Sailing through history on Lake Champlain

The Lois McClure heads toward Westport. Photo: Sarah Harris

The Lois McClure heads toward Westport. Photo: Sarah Harris

I’m writing this blog post from the deck of the Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal schooner, on Lake Champlain. Each year the Lois, manned by crew from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, sails historical waterways in the northeast. This year’s trip: Lake Champlain to the locks to the Erie Canal to Buffalo to Oswego to the St Lawrence river, the Chambly canal, the Richelieu river, and back again.

That voyage starts today. So far we’ve sailed (well, as we get pulled by a tugboat) from the museum to Westport, where we emptied the bilge pump (gross) and took on clean water. Tonight we’ll dock in Crown Point. Then we’ll continue through the narrows down to the southern tip of lake Champlain in Whitehall.

Emptying the pump in Westport. Photo: Sarah Harris

Emptying the pump in Westport. Photo: Sarah Harris

It’s cool and a little rainy out on the lake, but there’s still an amazing view. The Adirondacks and the Greens are different shades of green and blue, the lake is calm, the sky is wide.

There’s also a rich history on these waterways–we’ve already sailed over one shipwreck and will go past some battle sights–that the Maritime Museum is working hard to keep alive.

Headed to Crown Point. Photo: Sarah Harris

Headed to Crown Point. Photo: Sarah Harris

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2 Responses to “Sailing through history on Lake Champlain”

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  1. Gene Porter says:

    Terrific start to what I hope will be an informative daily blog covering the history of events along your route as well as some interesting engineering questions, like how does the water get to the top locks of the Champlain Canal?

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  2. Walker says:

    There is a lot of information on locks and lock design here (Wikipedia).

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