Phil’s Vermont Sail Freight Adventure

Sep 12, 2014
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Vermont is full of creative, forward-thinking enterprises. One of our favorites is the Vermont Sail Freight Project, which aims “to bring an historic trading route back from the ashes, with the help of an all volunteer crew of students, farmers, and community members.”

The VSFP announced that they needed crew for a last-minute, 8-day, project-promoting trip to the annual Tugboat Rally in Waterford, New York. Phil volunteered, having learned to sail during his childhood on the Chesapeake Bay.

The volunteer crew of the sailing barge Ceres set sail from Vergennes and navigated down Lake Champlain, then through the Champlain Canal’s many locks.

Arriving at Waterford, the crew unloaded their cargo and set up a farmer’s market/info booth. Some of the items for sale included Vermont maple syrup, maple sugar, apple butter, honey, sunflower oil, coffee, switchel, dried herbs, and various flours, grains, and baking mixes. Crew members answered curious patrons’ questions and spread awareness about the project.

They returned home the same way they came, through the Champlain Canal’s locks once more and back into Lake Champlain.

Phil had a great time helping to promote a smart, sustainable way to ship Vermont-made produce to markets in New York City. We’ll be following the VSFP’s progress with interest.

Phil (left) jams with project director Erik Andrus (right) while Captain Christin Ripley (rear) steers the ship.  Photo by Harry Milkman.

Phil (left) jams with project director Erik Andrus (right) while Captain Christin Ripley (rear) steers the ship. Photo by Harry Milkman.

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