Jeff and Paul had another epic day on the big ice. The south wind began to fill in late morning and allowed the boys a fast downwind sail back to Kineo. Then it was payback time, but unlike the NW wind, which makes the Greenville-Kineo run an upwind-downwind sail, the southerly gives you a slant. Twenty-five miles upwind with just three tacks.
As very dedicated DN racers, they used the day as a tuning exercise. With so much time and space on one tack small differences in the boats can be flushed out and changes made. The slower boat was made to go faster, and visa-versa. They did this all the way up and down the lake, learning valuable tuning lessons. Of course, they were also whooping with joy at the sheer unfathomable vastness of the place. Moosehead is SO not about rounding marks on a one mile course. It’s the place where racers broaden their horizons: literally and figuratively.
The only thing they missed was more boats. The welcome mat was out, but there are no takers. So it goes with us here on the lunatic fringe, but WE know…
The day was above freezing mostly, but the ice stayed hard except for a brief period when the sun came out. The runners began to break through, still a long way from home. But after about five minutes the clouds took over and the ice got hard again. Fascinating. Talk about sailing on the edge.
Meanwhile, across the border in Quebec, Denis went to check his camp on Lac Ste Francois. The lake has been a mess all winter, but today it looked pretty good. He rigged up and went for a sail.
"I came to Lambton by noon today. I had to meet my contractor and the windows company. Everything was done by 13:30. So I went to check the ice. Nice surface, no more snow, mostly hard with some shell ice not very deep. Go: time to set up the boat! Wind was ok, just enough for the DN rig. And the skunners to sail over the soft spots and the shell ice. I was on the ice at 2:30.
Then the wind came stronger. That was more fun. And then it became even stronger. Still more fun! And then, it became like a small storm, with ice rain and snow. I don’t know if it was more fun at that time! But it was my fastest sailing of the winter!!…. with soft and shell ice and skunners. My shoulders are sore from hitting the sides of the cockpit! I had to stop at 16:45."
It’s hard to be sure, as always in this sport, but these lakes might not be done. Crocuses be damned: stand by for more big ice next weekend!