Sabattus Pond–first sail in Maine

you want something…..you can’t get it….you want it more….you’re still frustrated….and then…then….the Universe gives it to you….better than you could imagine….your cup runneth over….it was like that today….I arrived with skates and skimbat about 8AM, meeting up with fellow skaters Eddie and Matthew…Lee Spiller and Eddie had skated the whole pond yesterday, and found no hazards; so we skated northward from the brash ice at the boat launch, Martin Point Park, which is in the SW corner of the pond (off Lake St, which is off Elm St. in downtown Sabattus)….within minutes, we let out rebel yells as we came on to absolutely impeccable ice…..as far as you could see in the 4 mile fetch to the North.

what made it even better was that it wasn’t all perfect….only intermittently perfect…..but even the not-so-great was easily skate-able. In about 2 miles we crossed a large wetted crack which crossing the whole pond, with more good ice beyond. by now the wind was building to about 3-4 knots South, so i went back for the skim bat. I love skating but once there’s wind, I’d rather be sailing. By this time iceboats were arriving, eventually about 12-15 in number, everyone stumbling thru the first set-up of the season, except Lee and Dave Fortier who had sailed in Quebec. Others there were Lloyd, Scott Woodman, Bill Bunting, Lee and Karen, Don, Denis, Doug Raymond, Jim G, our new members with their Arrow, another Cheapskate…and a few others….there seemed to be just enough wind have a great sail. Doug set up markers and ran a few scratch races with about 6 competitors.

As the wind began to soften further at 2:30, I ditched the skimbat and again skated North. I wish i had a picture of what I skated on. Green-black ice, crossed with cracks revealing the 4” thickness, sometimes milky patterns below the surface, and often smooth as a baby’s bottom. As I proceeded North, I felt the lure of ‘ice extacy’….i felt that ‘bad boy’ energy: sailing alone on new ice….struggling to stay wise, I transferred my hatchet from my backpack to my hand, and forced myself to chop the ice every half-mile….it was always about 4”….finally, miles up the pond, in the very middle, i stopped for tea and rice cakes, studying the reflection of the weak afternoon sun on the smooth surface, extending to the shore a half mile away…..not a breath of wind now…..i kept looking South, hoping Lee and Karen would be joining me…..if I could only hear a human voice, i could come out of this trance….this ice trance….this being exactly home, exactly where you longed to be…..

i hope others will send pictures and impressions of the day… Lee, Eddie, and I hope to return tomorrow, even though the wind is predicted to be light. I noticed on the way home, that Damariscotta had 3/4” of new ice….

thank you, thank you Universe!

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One Response to Sabattus Pond–first sail in Maine

  1. Ted Vaughan says:

    We couldn’t get an “Ahhh-choooo!” from the wind for our Arrow! Put runners on your pickup truck and you’d understand! But wait’ the sounds, the clear air, a WHOLE bunch of people like us, assembling THEIR iceboats (perhaps less truck-like than ours!), pushing across the “brash-ice” to the clear-black……coasting with just that faint runner on ice sound… we were all transfixed once again by the “being-there” of it all; Ice Boating again, no matter what! Close to flying over ice!

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