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Monday, September 5, 2011

Visit to Partridge Harbor

The cruise of Lake Champlain continued after a late morning departure from Burlington Boat House.  We certainly enjoyed our short visit to Burlington and all the new friends we made while at the dock.  I did get an opportunity to view a wonderful 36 ft. Grand Banks Trawler which was custom designed with great input from the current owner.  This would be the boat to dream about.  The Captain/owner mentioned he had the boat built and finished at age 60 and planned to sell it at age 70, current age is 68 years.  He volunteered he has two great son-in-laws but he did not want them to inherit the boat.  So, being generous we volunteered to be the one to take the boat off his hands in two years, inherit that is.  Sounded like a good idea to us but he did not take our email or names.  Oh Well!

We let go of the dock lines and adjourned to the flybridge to enjoy a sunny day cruise.  Having missed Willbrook Bay on the New York side of Lake Champlain, we cruised to the Four Brothers Islands then entered Willbrook Bay.  The Adirondack Mountains frame this side of the lake.  We took the opportunity to break for lunch while drifting along the bay.  Water depth varied from 30 ft. to 150 ft. so we could take our time to enjoy lunch.  The bay would be a good anchorage with shelter from southerly winds but exposed to the north.

Pushing on at a blazing speed of 8 knots (9mph) we warmed to the sun on the bridge.  Having closed the bimini due to high winds on our first cruise day, we were exposed to the sun but hats and sun screen helped. The beauty of the lake continued as we move south again on our way to dock in two days.  The plan is to go on the hook at Partridge Harbor which offers excellent shelter from wind in all directions but has enough depth to support a comfortable anchorage. 
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At this point we have cruised about 12 hours at a pace we can enjoy the mountains and lake.  Our technology included depth sounders, VHF radio and GPS/CHART READER from NAVIONICS.  The chart reader permits you to follow your sail line, see depths and calculate speed and record your progress on the chart.  You do become spoiled to the chart but you must keep look out for other boats, ferries and of course the weather.

Upon our arrival at Partridge Harbor, we discovered we had the harbor to ourselves.  Dropping anchor we could settle down for an afternoon cocktail and later grill steaks.  Life of a sailor is difficult, I must admit.  We had been warned that the Harbor is a popular anchorage on weekends so to expect company.  However, due to the approach Hurricane Irene, we hoped to have this harbor to ourselves.  However, our neighbors to the north, Canada, also found the harbor.  The sail boat arrived with the Canadian Flag flying as it silently slipped into the harbor near us.  

True to their northern spirits, the neighbors quickly anchored and took an afternoon dip in Partridge Harbor. We did test the waters but found the temps a bit too cool for our tastes.  While anchored next to the Canadians we were able to discuss our cruises.  We were quite  proud of our charter but the neighbors impressed us.  They were completing a cruise down to New York City and returning home to Montreal.  Now imagine, sailing past the Statue of Liberty and entering the Big Apple under sail.  We hope to have this experience in our trawler in not too distant future. 

Morning dawned quiet, with a bit of fog.  As the fog lifted our Canadian sailors quietly slipped out of the harbor, waving us farewell.  The mighty Turtle fired up its engine to begin our last day of the Lake Champlain cruise.  A bright sun greeted us on the bridge with little wind and a glassy lake.  We cruised south toward our home dock to await the arrival of Hurricane Irene.  We have the vision of cruising to the Lake Champlain locks and venturing down the Hudson to New York City in years ahead.  We are certain more adventures await our charter journey.

Happy sailing,

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