May 21, 2015 – Chipman Point Marina – 30.3 nautical miles

We awoke to a beautiful sunny, calm morning and proceeded through locks 11 and 12. There is no lock 10. Apparently it was originally planned then determined un necessary as locks 9 and 11 could do the job. They eliminated the lock from construction but didn’t change there numbering system. This was back in the 1800’s so bureaucracy had its snafus then too.

At lock 12 is the town of Whitehall. We were going to stop there to make a few phone calls but the cell signal was no better there than on the waterway so we continued. This south end of Lake Champlain is much like a river. It is a very winding narrow channel that is shallow. It was imperative that we stayed in the middle of the channel. We continued until the lake finally opened up into bigger water and soon found Chipman Point Marina. This was our first time ever on land in the state of Vermont.

By now the wind was blowing a steady 15 knots out of the south so the marina was rocking. Marinas here do not have breakwaters so there is no protection from wind waves coming on shore. Apparently the level of Lake Champlain varies significantly too as there was lines pained on the walkway up to the marina office/store with dates marking high water.


Water levels of Lake Champlain by various years at Chipman Point Marina.

Chip and Pat, marina owners offered the loan of a Scion so we took them up on it and ran into the little town of Orwell. There we went to the Buxton General Store and were amazed at the variety of things available in that little store. We found everything we were looking for including electrical tape and distilled water. It was a fun place to shop and the proprietor and check out clerk were most friendly.

This small town store reminded me of Lehman's Store on Orcas when I was a kid.

This small town store reminded me of Lehman’s Store on Orcas when I was a kid.

The wind had died down so we put the mast and boom back in place since we would not have any bridges that were too low or didn’t open until at least the Rideau Canal. During this process we got to know Tod and Linda Christenson aboard “Billie Ray”, the people on the next boat. It turns out they were from Kirkland, Washington and had bought a boat in Connecticut and were also doing part of the loop before trucking the boat back to the PNW.

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