

The plan is made for voyage up into New York with a stay near Saratoga Springs, NY before the final leg of the journey to Lake Champlain and the trawler.  We are increasingly excited, maybe just me, about the voyage of the trawler which I am sure we will name upon casting off.  However, Minnow is not an option.  The natives are friendly although they speak a different dialect.  I do not anticipate press at our splash of the trawler, but a warm welcome would be great. 

If the tour of Lake Champlain is successful, we may cancel plans at Apple Island RV Resort on S. Hero Island and take the ferry across lake to New York.  Lake Placid looks like our next location after the trawler voyage.  I did not bring my snow skies but the weather is just too warm.   The kayaks can float the lake and rivers exploring new waters. 

See you on the road or water;

Denise, Barry, Bailey and Bella

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Journey to North Country

The long awaited journey of the Phaeton has begun.  Finally!  The dust was transported with us due to my recent visit to a local hospital with a heart thingy.  Checked out ok in that I do have a heart.  But a little fine tuning is in order.  <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=",+pa&sll=37.160317,-95.712891&sspn=40.561625,92.724609&vpsrc=6&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Morris,+Tioga,+Pennsylvania&ll=41.595,-77.2925&spn=1.201596,2.897644&z=9&output=embed">iframe><br />href=",+pa&sll=37.160317,-95.712891&sspn=40.561625,92.724609&vpsrc=6&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Morris,+Tioga,+Pennsylvania&ll=41.595,-77.2925&spn=1.201596,2.897644&z=9" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">View Larger Map

We are currently docked in Morris, PA for a family reunion.  The Root family stages an annual reunion and Denise has not attended since she was in a training bra.  Alas, I am the new husband and will be indoctrinated by the Roots.  Back to her Roots.  The town of Morris, PA sports two bars/taverns, which also serve as the local package store and restaurant.  I did notice one stop sign as entering the Morris.  The terrain reminds me of Eastern Kentucky but much more maintained dwellings, yards and generally cleaner. No diaper trees here. 

We are docked at Twin Streams Campground only a short hike from the Root Reunion site.  The family owned and operated campground includes a few 50 amp sites on grass.  A number of seasonal campers here but unlike other areas with seasonal sites, these are well maintained.  The grass site would be OK except for soft ground.   Our rear jacks buried down 3 blocks permitting the rear jacks to fully extend.  YUCK!  This may be a problem on Monday when departing.  We have experienced difficulty with electric jacks and this is just asking for it.  Ah Well, we will dig our way out. 

Our plans continue for exploration of Morris, PA and surrounding area.  Also, plans have expanded for your cruise on Lake Champlain with extending the charter time aboard the "Minnow".  I will attempt to describe our location via coordinates while "at sea" for those needing to know where we may find land.  You can rest assured, many adventures await us afloat or land bound.

See you on the Road or Water,

Denise, Barry, Bailey and Bella