With the ICW and New York City behind us our cruising surroundings have changed significantly. Most of the ICW was set in the lowlands and marshes of the east coast, but as we headed up the Hudson River the hills and eventually the mountains of upstate New York (the Adirondacks) and Vermont (the Green Mountains) have become the background for what we see.
The Hudson is a fairly wide and powerful river for much of its length (about 140 miles) and is navigable by large ships all the way to Albany, New York. A little further along, at Troy, we encountered our first of 23 locks for this section of our trip, which will end at Sorel, Quebec on the St. Lawrence River. Managing our way through the locks of the Champlain Canal was uneventful and enjoyable, although as you will see, one of the bridges was another story.
We arrived at Whitehall, New York, the final lock of the Champlain Canal and the start of Lake Champlain, on June 15th. Since that time we have gradually travelled up the lake, moving back and forth between the states of Vermont and New York, enjoying its beauty and a variety of surroundings along the way. An added bonus is the interesting history of this route, which has French, British and American aspects , including significant conflicts such as the War of Independance and the War of 1812, that shaped both the U.S. and Canadian nations.
Cruising the lake has some similarities to cruising the coast of British Columbia – rocky cliffs and headlands, an abundance of green everywhere, and interesting small towns to visit. There are plenty of boats on the lake, many of them visiting from Quebec, which is less than 100 miles away.
With the very hot weather we’ve had (over 95 degrees a fe days ago), the opportunity to swim in fresh water has been a relief. The lake temperature is about 60 degrees, and probably a bit warmer in the protected coves where we’ve anchored, so it’s very comfortable and refreshing. We hope to have more swimming chances before we reach the Richelieu River and the Canadian border sometime later this week.
Coming up next – La Belle Province!