Saturday Ic e Boat Racing on Chickawaukee

Commodore Fortier is off to the world’s. He has authorized Harry Richardson to run the Commodore’s Cup Regatta this Saturday on Chicky. All boats are welcome, any size, any shape. There may be seperate classes. Skippers Meeting 10 AM, Race start 11 AM. Launch site Public beach and Park on Rte 17 South end of lake. (Lloyd,s beach and driveway are full).

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Posted in 2014 Season, 2014 Season1, 2015 Season

Ice, Ice, Everywhere

Cheapskates are set up on Chickawaukee at Lloyd’s beach. Doug Raymond plans to set up marks for Cheapskate and DN scratch racing over the next few days. We are getting spies on the elusive and never sailed Lake Cobbosocontee, near Augusta. Moosehead apparently is very smooth and lovely. Megunticook, as we’ve seen, is what it is, and will be sailed tomorrow by the might A Skeeter designed by Ray Ruge. ( remember the cool aerodynamic red boat from a summer post?)

Jordan Bay was awarded an solid 6 today, and chosen as an alternate sight for the DN worlds. The primary site will probably be called on for Kingston Ontario, but stand by for the official word later tonight. There is a tricky pressure ridge in the usual place which became very active while we were out sailing in the main part of the bay. We had to tip-toe back along the shore with the outboard runner submerged in order to get to the pits.

The breeze came in at about 5mph and just stayed there all day. Never altered speed or direction. Oddly enough, it was out of the south-east, but what a pleasure to get the boat wound up to maybe 15mph and then just cruise. It was a good day for a cam cleat. More interesting ice activity was this hole:

Its like a trap door opened specifically for an ice boat, and hard to see with all the different textures. Fortunately all this mess was inshore; the body of the bay is tight.

Your CIBC guy had just come from giving a talk on iceboats and iceboating to a group at MIT. And almost as a parody of itself, when I pulled into an alley I found myself alongside the large glass doors of the aerospace and rocket engine shop. Inside there was a guy sitting at a bank of three computers, flying a drone! It was a very flat and stealthy unit, and seeing it buzz around models of turbines and rocket engines was mind blowing. I knocked on the door to ask directions to my lecture hall, and he brought it down for a smooth landing.

I found my lecturees, and we hauled the DN up a few flights of steps and down the hall.

About fifty members of the Outing Club showed up, seemed to be very interested, asked all kinds of technical questions, and began to formulate plans to get a couple of boats for the club. They were especially fascinated with the concept of apparent wind. Most were non-sailors, but they grasped concepts very quickly. They are, of course, the cream of the world’s engineering crop. So keep an eye out for student types prowling the pits in coming weeks and get them into a boat! What better place to plant the seeds of iceboating.

Lastly, is there anyone going to the Worlds who could bring back a mast for Bill Grernier on Sebago? Even if it could be brought back somewhere in New England. Check in with him here: William Grenier

Posted in 2014 Season, 2014 Season1, 2015 Season

Lovely Megunticook, January 20, 2015

December had been lean for iceboating, and I knew I would be driving out to Michigan to help my 99-year-old mother discharge from her fracture-induced hospitalization….gosh, this season might just be a wash-out… I prayed with especial fervor for a royal ice-capade send-off before I drove that 3000 mile round trip.

And there it was: 5 glorious days on Pushaw…..iceboating that happens only once every few seasons…..the memory sparkles…..6.5 north-south miles….sun and wind every day….lots of buddies….and a quality of ice—is it my fading memory?—tha I only remember twice before….and now, back from Michigan, ice-hungry again….why didn’t I sail Pushaw more? I could have skated those 13 miles at the end of each sailing day….but then, if you’ve been eating steak all day, could you face another one at 3 PM?….no, as the French say, ‘hunger makes the sauce’

This morning….7 AM….rosy patina on the Camden Hills….somehow the night-time temps had jelled 99% of yesterdays puddles….wind predicted 10-20 west….Pushaw is a tough act to follow…this 7+ grade ice might be a comedown, but I hurried back home for the trailer. Eventually, I pushed Icywood out of the lee of the Davy Jones’, into the open broads:

the sail swung over to the down-wind side
with a bump and crunch the runners glide
i vaulted in to my cozy nest
jerked the sheet to my gasping chest
i thanked the stars that i’m still upright
wheelchairs and walkers not in sight
but someday soon they’ll ring my bell
around my coffin, stories tell
the yarns will spin, the bottles pass
til someone shouts, with empty glass
“let’s lift the lid, let’s all have peeks”
Holy smoke!….he’s wearing cleats”

you can tell where my mind has been lingering…..this sunny morning was just the antidote….stopped for tea in my favorite sunny spots….enough wind to explore, luffing off the higher speeds, as i looked over the usual trouble spots in this variegated lake…. finally finding beautiful grade 10 ice right up at the far north end. As I stitched back downwind the 3 mile length, what a shock: there was Bill in his DN, just pulling out of the cove. Darmariscotta, his earlier destination, had been too rough…

so now the day was complete: a buddy to share the experience….what’s more, with me in a Whizz rig, and Bill in a DN, I just might have my day. Adrenalin pumping, we match-raced north, he always just ahead….but then….and this is exactly what happens with the Whizz rig….when the boat is already moving fast, some additional turbo kicks in….and I blasted thru Chaney’s Narrows with Bill far behind. That hasn’t happened in years!

by 2PM the wind was dropping, so I helped Bill de-rig and make for his iceboat talk in Cambridge, Mass. then I could linger, de-rigging slowly, alone, as the light mellowed….we often compare iceboating to love-making….in both cases, as we age… doesn’t take much quantity….but quality…..those occasional special times…..and after comes a calm….what’s that verse?….now let thy servant depart in peace….for my eyes have seen thy salvation….

Posted in 2014 Season, 2014 Season1, 2015 Season

Chickawaukee Ice Jan 20

Chicky ice looks about a grade 6 and sails at 7+ over a mixture of black, grey, sometimes slightly wrinkled but surprisingly smooth sailing ice. There are a few narrow drain holes associated with old cracks about 1/3 down the lake from Lloyd’s beach. At that beach there is a loose mine field of drain holes from eaten out fishing holes drilled Saturday Jan 17th, before the rain. All of the above have 1 inch of ice and should be healed by Wednesday. In the meantime the thin crack based ones were marked with pine branches and the ones at Lloyd’s beach with cones.
We had 3/4 of the Maine Cheapskate fleet on the ice, Bob McEwan, Fred Wardwell, and myself. This was fred’s maiden voyage in his CS. Despite sometimes light and fluky air he sailed a couple of hours and was all smiles.
I did not sail any where near the public beach which was heavily fished Saturday, this should be OK by Wed. Launch from Lloyd’s is welcome, especially if cars are removed in AM before lawn softens in sun.
Photo is of your reporter placing pine markers in drain holes taken by Brian Hitchcock, probably from turn off on Rte 17. Thank you Brian.

Posted in 2014 Season, 2014 Season1, 2015 Season

Megunticook Conditions

Just so we know for later in the week:

And we have a sailor checking it out:

It looks worse than it is; very nice sailing.

Posted in 2014 Season, 2014 Season1, 2015 Season

decent ice on megunticook lake, camden

7” thick…..average grade 7.37….. :>)….areas of grade 9.5……..i’ll be sailing there from bog bridge about 9 AM….jory

Posted in 2014 Season, 2014 Season1, 2015 Season

Sorry, just one more

It’s just so exciting that I got lost! Raymond beach is on the EAST side of Sebago, on Rt. 302. Thanks to all the sharp readers who keep the correspondents on their toes!

And a Gold Star to any iceboater who can find the Lobster Claw on Damariscotta:

Posted in 2014 Season, 2014 Season1, 2015 Season