(NECN: Jack Thurston, Burlington, Vt.) - The temperatures in the Champlain Valley of Vermont reached into the 70s Tuesday, but the water was much, much colder. Lake Champlain was only in the high 30s.
"It's very deceptive," said Kate Neubauer, the executive director of the Community Sailing Center in Burlington, Vt. "On land, it's nice and warm. When you get onto the water, it gets to be very cold."
Neubauer cautions folks to wear life jackets and even wet suits, dry suits, boots, hats, and gloves. Those could protect against hypothermia, she said. It can set in quickly if someone toppled into such cold water. Visitors should also watch for debris like tree branches that may have washed into the Lake over the winter.
"There's no reason not to go play on the lake," Neubauer added. "Just make sure you're following the safety precautions."
Neubauer noted that while the Community Sailing Center does not officially open for boat rentals until Memorial Day Weekend in May, some people have already called asking about the availability of sailboats this week.
“I can’t remember that ever happening this early,” she said.
While paddleboarders and kayakers tried to get a very early jump-start on their favorite warm-weather activities, others clung to winter. The Tuesday “ski bum” races at the Stowe Mountain Resort saw lots of skiers in shorts and t-shirts. NECN even spotted one participant in a bikini top.
"It was a great day," that skier beamed.
Skiers who weren’t fully clothed were careful to avoid falls, because the granular snow would certainly hurt bare skin. They also had to dodge grassy patches where the snow melted during this week's preview of summer. No one complained; they just focused on fun.
"I've got some family coming up at the end of the week," skier Brian Krux said. "I hope there's some snow left for them, for sure."
Vermont is expecting another good day for outdoor recreation Wednesday. It may be even warmer, with some places expected to reach the 80s.