Damariscotta Lake 2/11, 2/12

Mud in the pits, sunscreen on the nose, sailing in light gloves and open collar. Breaking down slowly on slushy ice, taking your time, savoring what feels to be the end of the season.

Sounds like one our our wonderful days in late March. Not this year. That’s how it was this weekend at Lake Farm. Yesterday there were about fifteen boats from all over New England. A Lockley Skimmer made the trip all the way from the Orient Ice Yacht Club on Long Island. Way to go Heather! Mike came up from Massachusetts with Herb Chamberlain’s old NorthEaster. He made great use of a retired walked for bringing tools and runners down to the ice:

Big winds made for great sailing on the recovered surface. A dusting of snow before dawn fell into what remained of the undrained water, slushing it out and letting it freeze. There were a few drain holes, some marked, the others dodged. Shell ice blocked access to the Narrows, but there was plenty of real estate in Great Bay.

The early bird got the wind today, the 8-10 Westerly coming in right on schedule. By noon it was done, and the launch began to show signs of decay. A few boats had the pleasure of fast full lake laps before that sense of impending doom crept in as the sheet lightened and tell tales struggled to stay awake.

Ben Fuller rigged his new stern steerer STREAK, sorting out set up details. Sadly, most boats are off the ice. A few DN’s might be there tomorrow, but other lakes are getting checked as we write. Might be better winds along the coast.

It may feel like the end, but rumors are trickling in from NY and VT…

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