The Few, Fast and the Frozen: The Birches 2/2

Before caving under the inevitable pressure of winter storms, Moosehead gave us a grand farewell party today to demonstrate her profound gratitude that the iceboaters were paying attention and managed to snag some of the most epic sailing ever over the course of the last few weeks. The forecast for today looked promising late last week: a dash of snow here, some rain there, add some freezing temps and simmer the anticipation of ice scouts excitement. Five to ten was the best wind forecast, with hourly forecasts promising seven max mid day and dying by dusk. But remember the maxim “show up and pray? Today, prayers were answered. Ten to Fifteen with enthusiastic gusts.

And the wind held steady until sundown. Six boats managed a long tour at top speed to the top of North Bay, almost 20 miles from The Birches. From there, we are in awe of the back side of Mt. Kahtadin. Our usual view of this mountain is from the other side from South Twin Lake.

There we only three pressure ridges to cross in our northern trek. To make life easy for us, Moosehead oriented them all in the same direction as the wind so there were none of those pesky downwind crossings.

And speaking of awe, nothing takes the breath away like sailing under the Kineo wall. Looking up at the cliff as you round up, the wall seems to rotate in space. Oddly, the wind was strong right up to the base where one would expect a bit of a lee.

Jory’s in there somewhere, tucked up against the base, looking for the lee to drink his tea.

Back to civilization at The Birches Lodge, we rounded up out front and de-camped to the lounge. Warm food, woodstove, a taste of beer and great service as usual. How will we ever go back to eating a cold sandwich in a cold car? And they even have helmet racks!

The afternoon session had us circumnavigating Farm Island and then drag racing in the broads as the sun went down. Everyone pitched in to break down boats and pack up so that the last trailer pulled off the ice at just about dark. Congratulations to Fred Muser and his first day with his new Nite. Thanks to Bill Bunting, Bill Grenier, Dave Godine, Jory Squibb, Curtis Rindlaub and Denis Guertin for having the gumption to simply show up and pray. Today the prayers were answered.

We’re now back in scouting mode, trying to divine joy from the weather forecast. Stay tuned.

If this all sounds like great fun, don’t forget that there’s a fast red Whizz looking for a new home. Call Frank Able!

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2 Responses to The Few, Fast and the Frozen: The Birches 2/2

  1. Ben Fuller says:

    Wow! I just did a quiet removal of TIPPY from Megunticook. Surface looked better than yesterday, and there was some breeze, but lake was vacant, not even some skaters or fishing, so came off. I guess at some point I’ll need to find something I can sail that takes half the time to set up and take down, and can ride on a roof rack as there isn’t trailer space here for another.

    Anyway, did want to report that need to keep an eye on Damariscotta. Ice there apparently is at least as good as Megunticook. Don’t know if the office is open at the head of the lake due to the big consolidation but will find out.

  2. billbuchholz says:

    And!!! Curtis was there!?

    Sent from my temperamental iPhone


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