CHAPTER 2 JUNE 17, 2007
We are definitely settling into a "living aboard routine". We are very comfortable with the tasks we each perform when docking, going through locks, etc. Today I caught up with the laundry – I really love my Splendide washer-dryer. And, the central vacuum makes cleaning a breeze. The screens we had made for the cockpit and pilothouse have come in very handy. Also, the disappearing "Phantom" screen door we had installed with the cockpit doors is worth its weight in gold! We are enjoying the longer days - it doesn’t get dark until 9:30 or so. Many nights we BBQ dinner on our grill which is fastened to the upper deck rail. Shopping has not been a problem. The cruising guides are pretty good about telling you where grocery stores and other services are located, so we plan our stops wisely. At least I don’t have to look for Laundromats! We have not found language to be a problem either. Just about everyone who is in the service industry – shop keepers, restaurants, and even lock masters – is bilingual.
We enjoyed crystal clear Lake Champlain for a few days, staying at Willsboro Bay Marina on the NY side, and Burlington Boatyard on the VT side. I don’t understand it, but somehow the sky seems bigger here on Lake Champlain. It’s quite a humbling feeling.
On 6-21-07 we left Burlington and stopped at Shelburne Shipyard where we bought some diesel for @ $2.79 a gallon. Then we cruised up to the top of Lake Champlain and stayed over at Lighthouse Point Marina, where the price of diesel was $3.99 a gallon! I guess we planned that right! While we were at this marina, we lowered our mast again preparing for the upcoming low bridges, and hung our Canadian courtesy flag.
On the morning of 6-23-07, we left the marina and checked in with Customs about a mile up the river. We are now in Quebec Canada on the Richelieu River. The countryside is very flat with lovely houses and farms lining the river banks. In the afternoon, we went through all 9 locks and 7 swing bridges of the hand operated Chambly Canal (see pic). Today while in a lock, we met someone from our hometown of Old Saybrook CT, and later in the day met someone whose brother lives in Avon CT, our previous hometown! We stayed at Chambly Marina this evening. The following morning we toured Fort Chambly (see pic), originally built in 1655 and occupied at various times by the French, the British, and the American Revolutionaries. In 1856 the British turned it over to the Canadian government. Then we continued cruising up the Richelieu River to the big lock at St. Ours, which is also a very lovely park. After passing through the lock, we tied to the lock wall and stayed for the night.
On 6-25-07, we continued northward and reached the industrial port of Sorel, Quebec. Here we made a sharp left onto the Saint Lawrence River (see pic). We are finally heading westward. We anchored for the night in a quite spot just past the twin spires of the Cathedral at Varennes. On 6-26-07, we passed through two big commercial locks – St. Lambert and St. Catherine. Arrived at the 3rd lock, St. Anne’s (see pic) and stayed for the night. The lock wall is in a lovely waterfront park lined with restaurants. We stayed another day on the 27th to take care of emails, laundry and shopping.
So far we have traveled 608 nautical miles, plus the previous 1000 miles when we brought SUMMERTIME up the Intracoastal Waterway from Charleston
SC to Old Saybrook CT in 2005. We look forward to hearing from
friends and family – please keep the calls and emails coming!