Damariscotta ON Tomorrow, 1/5

Bunting says the ice checks out and the surface will be fine, but it looks like Trixie wants to go back ashore and scrounge a lunch. Plate has not been checked for drain holes. Ramp is clear.

This is about what we had a few days ago:

SW winds 10-15, sunshine. The inn is open for dinner after 4:00. Narrows, South End, Deep Cove, etc?

Posted in 2017 Season

Megunticook Yesterday

Light and variable winds, shell ice and rain combined to make yesterday not one of the best days of iceboating. We put up with shell when there was a puff and tried to tack on the smooth stuff, but when it began to rain the whole exercise just seemed to be a stretch. Scott Woodman, David Jones and I packed up. Jory played his cards better, though. He’s a water rat, so he sat out the rain. It passed, and behind it was a very crisp SE breeze, the one we’d been waiting for all day. He make a quick loop into Davey Jones Locker, but took off when he realized I wanted to borrow his boat. He was last seen vanishing in the mist deep down the Western Way.

This is what makes it a sport. It’s not just how you do rounding the marks, but how you play the forecast and conditions. Jory was willing to get wet in hopes of more wind, others weren’t. He won.

Damariscotta seems to have wet out this morning. We’ll try to get a look at it today, but either way tomorrow has the best wind of the next few days. The weekend is looking good as well.

Posted in 2017 Season | 2 Comments

Chickawaukee ice Monday Dec2

Not seen from shore or breakfast table is a significant sinking pressure ridge down the center of the lake from close to the visible swimming hole to near South shore where there is another skirting the shore. Thickness over all remains around 5 inches. Nothing has thickened or healed in days. Plank needed for access both ends. Looks more like Spring than Winter.Healing cold coming Sunday night. Sail/skate Megunticook.


Posted in 2017 Season

Megunticook ON Tomorrow

Jory and others skated the lake today and found this:


Descriptions are geared towards skaters, but he says that any shell ice will be no problem for iceboats. East/SE winds forecast ahead of rain storm coming Tuesday. It’s scheduled to begin late afternoon, so as usual, we’re plunking a sailing day out of the jaws of the weather dragon yet again.

Set up at Bog Bridge.

This photo really shouldn’t be part of a post calling sailing ON, but it’s too good to resist. Kevin Grindle is getting his drone well dialed in and sends this from Walker Pond. Too much wet-out is obviously not a good thing. THIS IS NOT MEGUNTICOOK!

OUCH. Here’s the rest of the flight: https://vimeo.com/197787916

Posted in 2017 Season

Damariscotta Lake 12/31

Once we found that Megunticook was a mess, the Dammy cam enticed us to take a long shot and go have a look. The drain holes of last Wednesday were a worry. We took boats just in case. Then we showed up and prayed. Prayers answered. Flawless orange peel to the horizon. Drain holes vanished, still marked by the sticks we placed there. How is this possible?

This marked a hole big enough to swallow a runner without burping. Then it snowed, rained and had less than 24 hours of below freezing.
So were were ready. Light airs got us out to the middle of the broads and then quit. We chased puffs for a while then pushed back to the pits to find food. Jory headed to the store while I skated up some wind and by the time he got back it was up and we were gone. Sailed deep into the South Broads. The pressure ridge blocking that on Wednesday looks like this, although there is a new one forming:

I know there are lots of folks needing ice, and I hope this doesn’t hurt too much. Sometimes you just get lucky. Looks like next Thursday is the next safe bet. Rain will remove any snow that falls tonight. If it rains there tonight, tomorrow and Monday could be good. Generally 6″ everywhere according to the gentleman on the left, below.

David Lampton came down and opened up the “clubhouse” for us where we warmed up. Wouldn’t it be nice if the CIBC actually owned it…?

The MiniSkeeter with its freestanding mast has a great trick with a down-wind landing: come straight in hot, hit the brakes and let the mainsheet fly:

Happy New Years everyone. Don’t forget to drink just enough and keep your eyes and ears open for ice.

Posted in 2017 Season

Damaricotta Sat Dec 31 AM Report

Buchholz called from Dammy about 10 AM that it is a go with grey pebbly surface. The hard core is going to give it a try. See dammy cam.

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Posted in 2017 Season

Sunrise on Chickawaukee

Our recent rain, almost 2 inches and following snow raised the lake some 6 inches so access is sketchy, plank needed. The surface looks as though thousands of golf balls were dumped in the slush, marbles in better areas. This would be very slow sailing. Ice thickness ended up about the same 4-5 inches with apparent loss of black ice and gain of maybe an inch of frozen slush. Ye olde swimming hole is just skimmed over but will surely blow out later in day. 2 of four buoys marking it have disappeared, likely sunk as it grew in the wind and rain. It is very visible as shiny black in the otherwise drab sometimes snow streaked grey. Not really sailable unless desperate.


Posted in 2017 Season