Megunticook 2/18

This was a rich day.Rich in wind, ice, people and boats. I can’t list them all, but throughout the day there were sails scattered all over the lake (standing on boats, thankfully). Megunticook is delightfully convoluted, yet around each point there were sails.

The ice did have some skimmed over drain holes and cracks, but I suppose that we’ve paid our penance at Winnipesaukee so there were no mishaps today. We did set out many cones marking the most serious hazzards; thanks Ben Fuller for bringing them all back at the end of the day. Nothing like a stern steerer for lightering duties. Speaking of which, we launched Whirlwind and Lloyd’s day became a microcosm of iceboating. Hours rounding up boat and gear, more hours assembling the boat and then a delightful quarter hour sailing. Had to get back quick to allow time for unrigging and packing. Isn’t that about how we structure our year? That’s Whirlwind below under cover. Video to come.

Thanks to Rankins Lumber and Building Supply for dropping off two staging planks on short notice so we could get the trailers off the ice.

We also launched the front seat DN for the second time, now with real whisker stays and it’s own plank. By all comments a great success. It’s a treat to look up and be sighting along the length of a well bent mast.

And we had our two sailing safari guys. Fred from Maryland, here in Maine with his Nite for a couple of months with nothing to do but chase ice. And Dave McKenzie from New Zealand, who was baptized in the chilly waters of Winni last week. Today he had a loaner DN, lots of boats to follow from which to take cues, good wind and ice a bit less hazzardous than Winni. By the end of the day he was hiking, spinning out, and seriously hauling on the sheet. Well done Dave. And the boat was returned intact and well packed.
A bit of background because it’s really a wonderful story. He thought iceboating could be a bit of fun, so he wrote to iceboat clubs in Europe, the mid-west and New England. He said we were far and away the most encouraging so he flew here, rented a car, called from Boston and said “what now?” Talk about pressure!

Moosehead was sailed today hoping it could become a venue for the DN North Americans, but serious shell ice nixed it. But the surface is good and if the shell heals we could be back for the Long Way. Damariscotta will be checked tomorrow in anticipation of a Sunday-Monday event pending outcome of Saturday’s sprinkles.

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