We are surrounded by such beauty.
What we have heard referred to as the 6th Great Lake,
Lake Champlain is approximately 1269 sq km,
201 km long,
23 km at its widest,
with many areas of shoals and reefs,
its maximum charted depth is approximately 400 feet.
Bordered on the west by the Adriondacks
and to the east the Green Mountains,
its shores provide endless bays and coves for safe anchorages.
On this trip we will only scratch the surface,
but I can easily see that when our planned adventures are over,
we will come back and spend entire summers exploring its hidden treasures.
DAY ONE of our summer adventure…
We left our boat home at the crack of 09:15
not quite as early as we had hoped, but…
…a super sweet sail on a broad reach, 5 knots SOG…
…brought us to the first of 3 locks
at Saint-Anne de Bellevue…
…our first time on this part of the Saint-Lawrence Seaway
gave us a great view of downtown Montreal
and Mont Royal…
Once we reached the South Shore Channel we had to furl the sails…
…on the charts the first bridge gave us more than enough clearance…
the next…not sure…12 metres (which translates to 39′)
and with our VHF antenna our air draft is 37′.
Turned off the VHF just in case and slipped through with a foot or two to spare.
Our first locking through of the Seaway was at Saint-Catherine…
$30 paid in advance by credit card…
…a 30 minute wait,
…a 14 metre drop in water level…
…the first of our 2 Seaway locks exited without incident…
…passed under the Champlain Bridge.
Montreal is a series of islands connected by many bridges.
The next lock in our journey was at Saint- Lambert,
an hour motor ride at 6 knots.
This was the first BFB we saw.
Translation: Big Fluvial Boat…
Do you like how I cleaned up our usual term for these giant vessels?
This lock required raising two bridges,
stopping road, foot and rail traffic.
We decided that the best part of this lock,
was that for $30 we had the pleasure of pissing off a lot of people.
…next came the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
…past the Big ‘O’,
Montreal’s Olympic Stadium.
…and some of the crazy rides at La Ronde.
All in all it was a great, albeit long, first day.
The weather was superb.
We travelled 35.8 nm.
We slept….in that dive-deep-sleeping-with-the-angels kind of sleep.
Tomorrow we unfurl the sails
and head out of the city on the next leg of our journey.
This year we travelled the ever popular
(our term: Little Loop)
…documenting our journey from Lake of Two Mountains,
through the centre of Ottawa on the Rideau Canal,
down the system to the Thousand Islands.
…through 53 locks,
covering almost 700 nautical miles during our 2014 boating season.
Seeing Francois recently leafing through sailing magazines, sighing sadly and saying:
“I want to go away”
has pushed me to help him focus on our next adventure.
Apparenlty taking care of Montreal Squadron business
and studying for our courses isn’t quite enough for my newly retired Captain.
So here is our proposed plan for 2015…
A journey that will take us from our home on Lake of Two Mountains,
along the Saint Lawence Seaway,
east to Sorel,
then south along the Richelieu River,
to Lake Champlain,
down the Hudson River
to our eventual treasured destination…
New York, New York….
“I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps“
We will then fill up R.E.D.’s belly (her water ballast) with salt water…
…because we can….
…Heading back up the Hudson River,
we will then cross westward to the Oswego Canal system
to Lake Ontario, where we plan on exploring more of the Thousand Islands,
then back up the Saint Lawrence Seaway to home.
…I calculate the journey to be approximately 1300 nautical miles…
…the plan is to take at least 2 months to complete
but if it takes longer?
….then it will take longer.
…because we can.