We had a look there today and found 8″ of solid ice out to the first island, no sandwich aside from an unhealed moat at the launch ramp. The beach was tight. We did not inspect further than that. The ice is very nice between the small frozen drifts that dot the plate. They can easily be sailed around or over, most are very solid. There was a considerable pile of frozen snow blocking the ramp, so we called a guy with a big yellow machine and he’s surely done by now and home for dinner. The access road is clear and well sanded.
The rest of the plate needs to be carefully inspected by a couple of boats slowly sailing around TOGETHER, checking for thickness and hazzards. We found one drain hole the size of a football with just a skim on it, but temps tonight will be in the single digits and hopefully heal it and any others.
The ice looks about like this archival image, except the snow patches are smaller and less frequent, and the ice is grayer but just as smooth. We plan to set up and sail tomorrow, leaving boats on the ice for as long as we can. Weather forecast looks great: temps in the twenties, sunny, 15-20 tomorrow, 10-15 Thursday.
Meanwhile, Lee Spiller found this lovely plate on Jordan Bay and plans to sail there tomorrow (unless he comes to Damariscotta!) He heard that the entire lake froze last week, but then blew out in the recent warm gale. The good news is that she’s ready to go.