No Boat? No Problem!

A ferry on Lake Champlain

Sometimes all it takes is getting out on the water for some serious reflection during your Vermont vacation.

From the pages of Vermont Life Magazine, by Michelle Edelbaum

Even if you don’t own a boat, there are plenty of ways — from active adventures to relaxing cruises and sails — to feel the wind in your hair, lake water on your toes and sun on your face this summer. Shore Leave in the summer issue of Vermont Life magazine offers some great ways to experience Lake Champlain in the summer:

  • Glen Findholt, owner of Whistling Man Schooner (598-6504, www.whistlingman.com) brushed up on his history in honor of this summer’s Quadricentennial celebrations. Setting sail from the Burlington waterfront, he shares stories of explorer Samuel de Champlain with up to 17 guests on private charters and up to 12 on public, two-hour guided tours ($35) aboard the 43-foot Friendship Sloop.
  • Explore sunken shipwrecks without getting wet on Burlington’s Shipwrecktour.com (578-6120) and the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s shipwreck tours out of Vergennes (475-2022, www.lcmm.org). On these one-hour voyages you’ll visit the site of one of more than 300 sunken ships in Lake Champlain. A remote-controlled camera is lowered into the water, sending pictures back to a monitor for viewing on deck.
  • Rowboats, kayaks and canoes comprise the rental fleet at Auer Family Boathouse (862-9840), a Burlington institution owned by the same family since 1928. With a sense of humor and a focus on families, Charlie Auer and his sister Christine Hebert run the business their parents started more than 80 years ago. The pair gives quick lessons before paddlers set out on the small boats ($8 and up). Auer, an avid fisherman, also sells fishing gear and bait, and after-boating snacks to be enjoyed on the picnic tables and swing set.
  • Perhaps the least expensive way to get out on the water is with Lake Champlain Ferries (from $3.75 one way, 864-9804, www.ferries.com). The car and passenger ferries make numerous trips daily, ranging from 20 minutes to 1 hour, from three crossings along Vermont’s shoreline at Grand Isle, Burlington and Charlotte. All aboard!

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