Champlain Rendezvous 2002 Leader's Report
by Gerold Noyes
This year's rendezvous had a record number of boats (17), family (4 boats with children and 3 with dogs), and heat! There was also good sailing, but a number of days were cut short as people decided to motor to the next anchorage and go swimming instead of sailing slowly and broiling in the sun.
Boats were launched all weekend from Malletts Bay and Willsboro Bay. By Sunday evening the majority were at the first 'official' anchorage of the trip at Butterfly Bay on Valcour Island. A 2-day plan was made during the Monday morning captain's meeting to take advantage of the usual south wind for the trip to Deep Bay 15 miles north on the New York side and then over to Burton Island for Tuesday night.
At Deep Bay Carol, Willy, Don Huff, Steve and Tabby Silvia, and I hiked through the woods taking several wrong turns on the way over to the swimming beach, it was crowded, hot, and muddy! We would have been better off swimming from the boat or shore in Deep Bay, which is what others did.
In a south wind Burton Island is only a short sail on a reach from Deep Bay, and most arrived by 12:30 or 1:00, depending on drawbridge timing. It was another scorcher and swimming was again high on the list of preferred activities. That evening we got together for a potluck picnic and later music and singing. Pam and Bruce (Charis) caught up after flight delays caused a late start for them.
The rest of the day was devoted to swimming, a campfire, and music and singing. Bill Brock brought a guitar, harmonica, and a bag of kazoos, Bob his fiddle, and Carol a penny whistle.
Thursday, Roger and Barbara after having listened to an ominous weather forecast of thunderstorms, got everyone going early for the trip to Malletts Bay. 3 Breezy Fleas and Puddlehopper dawdled over breakfast before being the last ones to leave. We wound up motor sailing through 2-3' waves and keeping an eye on black clouds passing to the north. However, we always were on the edge of the weather, only hearing occasional rumbles of thunder and seeing lightning in the distance. We anchored on the north shore of Malletts Bay and settled in for an afternoon of swimming. The Kerwins on Buckaroo joined us here. In the evening there were fireworks all around the bay.
After motoring out of Malletts Bay, past Stave Island the winds finally picked up and it was good sailing to Willsboro. At one point 3 Breezy Fleas hit 7 kts under reefed mainsail and partially furled genoa. Docking in 20 kt winds was exciting, but we didn't bump anything. Again rain clouds chased us and we sat out a short shower on the dock. Dinner was excellent and a fitting end to the trip.
Sunday wind started light and variable and eventually died completely.
See you next year!
We'd also like to thank you for a wonderful job of organizing us. Barbara