Frank and Denis found some joy on Lac St. Francois over the past couple of days:
We waited for the wind all morning, but it was really dead. So we skated to check the shell ice spots of yesterday, and they were all 2’’ thick. Except where I went in yesterday!!! (he found a 10″ deep shell puddle which he described like a cartoon character running off a cliff: it’s fine until he stops running, there’s a pause, then down he goes!)
We secured a large plate, maybe 2 miles x 4 miles, where we could sail without any hazards. The wind raised at 13:30, and it was the perfect wind for our full rig. Even un bit too strong at times. We stopped at 16:30 as the snow began to fall. It’s supposed to turn to rain tonight, so it may improve the surface by filling some frozen drain holes.
I’m going back tomorrow, and if we can’t sail, then I will repair my plank. “
One of the reasons we decided to try this new launch site is because the club wants to keep as low profile as possible at Lake Farm. We’ll be back there once the ground is frozen and we can drive and park on the grass, but if we had been there today we’d have stove it all up.
As it was, the Vannah Rd. site worked out very well. Plenty of parking, easy on-off, no mud. The wind is a little wild at times as it swirls around the cove in the pit area (steady 15 gusting to 25), but it’s great to have the luxury of beating up as far as the Narrows and then getting the long sleigh ride back down. We didn’t go anywhere else because of the lurking threat of drain holes. We found a few and marked them, but attempting to approach Deep Cove in half a gale they were actually hidden under the waves of two inch deep puddles; more like small seas then puddles, actually:
That is not orange peel ice, it’s wavelettes. Note the spray on deck. We were taking on water most of the day, goggles covered in spray. But with the warm wind they’d dry in seconds and a slow drip of freshwater running into the mouth kept the throat from getting parched by the crazy balls to the wall sailing. One of the amazing characteristics of slush runners is the when you’re hit with a big lift, the entire boat weather-cocks and sets you on just the right course while casting up a fabulous rooster tail for your sailing buddies’ benefit.
Between the gusts the seas would settle down to a mirror.
Rambin Roger gets the longest drive award, as usual. The Lamb gang from Mass. stayed at the Inn and by all accounts had just as much fun there as they had on the ice. Another half dozen boats rounded out the fleet. Sailed hard and put away wet, it looks like we’ll have some time now to dry the boats, lick the wounds, and watch the weather.
A few weeks ago when scouting for ice I stopped at Jordans store on the southwest side of Sebago Lake. While visiting with Jeff and Greg and telling then how fantastic it would be if the big part of the lake would freeze that night. The reason being at that time was that it was our chance in the East to host the North American DN Championship. During our visit and talking of ice and iceboating somehow we started talking of the Portland Water district. Most probably we were speaking of the nice map of Sebago Lake that they print. On that note they showed me the new calendar that the Portland Water District also makes available to the public. They showed me the calendar because the month of February sported a terrific photo of DNs on some very reflective ice. So, I had to get a copy of that calendar, I stopped by their office in Windham that day, but they had closed. I made a note get a copy next time I was at the lake checking ice.
The other day when I was at the lake checking the ice wet out, I stopped by their office again and picked up a few copies of the calendar. Pictures below and a nice shot of the wet ice from the bridge area on the east side of the lake. I know February almost over, but I do have two extra copies.
Another wonderful day on Meginticook. A long tour of the north end with the obligatory rounding of Cam’s Sauna, and then sailing laps around a few of the islands in the Broads after lunch. The temps held just below freezing, enough to keep the drain holes sealed up. Ice just as flawlessly silent as yesterday.
In addition to these guys, Bryce was sailing his new Blade Runner, Paul with Icywood, Ben gracing the piney shoreline with the gaff rigged Tipsy, and Bob with his Cheapskate. See the ice? It was that good!
Tomorrow we are moving to the south end of Damariscotta Lake at the Vannah Rd. launch. Parking is tricky there, so be creative and considerate. There is a wintery mix clicking on the windows right now, but it looks like we’ll be spared any accumulation.
What we have accumulated, however, is plenty of ice. Tom parked directly over that crack just to make his point. When it gets cold again in March the big inland lakes will be ready for us. South Twin has slushpitatosis, so will need to wait, Moosehead has three feet of ice.
Light air and dreamy ice today on Megunticook. The wind blew north 5+ for most of the day, but the old saying “good ice adds 5mph to the wind speed” took it up to ten. So there we were sailing in Ten on a Ten: rolled the dice and came up snake-eyes. There are some drain holes, though. We marked about a dozen in the south broads. The worst spot was the scene of the crime last Saturday where the ice fisherman drill a series of holes to keep the nasty iceboaters out of his trap area.
The gift that keeps on giving. Tonights temps in the teens will probably take care of most of these, but if you sail tomorrow please keep an eye open. If we need to mark others we will.
We’re looking at South Twin Lake in Millinockett for Saturday. There might be a good chance there to have the 100 Mile Race. Rick, from 5 Lakes Lodge, will check in tomorrow with a accurate report.
Excellent recovery, Very High Grade #, some small drain holes. Dammy might be as good, but the winds are better along the coast. Setting up as we speak. Beware the stream inlet at Bog Bridge to your left facing out.
I do this ice report as I attempt to finish what I have started
I started out scouting Sebago Lake for possible DN racing space.
What I found was miles of snow covered ice that has completely wet out from lower bay all the way to Raymond beach, with cold nights in the forecast.
At Raymond beach I was fortunate to strike up a conversation with a gentleman that was tending a fenced off area on the ice, and what I found out is that they are going to have a polar dip this weekend. That is all well and good , but I also found out that there is also an ICE FISHING DERBY this coming weekend, so making an iceboat racing event somewhat impossible. It is quite tragic this fishing derby stuff, because the potential for epic ice is definitely possible.