Doug and Wolfie had one more winner. This, from Doug:
“Nuances. Though one could say that the last few days on Damariscotta were pretty much the same, (sunny warm and glorious), if you think about it, there was variety – periods of dark clouds and even a few minutes of flurries prior to the Whizz race, for example. Each day was spectacular in its own way. But there were nuances. Today was no exception. The boat ramp was now blocked by slabs of ice three feet high. Wolfie commented that trailers wouldn’t be able to get on. I found quite a lot of frost on my boat, some of which was melting in the the sun. The temperature on the lake was 27. Apparently the frost covered the lake as well because in no time there was a fine film of water on the surface which made for extremely fast sailing in the light to moderate air. At no time during the day were we unable to sail. Even the new guy in the Skimmer was flying effortlessly. For some reason the lake itself became very loud, as lakes sometimes do, emitting a non-stop chorus of whale like sounds. Linc Davis sailed over for a chat on skates and kite-wing. Soon the temperature was 38, and the sweaters came off. I gathered up the cones and somewhat ineffective prototype marks before heading home. Wolfie found up a chair from out in the middle and yook it home. And now it’s wait and see.”
To view the Cheapskate video from the last post, go to the web site and get it there.
Doug sent us this video; odd format, but great images of Lloyd, Fred Wardwell and Bob McKewen who’s cumulative age is over 250 yrs.
There are still a couple of boats on the ice, but snow forecast to begin late tomorrow will likely send them home. The SW wind today turned on right as forecast and blew 10-15 all day Bright sunshine, warm temps and the ice just keeps getting better and better. The Cheapskates were out in force and were reported to have had a small regatta. No results in yet. Even the Lockly Skimmers got going nicely in the strong steady breeze. A trio of boats went down the SW Arm all the way to the usual dead end narrows:
We post this same photo each time we go here, looking forward to the day we can get through and go all the way to Damariscotta Mills.
There’s an amazing fish ladder there, and the alewives run up the ladder in the spring is not to be missed. From the salt marsh just below, the Damariscotta river flows to the sea. The river has become famous in recent years for it’s oysters. There are a number of producers, and the flavor is absolutely unique. Of course this year, now that we’ve salted the source with a number of boats and sailors, next season’s harvest might be a bit bitter.
Along the Arm on a small island were a camp of ice fisherman with a roaring fire along shore. What a treat to sail through the plume of woodsmoke and take deep drags of it. The SW wind was blowing right up the center, so we short tacked up the few miles, and then went down in long sweeping gybes. Absolutely some of best sailing, especially considering we couldn’t get down here at all last year.
This has been one of the most fabulous runs on Damariscotta Lake in a long time, and over a holiday weekend, no less. Thanks to Mike Acebo for coming all the way from Long Island and getting some major ice time. Please forgive the old harp, but if you don’t get it while the gettin’s good, you surely ain’t gonna get it when it’s not! Drive the car.
One glimmer of hope for Maine is South Twin. It has wet out and froze well. Snow forecast there is about 50% as of now. Temps will be just about right. Fill up the tank and stand by!
The New England results were dropped from the last post, so find them here: 2017 New England Championship Results – DN North America
Dave Fortier sent us this report from Lake Champlain:
I returned late yesterday evening from the New England Championship. There was a good turnout, 18 registered racers. The ice was smooth, large and quite scenic with all the mountains in view.
The wind was lighter on Saturday and southish, on Sunday the wind was northish and I thought that it was not much stronger. I was wrong! I left the pits and sailed out to the line and I had guessed all wrong. I immediately asked a few of my fellow racers if I would have time to get back to the pits to make a FEW changes, the answers were maybe, and for me that was yes, as I had to. I went back and changed to my FSpeed 1D sail, moved my mast step back. If I put the mast stiffener in it would take too much time, dropping the mast, removing the base etc. Luckily the mast I was sailing with had seen abuse before and survived, so I would deal with a speed loss. Sailing back to the line from the pit area was a very fast, so I was able to do one more essential thing. I had brought my 1/4 inch inserts out to the line, and had time to switch from my 3/16 inch inserts. I was very fortunate that I was able to do that switch, high speed runners, 20 inch profile. Great for those leeward mark roundings, in good air. I did not want to have a spin out and hit the leeward mark as I did on Saturday in the lighter air!
So to the line we went, I did not remember what my finish position, so went to the end of the line. Start position is not a real big deal for me anyway as I am not able to run, so most everyone get ahead at the start anyway. With that flat sail I was able to point quite well, but the wind was very shifty and up and down. There were many frustrating tacks made by many of us on the way to the windward mark. I for the most part sailed to the layline after the first race as I was on the right side of the start line and was pointing well. The wind did sort of lighten up near shore, but for the most part I think it was the thing to do. Once or twice I did tack too soon and rounded the mark with insufficient speed and payed for it with an unsatisfying downwind speed, I hate that.
It was a great time duking it out with Eben, as always; we saw each other at the windward mark often. I really thought it was going to be one of his days, but I got him by 3 points. It really could have been anything, I wish that we had more time to discuss the race and our gear before rushing to get on the road for our long drives home.
I do have to say, that the first hour or so of the drive home is almost as exciting as iceboating. Those mountain roads very twisting, and up and down. The roads were dry, so it was much fun unless you got behind the wrong car. Most drivers were like minded so for the most part, fast ride on the mountain roads. Once on the freeway, all the skiers are all in a hurry to get home, so they cruise!
From what I have seen on iceboat.me there was much fun on Dammy with a large fleet of Whizz on the ice. I see, as is the case when indulging in adrenaline with iceboats, carnage happens. Great pictures as always. Man that pic that Lee took while busting through the shell, cool!
> Another awesome day on Squam…truly great…of course a few small adventures, two of us located patches of major shell ice. No great damage. We are sailing Squam again Monday because it’s so damn good.
> Sent from my iPad
Last up-date: one of the skippers reminded me that Steve Lamb, W-6, crossed the line in fourth place. All the others were DNF. We will be archiving these results in the expectations of holding the same event next year. Maybe there will even be a trophy!
Below, Whizz on the loose.
Indigo, leaving Deep Cove, by the skipper.
The Pits around lunch time.
The Whizz line up, by James Lamb. Why does Cheese Whizz not have a mast? Remember the Beatles cover of the album Abbey Road where John was barefoot?