First, a serious iceboater’s warning: we locals have known of this persistent hazzard for many years, but feel we should warn the greater group of sailors who often come to Maine for our awesome ice. As we haven’t figured out yet how to have catered lunches we all bring our own. But there is a lunch-eating-beast amongst us disguised as a cute Jack Russell called Trixie. Lee Spiller took his next to the last load of gear to the ice, came back for his helmet and lunch, and noticed some familiar cheese bits on the ground near his van. Sure enough, his sandwich was gone. Commodore Fortier has lost so many sandwiches that Trixie’s owner bought him a lockable lunchbox out of guilt and compassion.
Aside from that and a few open leads around points Damariscotta offered few hazzards today. You could go as fast as you dared in the gusty NW wind on the hard smooth ice. General consensus called it an eight. Our Canadian friend Frank was trying for his mile-a-minute prize today; an excellent day for it if you could land in the right gust at the right time. His GPS was calibrated in kph, and we all assumed he needed to hit 100. By day’s end he was far from his cheerful self having attained only 98.3kph and breaking his fuselage in the effort. I suggested that 60 isn’t necessarily 100kph exactly and perhaps he should do the conversion and see what it says. A couple of frozen finger taps and up pops 60.2mph. We have a winner!
A group of early birds took a long tour down the Damariscotta River to the Unpassable Narrows. The photo tells loads about the shifty gusty wind down there. It was out of the west at this point, pouring over a steep hill to windward. We had lunch in Deep Cove later, and returned to the north end to find the lake swarming with boats. We counted twenty, a great turnout for a Monday in March. The wind held all day, the cool temps maintained a nice hard surface, and the sun was full on burn the nose mode.
As always, Lee and Karin sailed off into the sunset with the Gambit while others packed up the boats. A handful will see what comes of tomorrow’s light wind forecast, and then take boats off the ice until the next Magical March (or Awesome April) day.
We’re hoping for a near miss from the impending weather so we can get some racing in on Sebago next weekend. We’ll keep you posted on conditions.