While we’re waiting

Just when we think Ramblin Roger has gone to a beach in Florida and set up his DN,

we hear that he’s checking ice in Greenville. This guy is ramblin’ in the fast lane!

Clouds have covered coastal Maine and we are just about to receive our first solid rain since last year. The wet-out is upon us and I suspect we’ll be on Damariscotta soon. Moosehead, on the other hand, is getting snow with this event so we’ll need to ask Rodger to go back there at some point.

Here’s a video by Joe Terry standing at the windward mark at the recent ISA in Michigan. There’s a Nite start that will get Bunting’s attention, and then A Skeeters that will take your breath away rounding the windward mark:

About our two guys from the east coast, Jordan Glaser got a 7th in the A Skeeter fleet, and Mark Hancik managed a 4th with his Yankee in the B Skeeters. Thanks to those guys for making the trip; let’s hope for a larger East Coast contingent next year. A handful of Whizz could could work wonders!

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Moosehead Ice

Ramblin’ Roger rambled up and around Moosehead today. He found 6-7
inches of snow at Rockwood and more down around Greenville. All is heavily tracked by snowmobiles. He had no idea how thick the ice might be but it is usually 3+ feet this time of year. He likes the countryside, nice and quiet. He hopes to see a moose.

He is going to wait out the coming wet weather in Orono and see what happens.

Chickawaukee, not a surrogate for Moosehead, is starting to gray out

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Sebago Open 2015

This morning’s gale mellowed to a fickle trickle throughout the day. The Sebago Open was sailed in some very light and variable stuff, with just enough of an occasional gust to keep us interested. The core group of Dave Fortier, Harry Richardson, Buchholz and Ramblin Roger managed five races; a few of them with Jim Gagnon (who won the super DN class), Tom Gloudemans, a mystery guy in a hot CSI boat, and maybe some others. There were a lot of boats cruising as well; I counted twenty sails at one point. The racers happily dodged the stalled cruisers punctuating the course.

After four races, Buchholz and Richardson were tied for first so it was proposed that the two of them have a two lap tie breaker. Fortier manned the finish in case it was close. The wind was still on coffee break, wandering around lost, but they had a start. Buchholz managed to make the windward mark first, but on the final downwind leg he was parked as Harry rounded the windward mark well wound up and going deep. With some serious sprints Buchholz managed to keep himself between Harry and the mark, so won the Regatta, and the coveted Doug Raymond built Sebago Open Trophy.

Congratulations also to Jeff Knapp for the teriffic job on his new Whizz #14, “Whizz-Bang, oops”. His son Kevin (?) joined him in a DN for the day. He was headed to work this morning when he noticed an e-mail about sailing today. He bagged work, loaded the boat and headed for the lake. A fine example for us all!

Lee and Karin had their usual sunset cruise as the wind offered us one for the road. It really came on nice as the day wound down, contrary to all the old fart predictions. We could barely see them on the far horizon as we broke down boats and loaded trailers. They brought back the nice flag that Jim Gagnon made to mark the pressure ridge crossing. He’ll be making a bunch more to disseminate throughout the fleet so there will always be a few on hand.

If he can have a few made in time for the annual CIBC Moosehead Long Way we’ll be able to mark pressure ridges as we cross them, helping to finding our way back. Every little bit helps on that vast panorama of springtime ice. Watch the weather, check the web cams, keep in touch. We can only have this much fun if there are many eyes on all conditions.

Thanks to everyone who showed up today, and if it turns out this was your last day of the season, then you couldn’t have picked a better one. Bravo!

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Sebago Open Called ON for Tomorrow

Today’s racing has been canceled in observation of Oliver Moore’s OBE in similar conditions earlier this season. But Commodore Fortier announced this morning that the Sebago Open will be sailed tomorrow, Monday 3/23. Our apologies to those who will be at work, but the ice is so nice and the forecast too good. The Sebago Open trophy hasn’t been won in years and it needs a home! The “Open” means that it’s open to all DN’s no matter the condition, so dust off your old barn queen and come play! Skipper’s meeting at 9:30, first start at 10:00. Nason’s Beach, Lake Sebago.

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Active Ice

Lee Spiller found something north of Nason’s and lost something nearby that we should all be watching for:

> My GoPro fell off the boat in the 1/4 mile after the reef crossing off Nasons…I’ll be looking for that in the morning…
> I should have said something yesterday, there was a scary wet crack 20″ wide half way between Spider Island and the mouth of the Crooked River that Kate, Roger, and I sailed across by the grace of who ever looks out for iceboaters…active ice up in that corner of the lake. One more thing..the surface of the lake changed big time today…its smoothing and flattening…despite the many runner tracks..

Stay tuned for race results from yesterday’s Doc Fellows Regatta and potentially the New England Champs today.

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Lake Sebago 3/19 & 3/20

We’ve been discussing ice grades a lot this winter, mainly how we need to accept that there is are grades one, two, three, etc and that we need to admit that we’ll actually sail on them. Grade zero is simply not sailable, for whatever reasons. As reliable scouts, we can confirm that grade one exists south of Frye Island. Three out of four boats attempting the island circumnavigation from Nason’s beach and back made it through, the forth jury rigged a broken mast and blew downwind to Pumphouse Bay. He was there in a few minutes as it was blowing 25-30 yesterday. I would say that one needed a solid twenty just to get through the grade one stuff:

His plank is just visible above the moguls.

Frank and Denis are trying to fix Lee’s mast while I refused to sail back through the crud, having complete confidence it their ability to fix anything:

But on the West side the ice is considerably better, if a bit bumpy. The fleet of 17 boats pushed and waited for wind until about 1:00 today, but when it came in from the SW it was a perfect 10 (mph) and held until dark:

The pressure ridge protecting the main plate from Nason’s Beach. The is a nice flat spot for crossing, but it is very active and needed to be cleared a number of times throughout the day. Yesterday it was tight at the crossing, by this morning it had opened up a foot, and by noon had come together and was piling up fast. Fascinating to sit and listen to the deep rumbles of the working plate accompanied by the tinkling of falling tiny ice. The were signs of warming ice on the main plate, the dreaded springtime re-alignment of the ice crystals. Every day from here on in is a gift. Be humble and take it!

There will be DN racing tomorrow and Sunday, and more sailing into the week. Check the weather, see if you like it, and rest assured there will be plenty of boats on the ice when you show up. Drive on the ice if you want, there’s plenty of room. Any old DN welcome to race: it’s fun!

Lastly, on the crud yesterday at Frye’s Leap:

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Sebago Ice

Its in. Nason’s Beach is open. Lake was sailed today, Thursday, all way across and around Frye Island. Plenty of ice for regatta.

Graded at 5-6 by Fortier and Buchholz.

Raymond beach and Jordan Bay not so good, major snow field out in Bay.

Wind forecast for Friday dwindling NW wind in AM coming in from SW in afternoon.

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