23 degrees F this morning at sunrise, frost on lawn. Got on decaying edge ice with 10 Ft plank, just, the junk the far end was resting on will likely be floating bits by afternoon. Salvaged all the old moorings.
The surface was solid congealed granules 2-3 inches deep, yesterday’s slush. Out on the lake the surface is deeply pock marked, Chicky looks like healed small pox, it would be rattly sailing until the pock marks turn to slush later in the morning. The ice is 8 inches thick, slightly cloudy but recognizable old punky black ice beneath the frozen slush. Water wells up into the axe hole, as observed by Scot on Dammy, and the last 2-3 inches of ice just crumbles away into deep water. So there seems to be 3-4 inches of punky black ice in the middle holding the junk top and bottom together. Perhaps this will hold together for a couple of days of 20’s at night and sunny 30’s during the day. Perhaps it is all a little thicker on Dammy. It is thinner around old fishing holes and near streams. Like salt ice it probably will not give warning cracks before caving in.
Does this ice, and by extension Damariscotta ice get my Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, no. Will it hold up the intrepid? Quite likely. But the winter swimming season may also be here. Don’t forget your ice picks (do they work in slush?), throw lines, dry suits, and dry clothes in the car. Sail with a buddy.