Lloyd Roberts can’t remember ever sailing this early in the season, nearly a week before Thanksgiving, and he has a looooong memory. The pond probably skimmed over last Wednesday, was discovered on Thursday, checked Friday and then sailed yesterday and today. And now it’s done. We barely got off with dry feet as the launch area was breaking up because of the concentrated weight of boats and people at the end of the day. The ice was still 2.5″, but was quickly going to pencils. It became so flexible that if two people were standing side by side it would begin to dish and fill with water.
Lloyd, dressed in his dry suit and still recovering from heart surgery, scootched in to get a line around the airborne runner. It took him a minute, just enough time for the ice to slowly stretch under his weight before breaking. We used his line to haul him out and he found that he was completely dry except for a couple of wet toes. As often happens, the wind prevented us from rolling the boat out of the hole, so we took down the rig and used the mast to lever the plank up and out. Here, Jim Gagnon hauls from the bow after Jim Matthews flipped the bow runner up over the edge.
Jim had been informed of the hazzard locations, but the lesson here is that once you’ve been told where the bad spots are, go out and find them. Plot them on your mental map of the lake and update your location relative to the hazzards continuously. Thankfully it was fifty degrees outside and there was no harm done. We saw this exercise more as a pre-season drill than a rescue operation. Thanks to Jim for providing us with an excellent learning opportunity. Two of the three boats that came to help were carrying throw lines. Is there one in your boat?
Bart Chapin had his maiden sail with Yellowbird, ditto with Jory’s new rig. The Icy/Whizz sailed beautifully, and combined with work Jory’s done on the steering and upholstery, ICW is a whole new boat. He’s got Red Herring in his sights! Bart was so excited to sail today that he left home at 5:30 for the two hour drive to Plymouth, arriving there first.
Doug Raymond arrived right after Bart and said that the runners ran absolutely silent until the ice began to soften at around 10:00. But even then the little zippering was only in the surface and we pushed our luck until about 1:00. Oddly enough the wind held all morning and was still blowing as Jory was wading out for the last of his gear.
Stand by for the next round of Black Ice! Commodore Fortier still wants to hold the Linc Davis Regatta while we’re still in 2014.