Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 21 - Champ!

Bryn: We started the day with a visit to ECHO – The University of Vermont's Lake Aquarium. The boys both enjoyed the Champ exhibit. They also learned about the large fish of the lake, such as sturgeon, and watched them being fed. ECHO stands for Ecology, Culture, History, Opportunity. There were good exhibits on geology, the environment of the Champlain basin, and the human history of the area. Yes, this means baskets, including an early Abenaki eel trap, circa 1800.

Reed had fun building and shooting paper rockets. Bret experimented with paper kites, with the thought of employing them for aerial reconnaissance in the search for Champ. He also mentioned 'drastic measures' – he could build a large trap for Champ. We vetoed this idea as both Champ and sturgeons are endangered and protected in both VT and NY.

We spent the afternoon watching for Champ around several areas where sightings have been reported – St. Alban's Bay, Grand Isle, Knight's Point, South Hero, and Mallet Bay. Good news – Bret is convinced that the odd thing he saw at Mallet Bay was definitely Champ. Unfortunately, his photo is not clear and is probably non-convincing. But he knows he saw Champ, and is thrilled. Reed saw Champ at South Hero – there was definitely another unexplained oddity in the water, so we support his sighting as well. For those of you who are skeptics, come on up to this beautiful part of the country and spend some time searching. The lake is 427 feet deep, and is considered by some to be the sixth Great Lake as it was formed at the same time as the others, and it is the sixth largest lake in the U.S. Reed, Bret and I all took a little dip in the lake at Knight's Point. The beach had good access, the water was warmish and clear, and the small bay we were in was too shallow for Champ to come close to shore without us clearly seeing him.

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