We’re sated with good ice….exciting reports coming in from all quarters….So when Bill and I headed out with 2 iceboats aboard his Saab, we weren’t sure of the destination….
Denis Guertin’s saturday report and video from Moosehead was inviting….follow-up calls to nearby motels confirmed that both mini-snow falls had avoided this vast and unknown lake. Three hours were a deterrent without a toothbrush.
Lower Bay (pumphouse bay) on Sebago had rave reports from Tom Childs, but the drive there is boring, long, suburban; and besides we have a date with that lovely lady in a few weeks, when she almost certainly will totally freeze.
Best of all, we got glowing reports about Great Pond, a very large lake merely 1.25 hours from us here; so we rolled into downtown Belgrade and backed the trailer out on the ice via the town’s boat launch ramp….hooray! sun! 20 degree temp! beautiful ice! and already wind a buildin’….
The wind was blowing, even in the protection of this little bay…..should we don storm sails?…..nawww…we’ll come back for them if the wind it too much. (can you spot a little error here, since the lake is 7.5 miles long?)
We luffed our way North, keeping Hoyt Island, and it’s possibly open water strait, to starboard, keeping speed down as we explored the magnificent ice. As we approached the far north end, 4.5 miles from the launch, we stopped to examine a lovely boathouse, and again considered returning for storm sails……nawwww….this is exciting…..(more error: up to now, we’ve been luffing easily against the NW wind. we’re soon to turn downwind)
Then we turned South following now the east side of Hoyt, where the lake has it’s longest E-W fetch: a full mile of it……all hell broke loose! The wind revved up into the 30’s, steering became impossible; luffing, when we could finally get a bow runner to grip enough to turn to windward, was a violent bashing of the rig. Bill sheared off his bow runner’s upper pivot support, and I had my own cast of problems. So we dropped all sail and began to long 3 mile push back to the pits. Bill was able to sail well on his wing mast alone, and I unrolled some of my lashed mainsail and holding it up by hand, managed to push somewhat less in the long broad reach home.
Soon, we’ll send you some photos, once Bill has repaired his spring board, and converted his Wizz to DN components. Our appetite is whetted…..less wind is predicted (WNW 5-10Kn) …. so please join us tomorrow at the town boat launch ramp at about 10AM …great lunch downtown at the Sunset Grill….. here is a map of the lake as explored: