Ice on Hosmer Pond

We’re a couple of days behind Chickawaukee with four inches of pencil ice. I could get through the dark perimeter with the kayak, but not the white center. Just for the record, four inches of white pencil ice will hold 160# and even withstand aggressive boot stomping. But you didn’t hear it here!

Here is a fascinating bit of ice crystal. The vertical part is the usual rotten formation and I believe the curving part, with horizontal crystals, is an ice fishing hole. They always freeze differently from the surrounding ice and now we see the crystals behaving oddly, like they really want to go vertical but just can’t get with the program.

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Ice On Chickawaukee Saturday April 12

I am looking out the window at a motorboat where the ice was yesterday. I was however the first boat (canoe) on the pond yesterday and had a nice trout rise to a vintage “daredevil”. A little residual along the SE shore will likely disappear by Sunday. Water temp 45 at beach, 8 long months to refreeze.

Iceman


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It’s Over

Sebec was our Ace in the Hole, but according to Bob Lombardo there are holes in our Ace. The web cam there was indeed looking very good; the best of the northern lakes for wetting out. But the next cold night there will be Tuesday, with days in the fifties until then and light rain on Wednesday morning. Seems like we’re beating a dead horse. There was a false alarm for Lac St. Francois in Quebec the other day: too much slush and not enough cold.

Time to take out the ear plugs and listen to the lovely lady of corpulence riffing on the coming of spring. She’s been in the background for quite a while but now has taken those few steps and moved twenty feet to the front of the stage: now she’s a star!

With that in mind, it’s safe to announce that the spring CIBC meeting will be at Lloyd’s house on Saturday May 3, mid-morning to late afternoon. Bring a dish to share for lunch and any interesting iceboat stuff to show or sell. Club business meeting to follow lunch. 140 Porter St. Rockport, Me 04856

All are welcome, members as well as potential members. We have a lot of followers here at the CIBC blog who tell us what great pleasure they get from following the iceboating. Now, one doesn’t need to be an iceboater to become a member of the club, although as a club that’s our ultimate goal. Also, one doesn’t need to be a member to enjoy the exploits of the club through our posts and photos. But to remain a viable institution the club needs a strong base of supporting members. Won’t you join today? Please send $20.oo cash to Lloyd Roberts, Treasurer, at the above address. Thanks!

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Nagging thought: are we missing something?

Is there some ice somewhere being unused? Perhaps on a slightly-north-of-here lake?

here’s a reassuring report from that intrepid nordic skating duo:

We drove up to Sebec this morning because the webcam looked so promising and the temp was 16 at 5am. Most of the lake looked a nice shade of grey but the closer we got I knew things just didn’t look solid enough. Sure enough the slush-wich only had about 1″ on top. So we walked out further to get away from the in-flow or out-flow [whatever that is by Greeeleys landing] and it improved some but not enough to think we could actually skate without eventually taking a few diggers. Shell ice had already started to form and drain out underneath. Just too much material was on that lake to make a good transformation with the limited time there was. Could have been okay with 2 cold nights. Not happening this season on Sebec I am afraid. I am putting away my skate gear and its all bikes till November for me. See you next season
Bob

(This is Bob Lombardo)

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Rich Crucet died today

Sad news from Long Island. Apparently Rich went to bed last night and died naturally in his sleep. On behalf of the entire CIBC membership, we wish to express our condolences to his family.

May your ice be always smooth,
No reefs
or open leads.
Just miles and miles
with sun and blissful cruise.

May you overstand the windward mark
and peel off fast and deep;
and when the racing’s over
find peace with eternal sleep.

The Lake Ronkonkama Ice Boat and Yacht Club will be honoring Rich at their annual awards banquet. For anyone in the area that would like to participate, the Dinner will be held at “The Oar” in Patchogue, NY on Sunday April 13th from 5-8pm, at a fixed price of $37, cash bar available. If you are interested please RSVP to John Ziermann ASAP as he needs a head count ((jzierman@suffolk.lib.ny.us).
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April 6 Aria

Jory and I squeezed one more glorious morning from Lake Megunticook today. 5:30 am: winds strong and gusty, temp 33, a few pre-dawn clouds. We met at my place at seven to lug a 20′ plank down to the lake, which still didn’t clear the slush moat, but we got my DN through it anyway and by 7:30 were beating north. The surface ice in the cove could easily be stomped through, into slush, but outside the surface was hard and smooth and could have been sailed on plates for the first couple of hours. We made it all the way up to Cam’s Sauna, took the scenic route back down to Barret’s Cove and then did it again just for good measure. This means using every bit of the lake, with a couple of island roundings for good measure. I was even able to get through Lamb’s Folly, deep in the corner of Wipeout Bay in the shifty but strong westerly. There were open leads in the typical places, of course. The morning’s long shadows at the tips of islands looked like open water, so we just rounded them, too, but found no surprises.

The start at Barret’s Cove along Rt.52. Notice the cross at the top of Maidens Cliff? Notice as well how the runners aren’t cutting in.

We feel a little bad that we didn’t announce this world wide, but considering we were done by eleven hopefully the greater club won’t be too disappointed. I have to ask myself if I’d have driven four hours for a sail like this, and unfortunately the answer is yes. But how does one actually know what to expect at such a fickle time of year? We called it ON to all the local sailors but still had no takers. I hazzard to say that an aggressive quartet of DN sailors could have pulled off a regatta this morning. First start at seven, four races done by eleven? The only viable course was flanked by waves licking at the edge of the plate, so maybe in the end it was best just drive the boat fast in the hard wind.

Ice aglow in the early light in North Broads.

End of the Road: Cam’s Sauna

End of sailing on Megunticook.

Kate Morrone was planning to sail Sunapee this morning; we’ll post her report here when she checks in. It’s looking less likely that we’ll get a wet-out up north before the temps become too warm for a morning freeze. That said, todays lesson was that 33 degrees after 24 hours of rain and 48 hours of above freezing temps yielded the fabulous conditions today, and because a couple of nuts were paying attention were able to nail it. Many of you are watching the web cams for Sebec, Moosehead and South Twin: we are too. Until you see a fat duck quacking keep the boats at the ready!

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The Honor of being in Wild Space

I miss my ice buddies just a little…..as, day after day….. this sunny succession of days unfolds on Megunticook….each day seems to offer a magical few hours of good sailing, as I work the roulette game of winds and ice. After yesterday’s slush, today I bet on the hard ice of early morning….any wind at all would move the boat well on this now-level granular ice, before the late morning slush-out….but….why even go out when there’s hardly a wiggle in the trees at home?

I have the habit of early morning walks, so I decided simply to take my iceboat for a walk in the cloud-less morning sun….. I pushed it, without a sail, around the bend into the broads….not a breath stirred….what the hell….I started pushing East….so stoned….so dazzled ….by the sparkle and the silence….

You could see iceboating as a sport….the challenge of using cloth, wood, and steel to move by wind power across ice….you could see it as competition…. to move a little faster than the other guy….But here in my dotage….as testosterone gently moves toward its nadir…I’m increasingly moved by iceboating as a frame, as a context, in which to experience Wild Space….

I pushed East….the slush runners’ grind-y sound adding to the rhythmic crunch of boots to break the windless, surreal silence. gradually the tell-tale increased its flutter….what the hell…I raised the sail….the boat looks better that way….opposite Dunton Rock the boat began moving on its own….soon I vaulted in and we were off….on 1.5 hours of fantastic sailing on a limited playground of mysterious, adiabatic wind:

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=ztF2YST1dLcw.klPgx0hGdkz4

Playing alone….blasting, for example, toward the lead of sparkling open water near the “fangs”, with the sun just above the mountain….as I say….I miss my ice buddies a little…..I want to share this fantastic experience….but I also don’t miss them….there’s a greediness here….because alone….I can more easily sink into the honor of being immersed in such beauty….

These days, there is so little wild space….sacred space….holy space….I think primitive people were nourished by this….I can’t find many pre-industrial people to ask, but…..just think about the bratty persistence of hunting and gathering, long after agriculture had proven a better bet for delivering a regular meal….think of fly fishermen, ice fishermen, mountain climbers, shepherds….I suspect that the human animal has receptors for this disappearing dimension of experience….receptors which supply a contentment, a peace of mind, impossible to mimic.

when the wind finally pooched about 9AM, I took the time to chop holes in various places…..10 inches of solid, monolithic ice….eventually you won’t be able to get from shore to this beautiful floe….but while you can….I hope to be on it!

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