Jet Ski Adventure Around North Hero, VT
Jet Ski Adventure
I can't let a beautiful day go to waste on Lake Champlain. With a full tank of gas in my jet ski, I left the dock at The Green Cottage in Grand Isle, Vermont on my quest to circumnavigate the Champlain Island town of North Hero.
The Water Route
I decided to execute the tour in clockwise manner. I knew that I'd stop along the way to collect photos or just to admire boats, mountains and wildlife. I'll share some of the landmark photos with you as I describe my tour.
The Cut at Bow and Arrow Point
I started heading west to exit The Gut of Lake Champlain. I had to go through the cut formed where a railway line used to travel through the Champlain Islands. In fact the Colchester Causeway Bike Path, which has a bike ferry, is part of this same former railway. In our area, The Gut of Lake Champlain is separated by a cut in what was once this railroad bed.
I understand that when this was used as a railway, a T-bridge rotated to allow boat traffic through. Today, the cut is clear with Grand Isle to the south and Bow and Arrow Point of North Hero to the North.
The Broad Lake
We refer to the area of the Lake between Vermont and New York as the "broad lake". You will often see bigger boats in this area.
On my excursion, I saw plenty of sailboats. Many were too far away for my Iphone camera to pick up. I moved in a little closer to capture this Canadian sailboat around the southern tip of the Champlain Island town of Isle La Motte.
Cut into Carry Bay
I know that it's 7.5 land miles one way from The Green Cottage to North Hero Marina, so I'm guessing I traveled about the same by water to reach the cut into Carry Bay. The marina sits on Pelot's Point which is the south side of the cut.
I was patient as this sailboat decided to enter the Bay from the North even though it arrived at the cut from the South. It was a big boat and even running by motor, I think the skipper didn't want to play games with the wind from the north.
Carry Bay and the Alburgh Passage
Immediately upon entering the cut into Carry Bay, North Hero Marina is on the right. If I wasn't on a mission, I might have stopped in to visit Two Heroes Grill and Tiki Bar. The atmosphere and food are always enjoyable.
Instead, I passed by this big sailboat and cruised the Alburgh Passage heading north. In the scheme of the lake, this passage is "narrow", but two lanes of boat traffic can easily cruise in both directions without causing issues to each other or those on shore. The passage is marked by the town of Alburgh, Vermont on your left (west) and the Champlain Island town of North Hero on your right (east).
The town of Alburgh is a peninsula town -- it's surrounded by water on all sides but the north. On the north side, it's adjacent to Canada. The only way to drive to the town of Alburgh, Vermont without going over a bridge is through Canada! Pretty cool, huh?
Bridge to Alburgh, Vermont
As I approached the bridge to Alburgh, I noticed a whole slew of bridge jumpers! I'm pretty sure it's illegal, but I can understand how the kids enjoyed this exciting way to cool off.
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There were plenty of side places that I wanted to stop along the way, but not knowing how I would do on fuel or how much time my entire journey would take, I limited my one side adventure to Maquam Bay in Swanton, Vermont. After passing the northern tip of North Hero, I headed eastward. This large bay is shallow throughout. It's a perfect place to hang out because the lake floor is soft sand -- perfect for your feet! I was not surprised to see all the boaters and jet skiers hanging out when I arrived.
I noticed plenty of boats pulling tubes in the area too. I guess this is a nice spot to take a break for those rough riders.
The Journey Southward
I could see where I wanted to go in the distance -- a tall tower on the southern end of North Hero. Everything looks close until you attempt to reach it! I know it takes about 20 minutes by car to reach North Hero State Park at the northern tip of the town. I'm guessing it took me that much time or longer to travel the "inland sea" to reach the Grand Isle-North Hero Drawbridge, the east entrance to The Gut.
The inland sea is the area of Lake Champlain that is bordered by mainland Vermont to the east and Vermont's Champlain Islands to the west. There's lots of Lake to explore in the inland sea, but tall boats have access only through The Gut and the drawbridge from the broad lake.
Back into The Gut and The Green Cottage
Ladd's Marina is just on the east side of the drawbridge. It's our quick destination for fuel fill-ups. Many of our guests have rented boats from the Marina too. They have sail boats, a pontoon boat and a variety of fishing boats. Less than a mile away from The Green Cottage, they're extremely convenient!
Within minutes of passing under the drawbridge, I was arriving back at our dock at The Green Cottage. My whole excursion took 1-3/4 hours and a half tank of gas. Maybe next time I will take a few more side trips!