Every time we set out on the ice we learn something, hopefully. Last week we learned that with enough wind you can push an iceboat through most anything. Until you can’t and the boat capsizes.

The temperatures here haven’t been below freezing for at least two days and nights. There is twelve inches of ice on Hosmer Pond, in Camden. Six inches of pencils on top and six more of below fairly hard ice. Yesterday afternoon the average size guy was making footprints in the slush just from walking. It was forty-nine degrees and cloudy. This morning it was down to 40, with a nice breeze. The ice required checking. What a shock to find that it had hardened up, even though the footprints were still filled with water. The surface was smooth and lovely, just waiting to be sailed.

The DN was rousted out and set up with slush runners. By some miracle the ice was so hard that they didn’t leave tracks!

Hiking, sliding around the turns, the ice never failed, even at forty-five degrees. Note the lack of runner tracks in the photo. It almost looks photo shopped the way the boat seems to float on the surface.

The point of the story, as we learn over and over again, is it can never hurt to try. Show up and you might get lucky. When you sign up for iceboating you get a full dose of optimism to go along with it. Like all doses, it needs topping up every now and then.

This is the classic end of season shot, but after today I’m not so sure. What else is out there waiting to be sailed?

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