The Down East Loop - Day 5
They don't make better cruising days than this one. We started just after 7 this morning in Westport NY near the bottom of Lake Champlain and now, more than ten hours and 80 nm later are in the Quebec city of Chambly. We ran up the lake on a gorgeous Sunday morning at 20 knots, trying to make up for an unintended down day yesterday at the dock in Westport. You may remember that our windshield wiper motor on the driver's side conked out on Friday. We spent the day Saturday waiting for a new one that never came.
So today we needed to put some miles under our belts. The lake cooperated. Deep blue water with barely a ripple. Beautiful blue sky with the green mountains of Vermont unfolding in the east. Fantastic. Reminded us what cruising is all about. A perspective that you just don't get doing anything else.
We cleared Canadian Customs just north of Lake Champlain. This took all of ten minutes tops and the two Canadian Customs officers could not have been nicer.
But then the fun part - the Chambly Canal with nine locks and a lot of bridges. This took four hours and you move from lock to lock in a group of other boats to fill the locks. We were the only Americans in our group of five boats and they pack the lock so the boats are in the same relative position all the time. Chummy but it works and everybody was helpful and friendly. I was not unhappy to see the last of nine locks in one afternoon but I do miss the Chambly Canal itself. It's narrow with bike paths and families having picnics along the side and the countryside looked like a little slice of France. A great day. Now to find a French dinner in the little town of Chambly, if I can stay awake that long. Will check in with more updates tomorrow.
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