It was an incredible three days of giant ice and perfect wind on Moosehead Lake. Comfortable rooms and good food a walk from the launch site, it just does not get any better. The scenery, mountains all around, Mount Katahdin to the northeast, even a tour to Mount Kineo Tuesday afternoon.
I must thank Bill for posting often and sharing the happenings on the ice in semi-realtime to http://www.iceboat.me. Another thing that Commodore Bucholz is good at, remembering that he has a camera with him and snapping some photos.
Cruising with Denis and Bill is definitely a trip, as Bill has a good knowledge and memory of the geography of the lake, the frontier abounds. Also, there is no pressure ridge these guys do not want to cross. And many times there is some freaking nice big ice beyond. One of our explorations was into Moose Bay behind and west of Moose Island. There was a great piece of ice there, that we ripped around on before we stopped at Bob Bartlett’s place, a super groovy log cabin that he is constructing. When leaving Moose Bay, we were able to sail over the ridge we had scouted on the way in.
The sail to Kineo the day before was very exciting especially the downwind sail back to the launch. We all were sailing FAST, and I spun out, fortunately Bill had the attention and skill to avoid my boat.
In the afternoon Wednesday most everyone was packing up for the ride home, Karen and T thought a sight seeing cruise on Moosehead was in order, so off we went. The temperature had risen and there was at least an inch and a half of corn that was definitely slowing my SDN with 1/4 inch plates. When we got to the pressure ridge crossing, I thought it best that I head back to the launch, and at that time Jos Van Dyke arrived, so off the three of them sailed.
I sailed back to the launch, and so had plenty of time to disassemble and pack my gear. I was able to bag all my gear and get all but the fuselage onto the top of my car. The wind had seemed to wane, and the time was about 1700. I could see about three miles north, no DNs in sight. I was texting with Eben Whitcomb as I had sent him the photo of all the boats lined up in front of Kelly’s Landing. So I told him of the DNs still out there, and that I had texted, and called T with no answer. At about 1740 I spotted boats, and the wind was still blowing, and the sun above the horizon, so all was good.
The wind hung in there, and actually had increased a bit toward the end, and everyone was moving well going downwind. As the boats got close enough for me to see the sailors in the boats, I noticed that T and Jos had switched boats. Come to find out that in the light air, T had swapped boats with Jos, as T was able to keep the classic DN moving, and T’s perfectly tuned boat was able to keep Jos moving.
Jos was able to pack up and head south while T and Karen were starting to break down gear, and T helped me get my SDN onto my roof rack. Meanwhile Grant, the owner of Chalet Moosehead, and his 8 yr old daughter Charlet had come down to check out the scene. Karen and T were staying the night and were in no hurry. Charlet was very excited when T sat her in on of the DNs and pushed her around on the ice for a good ride. She then got back to the pit area and assisted them both in disassembling the boats, ratchet in hand. Once again I forgot that I had a phone/camera close at hand. I missed some terrific pictures of a future iceboater.
I was fortunate to find when I stopped at the local Hannaford grocery on the way out of town Wednesday evening for some pistachios to munch while driving home, they had in stock Bob Bartlett’s RUSTICATOR RUM. I look forward to sharing a drink or two, and hopefully recalling a tale or two of this years Moosehead, Long Way. I hope that all had as much fun and excitement as I.
Cheers, Dave US4690