Another couple of premier days at America’s number one iceboat destination resort: The Birches. The NEIYA held the DocFellows Regatta Saturday, got in seven races, and then one last race to the bar and hot tub. I think Oliver won that one, too. The wind slept late on Sunday morning. But a course was set for the Maine States, racers gathered at the start, and then had a delightful time standing around in the sun chatting. It wasn’t until the last racer had retuned to the pits and de-rigged that the wind roused its lazy butt and awoke with a roar.
I had wandered off from the starting area and wound up back at the Inn where I had yet another excellent plate of broiled Haddock watching the DN’s push home along the shore. One of the great joys here, like the Eagles Club at Long Pond, is to have a nice lunch and looking out the window at your boat and all the ice. But when I looked up the boat had blown over. Tanya came with the bill and off we went. A handful of others came back out and we roared around well past sunset yet again.
One deep reach carried us back to the lovely plate behind Farm Island. The sun came out from the overcast as it was setting and lit the ice with the most amazing reflective glow. Our sails were orange and the ice glowed. At full speed on such a big plate you had time to look down at the sunset in the ice and imagine that you were in low orbit at the very edge of the atmosphere, moving like a rocket.
We kept an eye out for other boats as well which was equally as mezmerizing. One guy got into a monster hike and carried it for a long way, resting on the boom, the sun flashing off the bottom of his boat. Dave Fortier had Ed Pirog in his sidecar for this romp, Ramblin Roger, Jory, Jim Gagnon and myself were there, and we got back to the pits in time to put the boats to bed and get to the bar in time to catch the end of the football game. Below, under the cliffs of Mt. Kineo.
Today was a bit more introspective; a light and shifty breeze keeping us close to home slow reaching in the broads where the fetch was best. We left the lake in Roger’s good hands as a bit of weather comes through tomorrow. He’ll let us know late in the day what changes it might have wrought; winds look great for Wednesday. You know this won’t last forever. Don’t get left on the beach like these snowmobilers, wondering if this iceboating thing might be the way to go. (view from the lodge)
Thanks to Jim Gagnon for the photos. This was taken from the front door of his cabin. It’s about like what we were sailing in the evening before…