Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues

Welcome to spring in the Champlain Valley. And to Rosslyn’s annual spring drama: the Lake Champlain boathouse blues!

Over the last month lake water level has been rising, rising, rising. And rising some more. In fact, it’s even risen since I started drafting this post. (Current level a little further down.)

Boathouse Blues Begin

Until recently I was singing the end-of-ski-season rag and the dandelion ditty while quietly hoping that Lake Champlain water levels would rise enough to hedge against last summer’s all-too-low water levels. 

And then I received this recent message and photo from Essex friend and neighbor Tom Duca.

Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Tom Duca)
Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Tom Duca)

“The lake was superlow last year, but now it’s moving right up… Most of the snow is melted in the higher elevations, so I don’t think the lake will get much higher than this…” ~ Tom Duca

Nerve wracking, right? Hopefully Tom’s snow melt assessment is accurate. And hopefully it’s not an overly rainy spring. 

My mother was the next boathouse blues melody maker. Here are her updates. 

Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Melissa Davis)
Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Melissa Davis)

“Water much higher, you’ll be glad to know!” ~ Melissa Davis

So I suppose my wishes for higher-than-2016 water levels weren’t as quiet as I had thought. And initially Lake Champlain’s spring  water level increase did relieve me.

And then my mother sent me this. 

Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Melissa Davis)
Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Melissa Davis)

“Water rising! Almost even with Old Dock dock.” ~ Melissa Davis

She was referring to the Old Dock Restaurant, located just south of the ferry dock. Time to start monitoring the official Lake Champlain water level. 

Boathouse Blues Reference & Refrain

For the official Lake Champlain water level, I turn to USGS.gov and pull up a one year retrospective that reveals the lake is much higher than last spring.

Current Lake Champlain water level on April 21, 2017 (Source: USGS.gov)
Current Lake Champlain water level on April 21, 2017 (Source: USGS.gov)
See that red line marking 100′ above sea level? That indicates flood stage. Yes, we’re pretty close. In fact, as of today, April 24, 2017 the most recent instantaneous “water surface elevation” is 99.74′ above sea level. And by the time you read this, it may be even higher. Check out the current Lake Champlain water level (and temperature) if you’re curious.

Until then, here are couple of additional glimpses of Rosslyn boathouse struggling to stay dry. This latest refrain in the Lake Champlain boathouse blues was photographed by Katie Shepard.

Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Katie Shepard)
Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Katie Shepard)
Great angle, Katie! You can tell that even on this relatively placid day, a medium-sized wave or boat wake would likely inundate the floorboards.

Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Katie Shepard)
Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Katie Shepard)
Looking down on the boathouse gangway reveals flotsam and jetsum that have already washed up on the decking.

Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Katie Shepard)
Lake Champlain Boathouse Blues (Source: Katie Shepard)
And Katie’s last photograph shows the water level almost cresting Roslyn’s waterfront retaining wall. Fingers crossed that we won’t experience flood stage this year!

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at virtualDavis.com; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at 40x41.com; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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