Most people view Lake Champlain as only a two-dimensional resource, a shimmering sheet of water on which to boat and fish and swim. But the big lake has a third dimension, and exploring its deep, dark, cold depths can be both fascinating and surprisingly enjoyable. The Waterfront Diving Center in Burlington offers professional SCUBA diving instruction that opens up another world on Lake Champlain, one populated by schools of fish and historic shipwrecks.
Although Vermont is 5-thousand miles away from Hawaii -- the aloha mentality seems a lot closer with the new trend of supping. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is growing even on Lake Champlain and Gina gets a lesson to see how fun and easy this new way of enjoying the lake is.
Get in the water to train in Montreal with two Vermont working moms whose discovery of the fun and fitness involved in dragonboating has propelled them to international fame.
Resources and Links
Video of 22 Dragons Racing
Kayaks are challenging boats to learn how to paddle. Building them requires a whole different set of challenges. We visited the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum to look at their "Champlain Discovery" program that teaches teenagers with almost no woodworking experience how to build their own kayaks. The program culminates with a student trip on Lake Champlain in their new boats.
It's easy to see why kayaking is one of the fastest growing water sports. These sleek boats can go places others cannot, making them the perfect tool for wildlife viewing. Vermont is a kayaker's paradise, offering paddlers a diverse collection of lakes and rivers. Host Marianne Eaton joins kayak guide, Jamie Mittendorf, for a paddling adventure down the Otter Creek and a trip out into Lake Champlain.
With their graceful lines and rugged seaworthiness, Friendship Sloops were the boat of choice for lobster fisherman off the rugged coast of Maine in the late nineteenth century. Though motor powered craft replaced these beautiful boats there are still many in existence and sailed primarily as yachts. Host Marianne Eaton spent a day on Lake Champlain aboard a Friendship Sloop from the Whistling Man Schooner Company in Burlington and learned some of the basics of sailing.
When most people think of Vermont "scuba diver's paradise" doesn't exactly spring to mind. But because of its cold temperatures, Lake Champlain holds one of the best collections of shipwrecks in the United States. Vermont was one of the first states to create a public underwater historic preserve, with seven shipwreck sites currently open to the public. But to see them up close, you have to dive. We spent some time recently with a class at the Waterfront Diving Center in Burlington to get a first-hand look at what it takes to scuba dive.
- bc cartographic Vermont Underwater Preserve Page
- Dive New England
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Underwater Historic Preserve Information
- Scubasource Dive History Page
- Scuba Spots Vermont Page
- Vermont SCUBA Diving Club
- Victory Sports
- Jonathan Eddy
Waterfront Diving Center
214 Battery Street
Burlington, VT 05401
Whitewater kayaking can be an exhilarating, fast-paced and fun run down the river. It's also a potentially dangerous sport that requires proper training and the right equipment. One of the biggest whitewater events in Vermont happens on the last weekends of both April and September when the Ball Mountain Dam in Jamaica holds a controlled water release, turning the West River into a class III run. Thousands of whitewater enthusiasts come from all over New England to run the rapids. Host Marianne Eaton takes an introductory whitewater kayak lesson and runs her first class II whitewater.
Sculling is a rowing sport that's not only a great workout, it's one of the fastest trips you can make on the water under your own power. Vermont is home to the Craftsbury Sculling Center in Craftsbury Common. It is a world-class sculling school attracting Olympians and people who just like to row. Host Marianne Eaton joins a class at Craftsbury to learn the ins and outs of sculling and what the attraction is to this sport of "leverage."
For around 200 miles, the Connecticut River forms the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire, offering a number of great stretches to paddle and enjoy the scenery. It is a river filled with many personalities — peppered with whitewater in some sections and gentle pools and eddies in others. In a southern part of the river near Windsor, Vermont, lies a 12-mile stretch that makes a perfect day paddle adventure. Host Marianne Eaton joins Eric Hanson from Northstar Canoe Rentals in Cornish, New Hampshire, to paddle this stretch of the Connecticut and spend the night at one of the primitive campsites along the river.