Black Turns To White

This is the scene yesterday on Megunticook, sailed by Jory and Lloyd:

So this morning, with the trees lightly swaying and all that ice only minutes away, Jory and I sailed it. There was a very nice charge of wind in Polly’s Folly Bay which held nicely up between Fang and Crane Islands. It was just as nice as Damariscotta and nearly as silent running as Pushaw. The rush of the wind was the loudest sound and with no hazzards you could close your eyes and imagine flight.
Jory saw the snow coming, and in no time the sheet was white, There was very little wind in the broads. The snow was piling up on the push back. The gear in the pits was nearly buried. Sailed hard and put away wet: was it worth the effort for and hour of sailing like that? Absolutely. While we all suffer from “on the fence syndrome” about packing up and going sailing, are there any times you regretted going? Non that I can think of.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Black Ice under the tree.

Posted in 2016 Season | 3 Comments

Chickawaukee and Megunticook reports Wednesday

Jory and I circumnavigated Chicky, lovely ice as apparently everywhere, about 3 inches with 1 1/2 on recently closed holes, but not all holes closed yet. Most of what seemed open water at the South end day before yesterday must have been mirage as it disappeared in afternoon. It will take another cold snap, none in sight now.

Megunticook, we paused there to check on way to Dammy, was breathtaking, so we stayed for gentle sailing on glass 3 inches thick. The northern reaches and bays were not explored due to light air. We hope it survives Thursday’s ” showers” of snow and rain for colder weather next week sometime.

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Posted in 2016 Season

Bo Derek on Damariscotta

Tip of the helmet to Kevin Grindle for an excellent name for as good as it gets. Wind forecast was dubious, although Bunting was convinced it would be “windy”. In spite of that, twelve boats showed up and raced up and down the North Broads as soon as the wind came up. The WSW wind is not the usual for this lake, so it allowed close reaching down and deep reaching back up. Non-stop drag racing until the wind was switched off at about three o’clock.

There is a small pressure ridge just offshore from the pits running north-south, but it is easily sailable. Ice is four inches everywhere we checked. That ridge swings to the east at the south end and was not crossed.

The ice is just as nice as it looks, but snow is due tomorrow. We’re hoping for rain on the coast as Chickie and Megunticook are ready to sail now, right after that jolly guy bearing gifts finishes his rounds. Lloyd and Jory sailed Megunticook after skating Chickie and report ice almost as nice as this. Thanks to Fortier, Raymond, Guertin, Rindlaub, McKewen, Bunting, Gagnon skating (he’s find after his crash yesterday), his pal Jimmie, John, all the others I’m forgetting for taking a chance on the forecast and showing up! Stand by for next time.

Posted in 2016 Season | 1 Comment

Sailing Cobbossoconte

After a long scouting skate and still now wind, Jim Gagnon showed up rigged his boat, pushed out and up came the wind. It wasn’t even subtle at first: someone just flipped the switch. We headed north, trying to stay deep in the light air. There was just enough to get wound up, but we all took turns stalling out. The Cheapskates were right up there contending for gold.

We made it just to the north of Horseshoe Island. RThere was an unspoken Chicken’game going on: who would be the first to turn back? The wind did not inspire confidence.

The plate was generally fine, especially further north. There were some places like this, however, and Jim managed to find one on the home stretch, dropped a runner in and ripped off the plank. There was still enough breeze to tow him home.

We’ve decided to sail Damariscotta tomorrow before we loose it on Thursday. We might be loosing our cherished access, too. The “clubhouse” is for sale. Any thoughts on forming an investor’s group to buy it?

Posted in 2016 Season | 1 Comment

First Ice In Massachusetts

Bob Strzelewicz sends this:

Quaboag pond Dec. 16, 2016 4.5 inches of ice

6 sailors sailed our asses off !!! Sailed again Monday, 5 inches of ice, light winds, smooth ice

Looks like Bob’s new boat, Roger Livingston, Billy Bluefeather, and James and Steve Lamb. Way to go!

If you’re coming to Maine, here’s a map for today’s launch:

Posted in 2016 Season

Ice Report

Thanks to Lloyd for checking Chickie. Sad to hear she’s not ready yet; it’s been quite a while since we’ve enjoyed baked beans on the beach and burned our lips on boiling hot chocolate. But Damariscotta Lake is nearly there. Surface grade 9.9, thickness 2″ of hard grey ice twenty feet from shore, no open water in sight. Will be fine tomorrow or the next day.

Ramp needs plowing and sanding, but we’ll take care of that. It’s your CIBC dues at work.

But, one of the great un-sailed lakes of Maine is offering us 2.5″ (today) of a similar surface: Lake Cobbosseeconte, just SW of Augusta. Should be an easy three by morning. Predicted SW breeze will be light, but blow straight up the lake.

Launch at public boat ramp off Rt. 135 at E. Monmouth in the SW corner of the lake. Extent of scouting has been unconfirmed, so this will need careful inspection before reckless abandon.

Posted in 2016 Season

Chiakawaukee Ice Monday 12/19

All snow long gone. Lovely grade 10 ice in northern bay at Lloyd’s Heron beach, fine skating. However the cake is not done yet, large holes in northern half and more apparent open water at south end. The good skating ice here is 1 1/2 to 4 inches. The big holes need two cold nights, tonight will be, Tuesday night?? Some breeze now will keep these open at least for the daytime. Warming Tuesday through Thursday with possible rain/snow showers Thursday, then colder again for the elusive Christmas regatta.

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Posted in 2016 Season