We’ve been discussing ice grades a lot this winter, mainly how we need to accept that there is are grades one, two, three, etc and that we need to admit that we’ll actually sail on them. Grade zero is simply not sailable, for whatever reasons. As reliable scouts, we can confirm that grade one exists south of Frye Island. Three out of four boats attempting the island circumnavigation from Nason’s beach and back made it through, the forth jury rigged a broken mast and blew downwind to Pumphouse Bay. He was there in a few minutes as it was blowing 25-30 yesterday. I would say that one needed a solid twenty just to get through the grade one stuff:
His plank is just visible above the moguls.
But on the West side the ice is considerably better, if a bit bumpy. The fleet of 17 boats pushed and waited for wind until about 1:00 today, but when it came in from the SW it was a perfect 10 (mph) and held until dark:
The pressure ridge protecting the main plate from Nason’s Beach. The is a nice flat spot for crossing, but it is very active and needed to be cleared a number of times throughout the day. Yesterday it was tight at the crossing, by this morning it had opened up a foot, and by noon had come together and was piling up fast. Fascinating to sit and listen to the deep rumbles of the working plate accompanied by the tinkling of falling tiny ice. The were signs of warming ice on the main plate, the dreaded springtime re-alignment of the ice crystals. Every day from here on in is a gift. Be humble and take it!
There will be DN racing tomorrow and Sunday, and more sailing into the week. Check the weather, see if you like it, and rest assured there will be plenty of boats on the ice when you show up. Drive on the ice if you want, there’s plenty of room. Any old DN welcome to race: it’s fun!