Summer schedules fill up fast. So, while it’s still spring, make sure you’ve set aside the last week of July and early August (7/26 to 8/4). That’s the Diamond Island Cruise Week and, for me, the highlight of the boating season. Many of us have experienced the excitement of discovering new anchorages and marinas around the lake. If that’s not you, there is some excitement in your future.

But, no matter where the cruise takes us, the real joy is sharing the experience with old and new friends, “messing about in boats,” like Ratty said in The Wind in the Willows. This year we’re planning to build that sharing experience into the schedule with time for group discussions on topics like eating well on a boat, favorite knots and tools, and repairing teak and fiberglass. 

We’ll visit Mallets Bay for the first time in a while and we’ll have a full day to play games at Burton Island plus a night in Deep Bay. We’ll visit Willsboro Bay and have a discounted rate at Safe Harbor Willsboro Bay Marina. And if it can be arranged, we’ll end the week with tours of the U.S. Coast Guard station and the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center where we’ll hear Alex Wallace’s harrowing tale of the Fastnet Race last summer.

Every year the fleet is a concoction of power and sailboats both large and small with wizened old salts and first-time cruisers. We bring our grandchildren for some of it and, of course, Nelly, our poodle.

Go get your calendar and mark off Cruise Week, or at least a big chunk of it. It is an immersive, enjoyable and educational boating experience.

  • Will Patten, DIYC Cruise Director for 2024

Preliminary Itinerary for Cruise Week 2024

Friday, July 26 – Provision Day. Stock up on food, beverages, and ice. There is a convenience store an easy walk away from our anchorage in Malletts Bay.

Saturday, July 27 – Anchor off North Beach in Burlington. We will gather on land for a discussion of favorite knots and tools and sundowners. Bring examples if you have them.  We’ll have line on hand for demonstrations. If wind is stiff out of the south we’ll anchor in Shelburne Bay.

Sunday, July 28 – Anchor in Mallets Bay off Niquette State Park. We’ll gather on land for a discussion of how to eat well on boats around 5 pm. Favorite recipes, provisioning tips, refrigeration. If wind is honking out of the south, we’ll anchor off Bayside Park on the south side of the bay.

Monday, July 29 –Move to Deep Bay and pick up moorings. You’ll need to rig your own lines to the Hazlett moorings so make sure you have adequate line with you. If there is interest among the sailors, we would like to organize a destination race from just outside the entrance to Mallets Bay to the red marker south of Deep Bay. From Deep Bay we can walk to Doc’s On The Water at Moony Bay Marina if we want. There are also abundant hiking trails and crystal-clear water.

Tuesday, July 30 – Sail through the draw bridge and across the inland sea to Burton Island. There are slips and mooring balls (need reservations) and room for anchoring.  Tell them you’re with Diamond Island and they will put you with the group. We’ll spend two nights at Burton. Tuesday night we will gather for a discussion of maintaining/repairing fiberglass and bright work. Wednesday we will organize some competitive activities like volleyball, bocce, horseshoes, frisbee golf and more. There is a store and snack bar. 

Thursday, August 1 – We will make a long trek (27 nm) to Willsboro Bay. Slips are available for $1/foot for DIYC members. We’ll meet on shore for a pot luck – “empty your refrigerator” – meal and an open discussion of all things boating.

Friday, August 2 – Travel across the lake to Burlington. There are a ton of slips. The Boathouse has moorings. And you can anchor again at North Beach and walk into town.  Dinner in the big city.

Saturday, August 3 – We will tour the U.S. Coast Guard Station and the Community Sailing Center’s brand-new building. Times TBD. We will also hear a presentation by Alex Wallace (yep, Roger and Susan’s daughter who lives and works in London) about crewing in last year’s stormy Fastnet race. (Wind gusted to 46 knots during the 700-mile course. More than 400 boats competed.)

Sunday, August 4 – Some boats may return to Point Bay Saturday night. For those that don’t, it’s croissants and lattes before sailing home.