Where is the Inland Sea ?: Spring Beach Ferry operates exclusively in the Inland Sea area of Lake Champlain. That is the lake area that borders the entire eastern side of the all the Hero Islands, includes Woods Island, Knight Island, Burton Island, Butler Island, numerous public and private docks such as those at Hero's Welcome General Store, Kill Kare State Park, Sand Bar State Park, North Hero State Park, Grand Isle State Park and in St. Albans Bay.
Boat travel has inherent risks: All travelers are responsible for assuming the personal risks of boat travel and any damage to their belongings. All members of a party are expected to have the physical capability to climb in and out of a small boat and carry their own gear. Any questions or concerns, please just text or call.
Boats: The usual ride is in a wide 18' boat with bench seats around an open area for gear. While the rated capacity is 10 people, we will never carry more than 6 and often fewer depending on gear and weather conditions. We're well suited for rocky beach landings of groups of 5 or less with camping gear (larger groups or lots of gear just may require an extra trip). We also use a 21' center console for occasional dock to dock excursions. The ride is often very pleasant, but wind and choppy water can be unexpectedly chilly, damp, and kick up some spray. Be prepared for our Lake Champlain weather with some warm layers.
Bring your child's life jacket: Life jackets must be worn by children under the age of 13. If your child has his/her own USCG approved life jacket please bring it along as children are generally more comfortable with their own gear. If you need a life jacket (child or adult), no worries, we have plenty to go around for everyone who needs one.
Landings: For campers, we always try to land close to the campsite. However, onshore winds and lake conditions will dictate the safest landing area. In some cases you may need to walk. Be prepared to wade to shore (if needed) with thick water shoes, heavy sandals, or even old sneakers. The lake shore can be rocky, slippery, and unforgiving (but it's mostly a lot of fun!).
Be prepared for changes: The wind rules everything on the lake. We'll communicate by text or phone if any bad weather threatens to delay your departure and work out the best exit strategy (such as picking up in a more sheltered spot or even a different departure time/date). Safety is always top priority. Bottom line is to have a contingency plan (the best plans involve an extra bottle of wine, some tasty snacks, and a good book...just in case).
Communication: Speaking of phones, it helps to have a backup battery or some arrangement with your partners to shut off and 'save' a cell phone for departure planning. (We're very flexible should you decide to stay an extra day or have to leave a day early). Be sure to turn on and check your phone once a day for possible messages.
Gear: For campers soft sided duffels and packs are best. As a small work boat, capacity is adequate but certainly not unlimited. Over sized coolers are great for tail gating but can be challenging to haul over rocks and out of a rocking boat. Bring stuff with sturdy handles and be sure you can carry what you pack. It is good practice to consolidate loose items (toys, pillows, etc..) into one bag . We generally expect a duffel or backpack per person plus a tent, cooler , food box, and few random items. If the amount, or weight of the gear requires an extra trip it will count as an extra person on the rate.