Sunday, October 19, 2008

Juniper Island

The season is progressing. The water is still hanging in the high 50's where it's been for a couple of weeks. For air the high Saturday was ~45, with the wind-chill in the low 30's, but that's with dry skin, so I figured I'd wear the dry suit to keep that applicable as we would have a mid-trip excursion on foot.

Can you tell there's a dry suit under the tuiliq that needs burping? After this pic I tried rolling and the hard part was getting under water.

I made the bottom of the tuiliq to fit the keyhole cockpit on the other kayak. It bunches up on this smaller one, so leaks just a bit.

We went to Juniper Island, which features the oldest cast iron lighthouse in the country (according to wikipedia anyway.) Its electric replacement is in the background.

For foggy weather this building had a big bell on top and some sort of mechanism inside to keep it ringing.

When we got back to Oakledge there was another group of kayaks coming in and a guy we've run into a few times heading out on his standup paddleboard. So, the place is still pretty busy with paddlers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Willsboro Bay

The Champlain valley is sometimes called Vermont's "Banana Belt" since the lake moderates temperatures (until it freezes over.) Some areas haven't seen frost yet, so you can still get local tomatoes and peppers at the farmer's market.

Yesterday we launched from the back (main lake) side of Shelburne Shipyard on Shelburne Point with a destination of Willsboro bay on the New York side.

Tom's boat is anchored in the water. Still too new for him to let it rest on the sand.

On the way we passed the Four Brothers islands. They've been taken over by cormorants. They strip all the green growth off trees for their nests. When the trees are dead they seem just has happy nesting on the ground. In the end they drive off other ground nesting birds that really have to be on islands for protection from predators.

We crossed Willsboro bay and paddled down the mainland side. Some of this rubble is natural, and some is debris from blasting out the railroad bed near the top of the picture.

We lunched on shore by this trestle.

There are some nice cliffs too..

This was the first time using my recently finished tuiliq with the Gulfstream. It keeps the cockpit a lot drier than my old spray skirt. Either I just rolled up, or the photographer caught me in a hellacious sneeze.

Here we still have about 5 miles of open water to go. Dave with Camel's Hump and 2 loons in the background: