Winnipesaukee Possibility

This just in from Charlie Sylvenius:

Lee and I are shooting for Winni over the next couple of days. Squambats sailing today gave it a ten with corn ice through the broads up to Center Harbor. Ames and Elacoya are his launch site but I’ll go from Brewster.

There might be a Hardway in our future…

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Opera ON Pushaw Tomorrow

Bob Lombardo and Ron Logan checked in this morning with glowing reports on the conditions at Pushaw. In spite of the less than frigid temps last night the surface firmed right up beautiful. Looks like Monday Tuesday and possibly Wednesday will offer good sailing. Those guys skated miles this morning. No mention of hazzards yet.

After that, there will be an intermission of perhaps a week until we see if there will be a second, and final act at Moosehead or South Twin.

Launch at Gould’s Landing. Come early for the best surface.

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Fat Lady Hums 3/20

The wind came up right on schedule and continued to build throughout the day. The ice, though, didn’t stand a chance. It was forty degrees by noon and getting soft. But the slush wasn’t that deep and long plate runners seemed to be fine. Of course, the big breeze helped. There were calm moments but by and large plenty strong. A couple of boats switched to slushies and had a great time throwing up rooster tails. Bunting set up marks, and we expanded the course later to cover the entire north broads. With the wind out of the SW the lake was perfectly oriented upwind-downwind.

The Cheapskate, with his 1/8″ runners seemed to find the bottom and manage very well throughout the day. No attempt was made to tour the south end: we may be crazy but we’re not stupid!

Boats and trailers are off the ice, awaiting weather developments.

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Dammy 3/19

Remember that card from Monopoly that said “Bank error in your favor, round Go”? Today it was “Weather forecast error in your favor: just Go!” And GO we did. Ten to fifteen with gusts out of the west all day. Thankfully there were lulls so you could just sit back in the boat and try to process the amazing experience of sailing fast on a big frozen lake. There was the moment when I was right behind Denis trying to pass when he went into a big hike and began to gybe. I caught the gust an instant later and also hiked through the gybe. Both boats were airborne side by side through the turn. Magnificent!

Hopes are high that the SW wind will come in tomorrow before the ice goes soft. However, this afternoon it was 38 degrees and the ice was better than ever. The March sun is working its wonder on the surface. Tomorrow will be the last day for a while. Warm rain coming Thursday.

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Sailing Damariscotta 3/17 & 18

The drain holes from yesterday froze hard last night and gave us a go fast go far surface over the entire lake. The ice stayed hard throughout both days, with temps just over freezing, although it was just soft enough for the runners to emit a low growl. I was basking in the sun during one of the frequent holes in the wind when I heard some one coming by fully wound up. The only way I could think to describe the sound was of a large box dragging across a rough concrete floor.

There were over twenty boats on the ice today, and in addition to the wonderful tours to the south end, the strong west wind made for some extreme reaching in the broads. Up and down, drag racing at full speed. Activity generally frowned upon, but oh what fun!

This looked like a sauna enthusiast’s insulated hole with ladder, but it turned out to be a float sunk in the snow. The surface is about like this everywhere. No complaints.

Forecast promises two more sailing days, though with lighter winds, before warmth and rain on Thursday. As always, what and where comes after that is anyone’s guess. Might just be that Winnipesaukee wets out and we get a Hardway. Lets hope those responsible for that event aren’t sailing up in Maine or something…

Lee Spiller and Karin Wilson, ever the naturalists, found this poor critter. Looks like the sands of time are wearing away, offering up treasure. And just below this guy there might be a layer of pure black gold.

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Drain holes on Damariscotta lake

Dammy is a mine field of drain holes. BEWARE.

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Damariscotta Lake ON

The water has drained and evaporated away and left behind granular ice. The surface is rather hard today, with areas of soft stuff but by tomorrow will be good to go. Certainly by Monday the cold in the teens forecast for Sunday night will finish the job. Looks like smooth sailing from there on out.

We will be launching from the beach at the north end.

There is a trailer width cut in the ice heaved up along shore. Enter the loop road from the south entrance, then back down.

If the ground is soft please don’t park where you’ll create ruts.

Ice is 24” in this drain hole. There are two holes like this just off the beach. Please keep you eyes open for others. The pressure ridge that has been separating the north and south broads appears to still be there. Proceed with caution until the layout is determined.

The bad news is that the inn has been closed for the winter. We’ll need to bring our own drinks and lunch, and those from away will find The Senator in Augusta be the best bet for accommodations.

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