N 44 37.86 W 073 24.410
Our primary activity today was to hike on the perimeter trail on Valcour Island. The island is just as majestic as it always was. It is a pretty special place. Most of the island is bedrock, covered by a thin layer of dirt, and populated by old-growth slow-growing trees. The thin dirt does not allow the tree roots to get a really firm hold, so there are numerous blow downs. The root lattices from the blown down trees stick up in the air. The accent for this scene is provided by the lichen
and moss which grows everywhere. The whole island is wilderness, except for one private house on the shore at a point. There are a dozen or two campsites provided by the state, but these too are wilderness sites. As one walks around the perimeter, one is rewarded by spectacular views to the east, west and south. At a few spots, the perimeter trail skirts the edge of cliffs looking down on the water below.
Today, the island was very still, with hardly a sound audible. In October, is is normal to hear the howl of the wind in the tree tops. I remember many nights at anchor, feeling grateful for the protection of one of Valcour's sheltered coves as I listened to the howling of the wind in the trees.
I'm sure that there are places in the Adirondacks or Green Mountains that provide similar scenery but I haven't seen them.
This afternoon I swam for the first time in a while. I found a gouge and a paint streak on the starboard side just above the water line. It appears that the Indian's jet ski (the first one) did hit us after all. Tarwathie has a war wound. It doesn't show up very much because of the other gouges and scrapes we've picked up over the years. My friend Pete call it dock rash. I'm ashamed to say that we haven't done nearly as well as Al Hatch at protecting Tarwathie from scratches and bumps.
We're anchored in Spoon Bay on Valcour. There were no other boats here when we came. Now, there are 8 other boats anchored near us, 6 of them Canadian. We think it is a kind of herd instinct. When looking around for a suitable place to anchor, one's eye is drawn to the place where other boats are already anchored. It's pretty natural and we do the same thing.