One of the advantages of living near the site of two former Winter Olympics is that world class events often take place right in our backyard. Last week we watched speed skaters on the olympic oval where the 1932 events were held. Not much has changed with ice maintenance. Between heats, staff skated with buckets of water to fill in the grooves.
They also did something with a CO2 fire extinguisher to repair the ice, which intrigued me. Here is all you may ever need to know about Olympic ice rink maintenance. For a rapid repair, they fill in holes with room temperature water and slush and then hit it with pressurized CO2 for a quick repair.
The skaters were almost horizontal on the curves. They had special gloves to touch the ice.
Some of the skaters were just a blur, or was that my mad photo skill.
We are still able to take the ferry across Lake Champlain to Vermont. I go every couple of weeks to study French. The views and ride are always a delight. Last week there were ice covered cliffs with ducks swimming beneath them. Sometimes the only open water is in the ferry path.
And the cardinals continue to enjoy our copper ash tree and sunflower seeds. No filter this time.
Here we are back home on the range (ridge); really neither. The leaves are almost at their peak. I attended a conference in Burlington, VT last week and got to see the sun rise over the Green Mountains of Vermont. They were anything but green and the lakescape from the bouncing ferry was pretty nice.
Another day I headed south for work and could see the leaves changing over a local pond. I’m lucky I get to work on time with all these distractions.
This week I am trying to resume walking the two miles to and from work in preparation for our next backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon. I’ll probably be too lazy to add 30 pounds to my pack but will keep walking the walk.
Birds abound at home. We have at least one pileated woodpecker, northern flickers, chickadees, barred owls, goldfinch, sparrows, thrush, hawks. What we don’t have are pigeons. Yet a mile and a half from home, not exactly an urban area, they abound.
Hope they keep to that old, decrepit building.
We left Seguin Island in calm seas and pea soup fog. The first and only thing I was able to see during the three mile boat ride ashore was Fort Popham, at the very end of the trip! But we were in excellent hands.
Fort Popham from the road
The drive home was beautiful, especially when we saw the Adirondack Mountains.
But how quickly we got caught up in a whirlwind. I worked two days, arranged financing, bought a car, rented a house for the family vacation, and mostly unpacked. Tim lined up a Captain’s job on a schooner next summer and then we were invited for the crew’s end of year sail. It was perfect though; steady breeze, gorgeous sunset, mountain, and good company.
We feel like we didn’t even miss summer at home. It has been warm and sunny. No pea soup.
I drove an hour to meet Tim after 7 hours of sailing. Lovely day – not. 20+ knot winds and 3-4 foot seas and drizzle. After the wind subsided he took a nap and left me to motor the upper portion of Lake Champlain, around Isle la Mott to Rouses Point and the border.
After an hour in Customs, we learned our boat’s Blue Book value is pretty low and for $380 Canadian, we imported it to Canada. There’s a slim, probably none, chance we’ll get this back when we return the boat to the States.
Few small problems at the moment. We can’t find our Topclimber, which Tim uses to go up the mast. Not much of a problem now since the mast is lying on the deck. More importantly, our depth finder is not working. So last night we poked around with a lead line, found a decent spot and dropped anchor. Then Tim let out plenty more line because wind picked up overnight, as predicted, and we rocked and rolled for at least 4 hours.
We must still be in the United States though because I still have internet. But I can see the Canadian Customs house from my cockpit.
More specifically, sailing knitting lessons. Lesson number one. Save colorwork for calm moments. Multiple balls of yarn become a tangled mess when thrown into the cabin when all hell breaks loose.
Lesson number two. Time flies and you’ll never accomplish all you plan.
Lesson number three. Enjoy these moments.
We are spending a few days sailing and have already experienced extreme highs and lows ~ moods and pressure.
First day was beautiful. I started knitting a skirt for me, we swam and saw a lovely sunset. This was a nice finish after we were squeezed out of a harbor where huge boats kept coming in and rafting up. Just as well because we found a spot with plenty of room to ourselves.
Today was another story. Big storm predicted. To our credit we got under way early, but not early enough. I managed to rip a stanchion right out of the deck while furling the jib in strong wind. (Swimming does build upper body strength). Tim spilled tea on my new skirt when things happened quickly. Then the mooring field was full and we had to drop anchor while the storm plowed through. But we were visited by a flock of ducks when they got the all clear sign.
Wonder what tomorrow will bring?
Last night’s encampment at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum ended in a war this afternoon between the British and American navy ships and we were caught in the crossfire.
It began with British ships rounding the point into our anchorage. Cannons were fired from the shore and then there was a slow paced melee.
Small planes and helicopters flew overhead.
But we were able to sail away, unscathed, and our flag was still there.
It’s so strange to me that we venture off on our boat and spend time in harbors busier than home. We’ve heard barking dogs, Johnny Cash covers and tonight, classic rock, with a lot of Jimmy Buffet thrown in.
The night sky is obliterated by lights and this morning we awakened to a triathlon in Burlington, VT. That white line is swimmers on the 1.5 k course.
We encountered a time warp when we walked through the Lake Champlain maritime museum and found a reenactment of an historic encampment. Now they are out on a replica boat near us shouting hizzah! Where am I?!