Winds Light and Variable

Winds light and variable….i hate that prediction….my epitaph will probably read: “Jory died in his iceboat. the wind was light and variable”. I slept an extra half-hour, just for spite, then headed for the ice at 645. Bill has been a good mentor….he keeps saying that all ancillary iceboat activities count as iceboating….sharpening a runner…flying to Siberia….its the same as Mach one on black ice…..welllll….but also in this morning’s windless sun, I would be out on my waterfront front porch….and even more, it was a good morning to be out of the house….I had come back from iceboating yesterday tipsy, nappy, and poorly inclined toward husbandry….so short sentences had prevailed….

On the ice, I switched to slush runners, hoisted the big sail, and pushed out around Windy Point, just at 715, not daring to hope….wow!….the battens immediately snapped a salute to the NNE wind, and, with one push, the boat gathered way…. within seconds I was hiking, enjoying iceboating at its best, that is, just barely under control …..”this is a go-anywhere wind, I bleated, this lake is mine!”….but as I gained the eastern side of the South Broads and headed north, I noticed that I had to sheet out and come off the wind a little to avoid a stalled sail….this was not yesterday’s wind…By 8AM I was pushing 20% of the time, by 830AM pushing 70%, and– heading desperately back to Windy Point–by 845, even in this windiest of spots, the tell-tale wasn’t insisting. Jim Gagnon and Doug Raymond were pushing boats expectantly out into the broads….”this is your fault”, Doug shouted….

Back in Bog Bay, Lloyd was setting up Cheapskate. I lingered, after de-commissioning, to see if that marvelous boat could find movement when the others, both definitely go-fast types, were visible standing beside their boats…But as I left, glancing back through the trees, from Davy Jone’s driveway, into that lovely bright Spring scene…. alas, Lloyd too was becalmed….tomorrow I hope to be on the ice at absolutely first light….maybe that was some sort of dawn wind…..

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