Victory, Again, Snatched from The Jaws of Defeat

Damariscotta Lake, 1/23

For the past few days the forecast was hinting at a possible confluence of ideal conditions: NE wind building before a storm, just enough warmth to wet out the snow and then a touch of sub-freezing to harden it up. Bingo: we’re back in business. The plate was an excellent 8, and the brisk wind offered a perfect approach to the SW Arm. Generally we need to tack down there and gybe deep on the way back up, but today you could shoot right down. Our wood pile marks at the entrance were still more or less in position. A nice weave through them and a wind up and it was all down hill. There is such a unique sensation in the iceboating universe of running down what appears to be a river. The banks are flashing by, and when you tuck in close the overhanging trees need to be minded. There are dog-legs and sweeping curves all handled with the sensation of a downhill skier on a narrow mountain trail. We also found a grade 9.9 grey plate just above the old pressure ridge in Muscongus Bay, so did a bunch of big figure eights just to turn on it’s incredible stillness. Deep Cove maintains it’s majesty no matter what the ice and wind conditions.

A couple of guys forgot about the marks at the entrance to SW Arm from last week and got their feet wet, but the clubhouse was warm and dry socks were passed out and everyone was back for more in the afternoon. Fred Musser from Maryland had his first sail of the year with his Nite. Bunting set up marks and they and a few of the DN’s did laps. Speaking of Maryland, Ramblin’ Roger checked in from Newport on Memphramagog and reports that it’s pretty darned nice, aside from all the ice fishing activity. He’d planned on sailing it today and hopefully will check in with a report.

A couple of late Nites.

We didn’t manage to get a nice boat line-up shot, so trailers will have to do. Forecast looks cautiously optimistic for the weekend; stand by your weather report and tell us what you see. And Ted, your wallet was found on the ice today by Bob McKewan. He’s been trying to call you.

Lastly, we ran into a couple of guys rigging a barn DN at the public boat launch ramp way down the Arm. They had no idea that just a few miles north there was a whole community of iceboaters rompin’ and stompin over the entire lake. We hope Davis and his pal will check in and come sailing!

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