Restless of Auckland
Roland and Consie Lennox-King
Sun 3 Sep 2017 20:09


8.8 we set off at 0845, and were amazed to see a Hong Kong registered ship at the Sorel docks, we texted Olivia, and it was one of her company ships, the Atlantic Spirit, she wished she was still aboard.

From Sorel we went up the Richelieu river, the first lock went up 5ft, and we were advised that as it is the 150th anniversary, the locks on the Richelieu river are free. We did 53.8nm, sometimes with the current with us, and sometimes against us. We anchored by Ile Jeannot for the night.

9.8 we set off with a knot of current against us, arriving at Chambly triple lock at noon, and went up a total of 24 feet. There was a lot of marine traffic, and nowhere to stop, so we went on another 3 locks, going up another 27ft, and stopped a mile upriver, having done 17nm. A beautiful 70ft fast commuter powerboat built in 1929 stopped near us, ‘Dolphin of Montreal’ and the Captain offered us a tour of his boat, showing off an enormous amount of varnish. The owner had worked in New Zealand, he was proud to show off his boat. We walked back into Chambly for dinner, passing a weekly music festival held in the park by the first triple locks.

10.8 we set off at 0915 for the 7,8, and 9th Chambly locks, going about 10nmiles along narrow waterways, which were very shallow in parts and we touched the bottom a couple of times. We arrived at noon back in the Richelieu river. We had a visit from a couple on a jetski, who we had met in Tobermory, on their yacht ‘Milvina’, which is now in Grenada. We motored on about 15nmiles, to anchor for the night at Baie McGillivray, by Fort Lennox.

11.8 We motored south to the Border at Rouse Point. Fort Montgomery there is for sale, if anyone wants a ruined fort, for $2.9million? The men at the border dealt with us efficiently, and phoned the nearby fuel dock to ask if they had water, as our tanks were contaminated with water from Canada, due to the high lake levels getting into some storage tanks. We emptied, rinsed, and refilled our tanks, and also filled up with fuel. They loaned us a car to take our huge propane tank to the refilling station. We met local fishermen, who advised that you need a permit to fish, but people are not eating the fish this year, because of possible contaminated water. We stopped in Monty Bay.

13.8 Cousin Caroline and husband Duncan drove from their Winnetaska Camp in the Adirondacks, to join us for a day motoring around Lake Champlain, and we had the most glorious day. We motored across the bay to the narrow entrance between South Hero and North Hero Islands, waited for the bridgemaster to lift the bascule bridge as he waved us out, and we stopped for roast chicken lunch, cooked by Caroline.  We continued around North Hero island, past Isle La Motte, and anchored back in Monty Bay, 30nm later. Duncan had brought us a lovely book on the history of Lake Champlain.

We spent the next week doing oddjobs, varnishing, painting, throwing away old shoes, old jackets, books, bedding, electrical wires, etc. the accumulation of 12 years living aboard. We met the local boat owners and got local information. Most boat owners here are from Canada, and speak French. Two boats were setting off for the Caribbean, one, ‘Epsilon’ with 2 boys aged 8 and 10, setting off for a 2 year cruise, reminded us of when we set off with Olivia and Gilbert, aged 5 and 7, from Manila to England, end 1989, on ‘Reverie’.

18.8 Consie’s birthday, we went to the nearby ice-cream shop for an ice cream. 20.8 one of our new friends, Nadia, loaned us her car, and we drove to Caroline and Duncan’s Camp Winnetaska, in the Adirondacks, for a night and day. We celebrated Sarah’s birthday with a Loon cake, met Sarah and Arnd’s baby, Isabel Maria, and played grannies with Caroline. Their new boathouse was finished and painted. There was a Total Eclipse while we were at the Camp, but aside from the sky turning from blue to grey, we did not see much. We drove back to Monty’s Bay, stopping at a supermarket to provision for the next week. The following day there was bad weather predicted, and a Tornado watch all day, we settled down in heavy rain, to read, relax and catch up on mail. One of the advantages of being in freshwater lakes is that one can have your shower while you swim.

23.8 we went ashore and said goodbye to our new friends, Nadia and Peter, on Syriac, setting off soon for the Caribbean, maybe we will meet up one day. We found we had collected some six feet of weed on our anchor! We motored 13.5nm to anchor at Valcour Island. The next morning 2 couples came to visit us, from their yachts ‘Mighty Quinn’ and ‘Purdy Suite’, giving us info on where to anchor. We motored another 12.5nm to picturesque Burlington, where we picked up a town mooring, $1 per foot. We walked around Burlington, famous as the birthplace of Ben & Gerry ice cream. It is a university town, and full of students. 25.8 we moved to a nearby anchorage, where we had a visit from a Montreal couple planning to set off to the Caribbean and further.

26.8 we motored 5nm and anchored in Shelburn, by a huge shipyard. Roland needed a sail, so dropped our Bic dinghy, ‘Livi’ into the water and snooped around all the anchored yachts. The weather is getting cooler, time to head south! 27.8 we motored 13 nm to Converse Bay.

28.8 we motored 30.3nm to Fort Ticonderoga. We had been told by sailing friends that it is possible to visit the Fort from the beach, so we set off, rowing ashore through thick weed to the beach. Yes, you can reach the Fort from the beach, but it was built to prevent assault from the water, and we fought our way through tangles of Thorn trees up a slope, only to arrive at the foot of a 20ft wall bristling with canons. We called up to tourists looking over the wall, and asked how to get into the fort. The answer was “not that way” and they disappeared. I suppose we were lucky they did not have access to canons or pitch. We worked our way around the ramparts until we came to a weak point, a rotten wooden door which Roland forced open, and we were inside. We joined the tourists, and had a quick history lesson from French soldiers in repro uniforms (nobody noticed our clothes were torn and our legs were bleeding). Roland found an equally difficult route down a cliff, while Consie wandered round the King’s Garden, where they once grew food for the soldiers, now restored into a wonderful walled garden, equal to any we have seen anywhere. “What some people will do to get a free entrance!”

29.8 We left Fort Ticonderoga and motored 20.37nm, going up 9.5ft at Lock 12 at Whitehall, where we stopped for a night. We walked around the quiet village, home of the US Navy, bought fresh vegetables at the Village Market, had an enormous ‘small’ ice cream, and had free showers at the Town Hall. 30.8 we left Whitehall and went up 12ft at Comstock lock, up another 16ft at Kingsbury lock, now at the top of the hill, it’s all downhill from here. Then we went down 11ft at Lock 8, another 10ft down at Lock 7, and stopped at Fort Edward Yacht Basin. 31.8 Cousin Caroline visited us in Fort Edward, on her way home, and drove us to the supermarket, the propane tank refill station, and then we had lunch together.

1.9 At Fort Edward, we have now left Lake Champlain and are in the uppermost navigable spot of the Hudson River. Roland scraped off old paint and repainted the inside and outside of our dinghy. 2.9 we set off at 0930 for the channel leading down 4 locks, totaling 70ft down, and ended up at Mechanicsville for the night.

3.9 cold and rainy. We set off in the rain to locks 2 and 1 of the Champlain Canal system, going down a total of 33ft. We stopped at Waterford, New York, and this completes our Triangle Loop, as we set off from Waterford up the Erie canal on Friday 16 June, and have done 58 locks!. We have done 1,600nmiles so far this year.

3.9 Marg and Andrea arrive tonight from New Zealand. We will set off to Hop O’Nose marina in Catskill creek, where Oliver will join us to help us put our masts put back in, and we hope to cruse with Marg and Andrea down the Hudson River to New York. There is a huge Hurricane, Irma, on the radar, and it may upset our plans.

From New York we head south to the Chesapeake.