Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Chimney Point, VT

It wasn’t until we shoved off from the Whitehall town dock on Tuesday, June 19 that we realized how windy and cool it was.  The forecast we had seen earlier looked more promising than what we encountered.  We weren’t  sure how rough it would get as we cruised on a wider portion of Lake Champlain towards our planned destination of Cole Bay.  But first we had to go through the last of the 12 locks that we traversed to get to Lake Champlain.  

We were pretty chilly so we just kept adding layers of clothing and closing the “glass” on the fly bridge.  But the scenery on the lake was just stunning.

We stopped at Chipman Point Marina for a pump-out which is the primary limitation to our staying on anchor for days on end.  We stayed at Chipman Marina when we did the Down East Loop and we have very fond memories of it.  What is particularly special about it is that the marina is housed in two pre-Revolutionary War storehouses - tall stone structures that are situated on a point lot overlooking the lake.  

Due to the windy weather including plenty of whitecaps on the long stretches of the lake, we began to identify alternatives to our original destination.  The Chimney Point, VT and Crown Point, NY locations looked promising especially the Chimney Point anchorage that was protected from the north wind.  Both sites are of historical interest and because it was still early in the day, we decided to visit both of them.

First, we anchored off of Crown Point and dinghied ashore to explore the ruins of two Revolutionary forts there, the French Fort St. Frederic and the larger British Port Crown Point. 

The location of these forts was both strategic and incredibly beautiful.  They overlook the narrowest distance on the lake between  New York and Vermont.  A very popular bridge spans the two points and has served as an important gathering place from the time it was first built as a much smaller wooden structure to today’s soaring replacement.

We explored the ruins for a couple of hours on our own since unfortunately the small museum was closed.  The remains of the officers quarters and the enlisted men’s quarters were still standing as were reinforcements of a portion of the fort’s surrounding walls.

The views from this elevated site were just spectacular!

Next to the bridge was a large monument commemorating the tercentenary of Samuel Champlain’s discovery of Lake Champlain (not that the native Americans weren’t already aware of it).  It was designed as a memorial lighthouse and Lynn climbed its 101 steps to the top.  The monument is topped by a bronze bust of La France by Rodin.

Afterwards, we dinghied back to Zendo and made the short crossing over to the Chimney Point side of the lake.  There we anchored, protected from the north wind, and spent a restful night.

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