Plymouth Possible

Nature is doing her best to make up for the big disappointment she dealt us earlier in the week. Amazing how a little guilt gets you going.

Dave Godin just got in from a quick flight to the west coast and back, wasting not a minute of all that air time:

and went right to Plymouth and sent this thirty minutes ago:

He reports an inch and a half of ice and some patches of snow, as shown. It’s 27 there right now and dropping into single digits tonight. This might give is another inch by tomorrow, and certainly more on Sunday. Understand that this is not going to be high strength black ice, so tomorrow will be a scouting day with a report making a call for Sunday sailing to come.

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Chickawaukee Ice Dec. 9

New ice skim at beach early morning. Not even “kitty ice” but ice finally. 20 F this Friday AM to continue through Sunday but with wind day and night making an ice seizure unlikely. However this may cool water and make it receptive to light snow and rain early in week for a supercooled slush freezeup. The prospect for a Christmas regatta improves.

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Winter in America

In spits and spats, chills and chillies, winter is coming. Haven’t we’ve had years where it just gets cold, we have black ice, and then one day it snows? The Western Challenge has been called on, the off, then on again, and now the search is on for a venue, to be announced Thursday. They have a very effective way of checking ice in Minnesota: | Minnesota Ice Sailing Association Scroll down for a demo. Notice that it’s the male who does all the work.

Here in Maine, the hope was that the new thin plate on Plymouth Pond would submerge under the weight of the snow, wet out, and freeze into a lovely sheet of grey ice. Here’s a reality check:

Dave Godine will check it again Friday, but we’ll be looking further afield as well. Stand By.

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Plymouth Pooched

A dedicated few had the last look at first ice on Plymouth this morning. Brian Hitchcock and Dave Godin both beheld the bare beauty of black ice before the beast barreled in and buried it.

It’s snowing now in Camden and radar indicates heavy snow everywhere. Lee Spiller in New Hampshire got hit first, and sent this:

So, now we look to ponds that haven’t frozen yet, but still could during the deep cold snap later in the week. Keep your eyes open!

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It’s Coming

This interesting report on the behavior of the Arctic air mass confirms what we are observing here:

Siberian air Will Blow to U.S. as Polar Vortex Breaks Down & Jet Stream Crosses North Pole

Plymouth Pond appears to be ready to flash on Sunday, building ice through the next two nights, with daily temps remaining below freezing. It will warm up just a bit later in the week, but there is no snow in sight. This could be fun. We’ll check in with our spy on Monday, and hopefully he’ll give the go-ahead to go check it out on Tuesday. The other good news is that the recent rains have probably brought water levels up, so there’s no need to bring grass runners…

This lovely 30’s vintage Palmer lives at the Pioneer Village Museum in Minden, Nebraska. I thought the stern is just so beautiful that I had to share it. There are a number of great building projects in New England just now (to be featured in a later post), but sadly, all of them are well past the stern building phase. To me, building another boat just to have the opportunity to create this would be so worth it!

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Photo Submission Correction

Deadline is THIS Friday, 12/2, at midnight!

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Ice Boat Post Cards

Don Stearns is organizing the production of ice boat post cards for the CIBC membership. He’s asking that everyone select three of their best photos and e-mail them to him at
He will then assemble them on a CD and send it to the selection committee at Lake Chickawaukee. They will select a few of the best ones and have post cards printed. These will be sent to all the members along with their next newsletter.
We don’t know yet how many each person will receive, but the idea is to get iceboat images out into the world while celebrating the anachronistic tranquility of the snail mail post card. Submission deadline this coming Friday, December 9 at midnight.

Size matters; please submit in medium resolution. If your photo is selected we’ll ask that you send it in for printing at full resolution.

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