Who knows what Johnny Cash meant when singing about walking the line, or Glen Campbell about that guy from Witchita, but for us that line we walk is the one between wet and dry. No, not about Alcohol, that comes after, but between snow and rain. Where the line lands affects our very destiny as iceboaters. It means either a day at work or a day on the ice. The difference between night and day.
Graham Lake walked that line last night, giving a few iceboaters a restless night’s sleep. How close would the snow come? Driving there this morning was no better. Some stretches the shoulders are covered in fresh snow, and then not. But at last the lake: half grey, half white. Fair enough: we’ll take it. With a nice fresh North breeze five boats headed north, scouting and marking their way to the narrows at Fletcher’s Landing. They were proceeded by Skater Bob Lombardo who send back texts of hazzards. The narrows were wide open. This is the choke point for the current that runs through the lake, and it showed. And all that separated us from the northern part of the lake was a narrow sandy spit at the west end of the narrows. So the question was: how many guys does it take to carry a Whizz?
Four. No problem. the DN’s were much easier, especially Dave Fortier’s minimum weight boat. And why would we decide to do this? As everyone knows, the ice is ALWAYS better on the other side of whatever it is that’s blocking you.
The south end was scabby, bumpy, a grade 4 tops. Above, the grade goes through the roof. The fleet toured a few miles north to the next plate of less than wonderful ice and turned back to gambol here.They held a one lap race of two miles each way, carried back across the spit and retreated to warm cars for lunch. The temp never topped 15 all day.
After the late lunch, and joined by two latecomers, the narrow canals of the big marsh in the SE corner of the lake were toured at full speed. There were a few spots where the grass just couldn’t be avoided (you folks who sail Loring know what that’s like), but it was just like short track racing. Fast laps until the face froze and the sun went down.
Bob took this short video of the north end, but they don’t always come through on these posts:
There are boats on the ice for tomorrow in spite of the light air forecast. Wednesday has weather moving in.
In other news, Memphramagog has frozen at Magog and presents what’s reported to be an exceptional plate of ice. More on that to come.