On the 4th of July, we left Valcour Island for our next port. Today’s big decision was not to dive for our anchor but instead we would buy a new one. Jonny found the one that he originally wanted to buy (but didn’t). It’s now on sale at West Marine for just a little more than the cost of the dive. We now have even more time to explore beautiful Lake Champlain because we can’t pick up the anchor and chain until Monday or Tuesday. So we headed up to Willsboro Bay where we had to traverse a narrow passage among the islands on the way to that scenic bay. We were drawn to explore it because it was described as a dramatically wild, fjord-like body of water unlike any other on the lake. While we found it to be beautiful and scenic, it did not quite meet our visual image of the guidebook’s description. We found a little lakeside restaurant that we docked at for lunch. There, we met two women, Brooke and Susan, who had also motored there for lunch. They were very interested in our boat and our trip. We invited them onboard to see Zendo up close. They were most appreciative and offered to help us in any way when we returned to Burlington.
As we continued our cruise, we headed to Shelburne Bay and we’re again on the Vermont side, just south of Burlington. We found a very nice anchorage there and set our hook. Amazingly, we were the only powerboat in the anchorage and we were surrounded by beautiful sailboats! As soon as we dropped the hook, it started to rain, then it cleared up and then it got cloudy again. We were anchored pretty close to a sailboat and due to our lack of a chain we started to drift so close that we almost hit it! We had to put our fenders out, just in case! So we pulled the anchor to move to another spot. As soon as we did, a huge thunderstorm descended on us and we had to circle around and around until it let up and we could safely anchor.
The next day we spent walking to and touring Shelburne Farms which had been highly recommended to us. Shelburne Farms was developed by one of the Vanderbilts and is still a working dairy farm that produces great cheeses, has a lovely inn and a big focus on education and conservation. They were hosting a concert the night before for the 4th of July but it was rained out due to those massive storms mentioned above. The tour we took was very informative and the farm with its surrounding countryside, meadows, inn, barns, and gardens were designed by the same architect who designed Central Park in New York City. It was just beautiful and made for a very enjoyable day!
We spent another quiet evening at anchor though we had to move our anchorage yet again because we were anchored too close to a private mooring field instead of the one available to the public!