Sunset on Chickawaukee Dec 27

Last night’s warm 50 F rain melted about an inch off the top leaving vast expanses of glassy wet ice, a few puddles maybe 1/4 inch deep, and small drain holes, fist size. The varied crystalline structure of the black ice, crystals often a couple of feet across, was accentuated by a haze of fine bubbles. These seem to be caused by sun light as they were much diminished under a marking buoy. The open swimming hole is larger than yesterday, threatening to eat a couple of the marking buoys, which don’t float. It was on a day like this that I took the cover photo on “Think Ice”, a perfect DN reflection. The public beach access is buckling down into a deep puddle for some reason. I felt a bit uneasy on the now only 4 inches of slightly punky but very slippery ice. Coolth is needed.

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Posted in 2016 Season

Chickie Today, Damariscotta Wednesday

One of the many great joys of iceboating is that moment in light air when there’s a tug on the sheet and the sail fills. The boat begins to move and in seconds you are wound up and sailing fast. We had many such moments today on Lake Chickawaukee. Aside from the hole in the middle of the lake, the ice was ideal for a light-air day: hard and smooth. We set up a leeward mark and indicated the open hole ringed with cones as the windward mark. Half way through the first lap the boats were like upon a painted sea. We gammed a bit and when the wind came back it was with a 180 shift so we were still going up-wind: just right again for a light-air day.

Lloyd made a nice fire in the pit with immediate ignition from an old tin of black powder. Toasted sandwiches all around and some more pushing and sailing until dark.

Damariscotta is looking potentially very good for Wednesday. Rain coming tonight, temps in the forties tomorrow, slight freeze Tuesday night. Hoping for drainage and evaporation by Wednesday AM. Morgan and Tim, if you get this, we’ll be sure and get you into a boat on Wednesday if you can make it. We promise more wind!

Posted in 2016 Season

Christmas Ice Chickawaukee Dec 25

Most of ice 4 1/2 inch thick grade 9-10. Large marked (four red buoys)hole 300 yds from Lloyd’s heron beach is still open producing a long blown plume of water downwind. Other holes seen previously ware now 2+ inches. Tonight forecast 12 F should add another 1/2w-3/4 inch to those. Pressure ridge near beach marked by two red buoys at ends.

Sailors welcome to Heron beach tomorrow, Monday Dec 26.

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Posted in 2016 Season

Merry Christmas!


Posted in 2016 Season

Chickawaukee Ice Dec. 24

The 3/8 inch layer of wet snow/dry slush on Chicky is wetting out or melting this AM, see photo. Rain later in day and warm XMas temp and sun should finish the job. 12 F forecast for Sunday night may give us a Christmas present for Monday. Snow and rain forecast for Monday night and Tuesday may kill it again, so soon. We have marked a swimming hole about 300 yards out from Roberts’ heron beach and a closer pressure ridge. Stay tuned,

Posted in 2016 Season

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