Since we need to stay in Lake Champlain a bit longer to wait until our new anchor and chain come in, we took the opportunity to explore some of the attractive anchorages in the central part of the lake. Upon leaving Burlington, we cruised to nearby Valcour Island, a completely uninhabited island with 7 miles of hiking trails and 1000 acres of publicly owned forest. It is designated as a New Your State Primitive Area and neither motor vehicles nor bicycles are permitted on the island. It was also the site of one of the major naval battles of the Revolutionary War where troops led by Benedict Arnold attacked the British who were on their way to Fort Ticonderoga. Arnold’s attack failed but it was successful in delaying the Royal Army’s march and creating time for Fort Ticonderoga to prepare itself for the British attack. After losing this battle, the British were forced to withdraw to Quebec for the winter. That set the stage for their defeat at Saratoga in 1777.
We anchored off of Valcour Island in lovely Spoon Bay, its shape described well by its name. We dinghied over to the island and went for a long hike through the woods. Our goal was to hike a trail across to the other side of the island but due to heavy rains this season, the trail got too muddy for us to proceed beyond a mile or so.
There were quite a few boats anchored in the bay as it was July 3 and a holiday weekend for Americans and Canadians. In fact, most of the boats were Canadian; we are only a few miles from the Canadian border. As more boats arrived, there were two sets of four boats each that rafted onto each other and created their own floating parties! We learned from talking with some of the Canadians that they prefer to keep their boats in the U.S. because of Canadian taxes and the great cruising on Lake Champlain.
We spent some time cleaning up all the bugs that had descended on our boat the last couple of days. We’re not sure what they are, but they are a nuisance, though thankfully they don’t bite. After we finished dinner, we could see some fireworks in the distance. Lynn was a little disappointed to miss seeing fireworks close up, but we wanted to avoid the madness of hundreds of boats floating next to each other if we had found a close-in viewing area. At least we saw a few in the distance and our rafted-up neighbors managed to shoot some off as well!