Saturday in the shop working, sanding runner bodies down to size. I miscalculated (slightly) the amount of carbon that I used on two sets of quarter inch inserts. One set was .040 proud of 1 inch thick, the other about .020 proud. Late in the afternoon as I finished my freaking sanding I decided I should really go ice boating.
I called a neighbor for some help getting my Super DN equipment out of the trailer used for my previous Moosehead trip. Decided to use the Sportwagon and roof rack as the trailer is a bit much for a day trip. Packed the car with three sets of runners, (used only one) all clothes, spikes, sails, boom etc.. Racks on car, boat, plank, mast on rack. While doing all of this I had called Bill to confirm if others would be there to share the fun with, and left a message on his voicemail. Later on, I was minutes from hitting the hay when Bill called back and confirmed all was good. So, to sleep I went after setting the alarm for 0500.
When I woke in the AM the house was a bit cool, somewhere close to 50F. Apparently, I had touched the burner control on my furnace when I was vacuuming the shop after my sanding fest. So I reset that, and checked to make sure all was good while the house reheated so I got a bit of a late start, left at 0700 instead of the intended 0600. I decided to get to the birches by way of Rt 201 rather then the route that goes to Greenville. I drove home that way previously and decided the road was better.
On the way up Rt 201 from Waterville I stopped in Skowhegan for some fuel, and decided to fuel myself with a coffee and a piece of banana bread as well. So I left the Irving station munching my banana bread and drinking my coffee when I should have been watching my speedometer as I cruised through Madison. I got stopped for speeding by deputy friendly, I say that because he was just a nice man and gave me warning. It could have been way worse as my registration and my inspection sticker both had expired January 31st! So the day had some good vibrations.
As I drove up Rt 201, as I said the road is a good road, but it was almost like driving on a sand road. There was so much rock salt on the road it was hard to believe. Once to Jackman, right onto Rt 7 I believe and 20 minutes to the Birches.
When I got to the Birches at around 1100 there were two Skeeters at the launch site. They were about to break down their boats and load their trailers in preparation for the long trek back to Jersey? They were hoping for a third man to help drop their wing masts. At that time Bill Bucholz sailed in to the pits, so he was able to help them while I continued to set up the Super DN. After the skeeters were set Bill helped me go faster as I finished getting ready. Kate sailed in as well. I finished setting up and decided to sail with my Bean boots and strap on cleat things and it turned out okay for foot room in the cockpit.
Me, Bill, and Kate were ready to go, I followed them both out to the pressure ridge and a good place to cross it onto the plate to the north of it. The ice was big and fairly smooth, with a bit of snow, and the wind was strong out of the north east. I will not say that the wind was gusty but it was strong and variable. We made several up wind and down wind runs that definitely got the adrenaline flowing! On the downwind runs we had to keep in mind the pressure ridge and on one round up I did experience a spin out. Luckily, the ice was fairly smooth and the boat and I survived.
We followed Bill into a cove/ harbor where we stopped and parked our boats for a bit of a break, and a photo the boats parked in front of some good scenery. The sailing was great so after a few bites of a cliff bar and a drink of water I/we were ready to go. The super DN was performing great, as was Bills Whizz with his storm sail/DN rig. So, we all had DN sails and that was plenty of sail for this days wind.
So, off we went for a couple of more runs up-and-down wind, and then it was back to the pits. We stopped for a bit and Bill started breaking down his boat, but Kate and I decided to sail a bit more on the southern piece of ice. At the end I wanted to sail over to see some ice fisherman, but sure enough the wind died, so I was unable to find out if they were catching any fish and what kind they might be. When Kate and I got back to the launch area Bill was loaded up and ready to go. Kate and I said so long, and wished him a safe drive.
Kate and I broke down our boats, and loaded them up, Kate’s into her trailer, and mine onto the roof rack. Kate was able to load her rig into her trailer solo, but I was glad she was around to help me lift the super DN on to the roof rack. That would’ve gone well if I had remembered to remove my bobstay post! After removing the boat from the boat bag removing the bobstay post, and zipping her back up we finally got it up on the rack. We both finished our final loading, and were able to drive up the boat launch area with no problem. We had all had a Great Sunday sailing on Moosehead and not only that I remembered that it was Super Sunday! So I stopped into the Birches restaurant to see if I could find out what time the big game started. The start of the game was 1830, so I would be driving into the Portland area at about that time how convenient.