Ice Reports–February 7

The recent snowfall has left us scouring around for possible ice. Tom Childs reports that part of Sebago was open during the snowstorm, but if that open water now freezes, it will be surrounded by snow-covered thin ice. He wisely suggests waiting until everything thickens. All of our other New England favorites are snowed out, as far as we can tell.

But….we have a nice report from Tom Nichols in New Jersey. They will be sailing this weekend on the Navasink River, in Red Bank, NJ–using the clubhouse of the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club. There may be even better ice nearby on Barnegat Bay from the public beach at Lavallette, NJ.

Tom Nichols gave me a little of the physics of sailing on salt ice, which both the Navasink and Barnegat Bay give us. Salt ice freezes about 28 degrees, and therefore slushes out at about 30 and above. It is noticeably slower ice to sail on, but it forms a level platform for subsequent rain and snow to build fresh-water ice upon. Once the fresh water coating is 1/2 ” thick or more, sailing becomes lake sailing, which is what exists in New Jersey in the unusually cold year.

So…Bill and I are standing by, considering a Saturday-Tuesday drive down there because, even if the boating isn’t spectacular with wind prediction is 5-10 Sunday and 10-15 Monday; still, we get to connect to a wonderful iceboat community and to our own iceboat lineage. We’re gritting our teeth: The drive is daunting, especially with a trailer. We’d be going beyond NYC. But, as with all ‘chercher la glace’ trips, there is the perennial excitement of gambling.

An update may follow on Saturday

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