Saturday, August 4, 2007

Grand Isle Boat Trip

We took our first ever boat trip this weekend and had a great time! Sure, we've overnighted on the boat before, but stayed in the local vicinity. This time, it was a little different!

My oldest, his friend and I set out from Westport to Grand Isle. According to the GPS, the destination was about 35 miles North. I haven't ventured far from home port, so gauging how much fuel was required was a bit discerning.

Anyway, before departing, my son and I made a checklist of what we wanted to be sure to bring with us. After spending an our or so putting this list together, we started packing. Having this checklist was very helpful! It kept us focused and made sure that we didn't forget anything necessary or important.

So, we set out on our adventure at about 13:30 hours. Before arriving at our first waypoint, we stopped in a small cove to get out of the wind, have some lunch, and go for a swim. The boys really liked this spot because they were snorkeling and the water was clear, and the lake bottom was interesting. We stayed here for an hour or two...

We had used a little more than a quarter of a tank after traveling about 15 miles. So far so good. But I don't like to be without a half tank at all times (who can depend on a boats fuel gauge anyway?) and had checked our nautical map and found a marina on Shelburne Point called the Shelburne Shipyard. So, we set course for Shelburne Point.

About 6 miles later, we were at the Shelburne Ship Yard. On our approach, as we rounded the point, the city of Burlington appeared. With the sun making its decent in the West, the city was aglow in the afternoon light.

After topping off the fuel tank (we took on 12 gallons), we set our course to Sandbar State Park, about 15 miles north...

About three quarters of an hour later, we arrived at our final destination. Along the way, we passed the famous G. Stone in his huge jet boat. Quite a site to see when he dumps the throttle! The rooster tail must be 30 feet high!

After cooking up some bass filets and green beans, we went for little swim. The wind had started to pick up a little out of the North, so we looked at our map and saw that Kibbie Bay was relatively protected, and decided to anchor there for the night.

Once we arrived at Kibbie Bay and found anchorage, we put up the camper canvas. The water was about 3 feet deep so we felt that we were pretty safe if we were to sink or something! We could easily walk to shore.

After getting the canvas up ( it was getting cold outside as the sun set) we set up the DVD player to watch a movie. After a little while, the cabin area started to warm up from the heat coming off of the motor.

The DVD Player started giving us some trouble. First, it would just stop playing, freezing the frame like someone hit pause or something. We messed around with it for a while and got it working again. Then after a few minutes, the sound went silent. More messing around. Finally, after turning it off and then on again, it worked. Now for some MIB II!

After a while, we all decided to call it a night and went to bed. It was a beautiful evening. The sky was perfectly clear, the moon full and reflecting its shine across the water.

We woke up around 7 o'clock, and cooked some eggs and ham for breakfast. Nothing like breakfast outside on the water! For some reason, it always seems that food tastes better outdoors!

We finished breakfast, and the two boys decided to try a little fishing. This plan didn't last very long because after a few casts, my son lost his rubber worm. Being that we were in just a few feet of water, and that he could see it lying there next to the boat, he decided that he'd go in after it. He learned that he should always have something on his feet when walking where he's never walked before!

It's a good thing that we re-stocked our first aid kit, because he darn near lost his little toe after cutting it on something that he stepped on. Oh, and yes, he did retrieve the rubber worm!

Anyway, we doctored up his toe, put our breakfast stuff away, pulled up anchor, and headed out for home. The first stop was to the nearest marina which was only a few miles away, to top off the fuel tank. We took on twelve gallons. Not bad, I thought!

We stopped in Mallets Bay for some swimming and snorkeling. I 'held my breath' to see if the doctoring we did on the toe was going to hold up. Not a singe complaint. As a matter of fact, I think that he had forgotten about it for a while.

We stayed there swimming for an hour or so before heading back. We stopped once more in Shelburne to top off the fuel tank, and in Charlotte to go swimming one last time.

All in all, we had a wonderful trip and are looking forward to doing it again this summer!

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