Attatash Ho!

Our boats are loaded and pointed toward Lake Attatash with wheels to roll at 6AM. Here is the Google map for the launch area:,+Amesbury,+MA+01860,+us&ie=UTF8&ll=42.84523,-70.986743&spn=0.020012,0.050168&z=15

Paul Delniro has called in from the lake and is quite impressed with its surface. Nearby Baxter Lake was a disappointment, with insufficient wetting out and a further snowfall. No news of Bow Lake.

Also good news came in from Pat Keeley that Jordan Bay Sebago has frozen and with no immediate wind to goof things up, may be the place to be this weekend. Jordan bay is 2 miles wide at its widest E-W, and 3 miles N-S; so it’s quite a playground, even though it’s only a fraction of Sebago itself. Just the name will bring up powerful memories to many of us. Right now, tuesday, the ice is just a little more than an inch thick there, and snow is predicted for Thursday….so it represents our typical frustration. Pat will call in as things develop….

so, it’s still full speed ahead for Attatash….see you there, perhaps….jory

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New Year’s Rendezvous on Lake Attatash, Mass.

The natives are getting VERY RESTLESS… To quote an old poem:

Then came snow and freezing rain
A combination sure to pain
You couldn’t ski; you couldn’t skate
And harsh words passed tween man and mate.

no harsh words yet….the mate is away, actually….but

So Bill and I, and I hope some others, are doing a day trip to Attatash on New Year’s Day. Our spy, Paul Delniro has been keeping track of some of the lakes in that area, which somehow missed some of our big snowfalls. Access to the lake is via Attatash Road, which runs north from route 110, which is the last exit north on I-495. Just put in “Amesbury” on your google maps site. I may post an update later in the day….happy new year!….jory

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WHIZZ #7 Hits The Ice

Paul Zucco drove all the way from Connecticut to Squam Lake, one of the only sailable plates in the region, to christen his new Whizz and go sailing. He’s been a’building for a couple of years so it had to be doubly sweet to both find the ice and then sail the boat. Paul certainly looks happy here:

The snow was reported to be light and dry, with Squam receiving much less than surrounding areas. Lee Spiller and others made the most of it while the rest of us spent days digging out trailers and chasing red herrings.

Nice job, Paul, and we look forward to a Whizz regatta some time this season!

Photo Lee Spiller

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Chickawaukee Slushwich healed

2PM Chicky slush has frozen. 200 yds from beach 8 inches of ice, 2 inches crunchy snow, good skiing. There is a gentle swell of old drifts, this assay was through one such swell, less snow in between. If we get likely storm Sunday evening it may well turn to rain in mid coast, that’s us. Hope springs eternal, it would not take much, and then it gets really cold next week, below zero nights.


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Baxter Lake, NH

Paul Delnero sends this report:

Baxter Lake, Rochester NH. Fri 12/27/13 Sailed most of the afternoon. Grade 6 ice under 1.5″ of fluffy powder.

Google Map:

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Delirium Ice-Tremens

3AM….sleep was impossible…the disease was obviously taking hold….under the sliver of a new moon, walking over a crunchy 3″ of new snow, i began working with a headlamp to free my iceboat from its trailer-entrapment behind a frozen combination lock….

I think i caught it, when I heard Ron Buzzell’s words from Sunapee, “We set up boats today in a blizzard”….can you picture it?……Ron, like me, is in his 70’s…..”We” might mean 80 year-old Art is there too….a deadly contagion was seeping thru the phone line…

The night before, via Bill, I had received a picture from iceboater, Bill Bernard. It’s of Schroon Lake, near the little town of Adirondack:

That’s 3″ of new ice with no white leprosy, Matilda!….there should be strict laws against sending such trashy temptation over the internet….So by 5AM my bags were carefully packed and I awaited Bill’s phone call….how can he possibly sleep?…..I slipped under the covers with all my iceboat clothes on…

There, I reflected: Brenda is out in Michigan keeping my 98-year-old mother company. She would never have let me get this crazy….besides, is this fair?…..shouldn’t some sort of sexism-alarm be sounding?….man goes off leaving blocked driveway and big stack of unanswered Xmas cards, pursuing fresh young adventure, while wife cares for mother…..alas, I don’t have that alarm….ZZZZZZ

Bill’s call woke me with a jerk, and things quickly began to degenerate. His car had no heater, and, eventually was only jury-rigged by 3PM….Greg Cornelius had called in the meantime, to say that Sunapee was not worth traveling to….also, my disease had been mellowed by an amazing afternoon of walking in the ice-sculpted woods….sadly, it seemed like our little opportunity to resist the Higher Power’s Heavy Hand had passed us by. Bill summed it up: It IS only late December, after all.

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The Boxing Day Ice Gala!

Ice-hungry iceboaters, from as far away as Peaks Island, gathered on Boxing Day on Lake Megunticook…..ahh….actually we were NEAR Lake Megunticook, only 1.4 miles away…. in “iceboat central”, Bill’s workshop…..there we were iceboating away to our heart’s content….you see, Bill has a very inclusive definition of iceboating, which involves doing ANY iceboat-related activity….in this case we were iceboating/talking……outside a light snow was falling STRAIGHT DOWN… there was little interest in moving our iceboating over to the lake….

Especially strong commitment to the sport was shown by Curtis, who lives on an island off Portland, and keeps beautiful “Indigo” on a trailer in a garage on the mainland. Also present were Bill; Lloyd, who I noticed had come sans iceboat; myself, also of little faith, having come to rescue an enmired trailer; and Dirk, a friend interested in iceboating. We all agreed that this season, though starting late, will surely last until May in recompense…

Thanks to astute spying, and strong determination, we’ve been able to have intense and full seasons every year, in spite of increasingly-shy ice; yet often there is a lingering fear that, at last, this season will be the season that never was. By now, 8PM, the snow outside is 3″ deep, which really eliminates anything local.

But a few calls have netted this news: Paul Gervais, from the Champlain area reports equally depressing conditions, with lots of snow and crust and now more snow. However, Ron Buzzell actually set up boats today on Sunapee in a blizzard which totaled 3″ and 4-6 true believers are arriving there tomorrow to see if there’s any joy to be had. Winds are predicted 5-10 mph tomorrow, but better (10-15) Saturday….so I hope to call Greg Cornelious, (who is coming up with some of the Mass. gang) during the day tomorrow and see how they’re doing.

Lucky for me, my daughter Chloe, before jumping on a boat delivery to the Caribbean, has inadvertently, I’m sure, left behind a nice bottle of Napoleon brandy….sooooo…i’m being unusually patient with developments….so, ice buddies, let’s rally the faith and THINK ICE!…..jory

aboard 81′ “Sincerity” built 1928, fully reefed, going 9 Kn. reaching across a 25 Kn. Easterly two days out of Antigua, BWI.

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